UT gives painkiller on limited, case by case basis

8:05 PM, Jan 4, 2013   |    comments
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Officials at the University of Tennessee could not comment on how many players have been given a painkiller that is at the center of a lawsuit involving USC, but they said Vol players, too, have been administered the drug.

"It is used on a very limited basis, case by case," said Jimmy Stanton, the Associate Athletics Director for Communications.

Toradol is a nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drug.

An ex-USC football player has sued the university, claiming an injected generic version of Toradol was administered to him, 10 times in a matter of weeks, and caused a heart attack after the 2010 season.

According to USA Today, in the lawsuit, the former player, Armond Armstead, claims the school and doctor did not disclose the side effects of the drug.

Amy Flatt, the University of Tennessee Medical Center's Associate Director of Pharmacy, said side effects include nausea, headaches, gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney failure.

On the label, manufacturers warn Toradol and its generic versions, like other drugs in the NSAID classification, can cause an increased risk for heart problems and strokes.

Flatt said dosages vary depending on whether the drug is injected or taken orally.

A former UT football player said he was given the pill version of Toradol for over 18 months after he suffered a stress fracture his junior year. He had two knee surgeries while playing for the university.

"I was kind of bone-on-bone on my right knee and so you know, it's tough," said Jayson Swain, who played from 2003 to 2005. "It's tough to go through practice every day and practice is usually harder than the games."

Unlike Armstead's claims, Stanton reassured that the UT staff always explains the drugs administered, as well as the potential side effects.

Swain said in his personal experience, UT did everything by the book.

"Let's be honest. Nobody reads the bottle. But UT did a good job of kind of explaining that and letting you know how powerful it is, what you're dealing with, and how to take it," said Swain.

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