Skip to content

Some teams now shy away from Toradol

images Getty Images

As more and more teams become aware of the risks associated with the potent painkiller Toradol, more and more team doctors are shying away from giving it to players.

As part of a thorough look at the use of medication by NFL teams to allow players to suit up on Sundays, Sally Jenkins and Rick Maese of the Washington Post explain that some teams have decided to use it less frequently, or not at all.

Rams physician Matt Matava decided after taking a closer look at Toradol’s side effects and balancing the risks with the benefits to “essentially eliminate[]” it from the team’s locker room.

“We had two players come up to me at the very first game and said, ‘I’m here for my Toradol shot,’” Dr. Matava said. “I said, ‘We’re not using it anymore.’  ‘Okay, can I have something else?’  I never heard one more word about it the rest of the season.”

Other teams now avoid it “whenever possible,” including the Packers, Falcons, and Redskins.

The drug first gained wide notice in January 2012, via a segment from HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.  Players like Brian Urlacher told Andrea Kremer that he hadn’t been told about potential kidney damage or gastrointestinal bleeding.  Once aware of the potential risks, Urlacher said he’d still take it.

Players balked at efforts to restrict the use of Toradol in 2012, and then a grievance was filed after at least one team required players receiving it to sign a waiver of legal claims that among other things referred players to Wikipedia for more information about the drug.

For the men who play the game, it’s a delicate balance.  They want to be able to perform without pain, but they also need to be fully aware of the risks.

The problem is that, because the drug wasn’t designed to help football players feel invincible on game days, the full range of risks isn’t completely known.  At some point, the doctors entrusted with player care must be willing to say that it’s better to not be able to play than to artificially mask pain with a drug that can do more harm that good over the long haul.

Permalink 10 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Home, Rumor Mill, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins
10 Responses to “Some teams now shy away from Toradol”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 14, 2013 6:48 PM

    “We only use it for euthanasia these days.”.

  2. anicra says: Apr 14, 2013 7:04 PM

    “potent painkiller Toradol”

    Seriously, it is an NSAID the same as Ibuprofen (advil), or Naproxen (Aleve). It has no μ-opioid receptor activity so it is not even true painkiller. It blocks the prostaglandin cascade which produces inflammation, and stomach acid protection(hence the risk).
    People using injection of IV, IM NSAID to reduce inflammation and analgesia. Analgesia effect varies from nothing in some people to feeling great. The same can be said about other Over the counter pain reliever. Understanding how the analgesia effect works is not well understood.

    What is the big freaking deal?

  3. blitzburgh43 says: Apr 14, 2013 7:13 PM

    Get a kidney stone, you’ll love toradol. Trust me.

  4. EJ says: Apr 14, 2013 7:18 PM

    I had a dual lung surgery- pleurodesis with bleb resection. It is where they rough up the lining of my lungs to make them bleed, in order to attach my lungs to the top of my chest permanently. Reason being, I kept getting spontaneous(Lung collapses) pneumothorax. The Doctors had to make two 5 inch incision’s in my back to do the surgery and four 1 inch incision’s for the tubes for drainage. It was by far the worse pain I have ever felt in my entire life. I had massive nerve damage from the procedure. The Doctors were pumping me full of narcotics that did not touch the pain. I had 1 shot of Toradol and It took almost every ounce of pain away. A month in the hospital and the only thing that gave me relief was the Toradol. The Doctors explained to me the risks of using it and the odds of everything. I was basically making part of my body worse in order to help another feeling better. Weighing the options, I chose to take the Toradol, but I wish I didn’t. The drug has way too many side effects, way too many. These players need to listen to their doctors, Toradol may work, but it is also bad news.

  5. raiderapologist says: Apr 14, 2013 7:44 PM

    So if they aren’t using Toradol, what are they using? Thy aren’t just telling players to rub some dirt on it.

  6. jalder21 says: Apr 14, 2013 9:17 PM

    How are pain killers and Cortico-steroids viewed as “OK”, and not a PED?? This seems like a huge double standard. Especially when HGH is banned. HGH has many positive effects to an athlete, like improved ligament and tendon strength, and improved joint health. It also has positive effects on post concussion syndrome via its effects on the pituitary. To me this seems like an enormous double standard.

  7. clssylssy says: Apr 14, 2013 9:43 PM

    Check Wikipedia? Are you serious?…roflmao! The trouble today is that everybody is an armchair physician, coach, etc. The fact is, that any single side effect that has ever been reported has to be listed as a side effect however remote the chances are of it occurring, and, taken correctly may NEVER be harmful. Just because a side effect is listed does not mean that it will occur in every individual. Any NSAID (non-steroid anti-imflamatory) can potentially cause kidney damage and gastrointestinal distress but we are talking longterm heavy useage and this includes such widely used NSAIDs as ALEVE, ADVIL, things most people have in their medicine cabinet and take without question. Asperin can also be dangerous as it thins the blood and CAN be harsh on the stomach, causing internal bleeding. The media is constantly on a witchhunt, apparently because they have forgotten what real news is, and so are constantly sensationalizing the evils caused by the misuse of legitimately therapeutic drugs. Toradol is an anti-inflamatory, is non-narcotic, and like many other medications, is safe and beneficial when taken as prescribed under the direction of a physician. A PDR is a better source of information about drugs than Wikipedia!

  8. clssylssy says: Apr 14, 2013 9:45 PM

    Check Wikipedia? Are you serious?…rofl! The trouble today is that everybody is an armchair physician, coach, etc. The fact is, that any single side effect that has ever been reported has to be listed as a side effect however remote the chances are of it occurring, and, taken correctly may NEVER be harmful. Just because a side effect is listed does not mean that it will occur in every individual. Any NSAID (non-steroid anti-imflamatory) can potentially cause kidney damage and gastrointestinal distress but we are talking longterm heavy useage and this includes such widely used NSAIDs as ALEVE, ADVIL, things most people have in their medicine cabinet and take without question. Asperin can also be dangerous as it thins the blood and CAN be harsh on the stomach, causing internal bleeding. The media is constantly on a witchhunt, apparently because they have forgotten what real news is, and so are constantly sensationalizing the evils caused by the misuse of legitimately therapeutic drugs. Toradol is an anti-inflamatory, is non-narcotic, and like many other medications, is safe and beneficial when taken as prescribed under the direction of a physician. A PDR is a better source of information about drugs than Wikipedia!

  9. axespray says: Apr 15, 2013 1:39 PM

    hey man – don’t be dissing wikipedia …. Cause of Wikipedia – I found the Trailer Park Boys … best TV Show ever.

  10. ziplock10 says: Apr 16, 2013 12:41 AM

    This is a league that punishes players for using Aderral or an unperscribed medication but will give them a heavy dose of this stuff to get them the highlight reel plays.

    There is no difference between what the players do or the NFL!

    The end justifies the means.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!