Burks having asthma issues

According to item on ESPN crawler. When he couldn’t get through the Titans’ first practice and needed an inhaler, that’s what it sounded like to me. The crawler item also said the Titans knew about it when they drafted him.

As an asthmatic and somewhat of an athlete, it’s not fun but it’s manageable. I ran 19 marathons and tons of shorter races with asthma and never needed an inhaler, but the possibility was always there.

Just curious how that works out for a professional athlete in a sport that has a severe drug policy against steroids when steroids are the go to drug in most inhalers and treatments for asthma?

Without getting too technical, there are two major kinds of steroids: Corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids are things like cortisone, dexamethasone, etc. They do not make you have huge muscles, they do not make your gonads shrink, they do not cause 'roid rage, etc. But they do help with asthma and some other medical conditions. Anabolic steroids are the ones that Roger Clemens and Jose Canseco and Barry Bonds were using, that do all of those things, and are considered PEDs. Corticosteroids are not.

There are other asthma medications that are a little questionable from a sports standpoint because they are a little bit of a stimulant, like salbutamol and terbutaline. I can remember an Olympic swimmer about 50 years ago who was disqualified because of his asthma medication, which contained a banned stimulant. I think that case led to the creation of “therapeutic use exemptions” for medications that are actually being used to treat a condition or disease, which is all he was doing.

In all likelihood, what they gave Burks on the sideline that day was not a steroid. It was probably albuterol, which fits into that stimulant category. That’s what my inhaler is. And if I need to use the inhaler in the evening shortly before bed, it’s going to keep me up a while longer because of the stimulant properties.

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Not to turn this into a medical discourse, but you may want to know as an asthmatic, Jeff…

The latest guidelines now specify that a rescue inhaler for asthma should NOT be albuterol alone. The rescue inhaler should contain a steroid as well as a beta agonist. In order for the combo inhaler to be effective, the beta agonist needs to have a quick enough onset to be effective. The recommendation is to use budesonide/formoterol (Symbicort) as the rescue inhaler.

Which is an off label use, and may complicate reimbursement!

Did not know that, Scott. I have an appointment with my PA later this month; may need to discuss that with her. I very rarely need my inhaler, fortunately. Mostly when I hear a little bit of wheezing at night, I’ll get up and do a puff. I can think of really two times when I got in serious problems; spent one New Year’s Day morning in urgent care getting nebulizer. Then came home and watched Tom Brady beat us in Orlando.

I went back and added a link to the GINA website

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I have never heard of him having an Issue with it here,is this just recently being a problem for him?

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UA is notoriously tight-lipped about anything medical regarding its athletes, but I can understand why because of two laws – HIPAA, which is related to medical privacy, and FERPA, which covers student privacy. If he never had to come out of a game because he was short of breath, we’d never know. He could have had issues in practice all the time and we never knew. The crawler said the Titans knew about the asthma, so presumably either Burks or UA told them.

Yeah and they never showed him on the sidelines using an inhaler so as long as the Titans knew about it . Everything should be fine

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