Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Friday, September 30, 2016

Troubleshooting Drug Free Sport AXIS

Drug Free Sport AXIS™ (AXIS) is everything the Resource Exchange Center/REC was, and more. Over the next year, AXIS will evolve and expand to address a wider range of topics pertinent to athlete health and wellness. However, we understand that a new name may come with some questions and confusion.  The purpose of this post is to outline some common questions and provide solutions to help you troubleshoot the new platform.

Best Practices for Logging in and Using Drug Free Sport AXIS for Dietary Supplement Inquiries:
  1. Visit drugfreesport.com/axis and bookmark this webpage.
  2. Login to AXIS using your designated sport organization’s password.
  3. From the homepage, go to the “Dietary Supplement Inquiry” box—this is the picture of a water bottle.
  4. If this is your FIRST time logging in you will need to enter all necessary information. Entries are confidential and used only to communicate our findings to a valid email address. We do not send personal information to schools/sports organizations. If you already HAVE an account, simply select the “Use an existing account” button to enter your email address—make sure everything is spelled correctly!
  6. Follow the directions on the Dietary Supplement Inquiry Dashboard to enter and send supplements for review. NOTE: You MUST press the orange “Send Inquiry” button to deliver your message to our team. If you do not receive a confirmation email regarding supplement inquiry submission, you have not sent your products to our team!
Troubleshooting Issues with Drug Free Sport AXIS:

  • ISSUE: You signed up for AXIS as outlined above, but have not received an email to access your account.
    • SOLUTION #1: Check your junk & spam folders—these are usually two different folders.
    • SOLUTION #2: If the email is not in your junk OR spam, contact your organization’s IT department to allow emails to be received from axis@drugfreesport.com and the “@drugfreesport.com” suffix.
    • SOLUTION #3: If you have done these things and are not receiving the email, please call Anna Filardo (Education Services Program Manager) at 816-285-1429 or the toll-free AXIS hotline at 877-202-0769.
  • ISSUE: You submitted an inquiry over 48 hours* ago and have not heard anything back from us.
    • SOLUTION #1: Check your account and ensure that you hit the orange “send inquiry” button on the “Inquiries” tab.
    • SOLUTION #2: If you did, in fact, hit “send inquiry,” please email us at axis@drugfreesport.com and include your Inquiry ID# in the subject line.
*Please note: If you submitted an inquiry after 5:00pm CST on a Friday, you may not receive a response until Monday afternoon.     

  • ISSUE: You don’t see the medication you are taking in the “Prescription Drug Inquiry” database.
    • SOLUTION #1: Type in the generic name of the medication instead of the brand name. If absent, try the brand name in the search bar. If neither the generic nor the brand name of the medication is listed in the database, see Solution #2 below.
    • SOLUTION #2: Submit the medication as a “Dietary Supplement Inquiry” to our staff. Enter the medication name in the “Supplement Name” box, “Create & Add to Inquiry,” click orange “Send Inquiry” button. We will have our expert Pharmacist research the medication and report the status of the medication back to you within 24-48 hours.

If you are experiencing additional challenges with Drug Free Sport AXIS, please contact us directly at axis@drugfreesport.com or 877-202-0769. 

To learn more about NCAA's rules on permissible vs. impermissible dietary supplements view this webinar recording

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition

Contributed by: Anna Filardo, MS, CPT
Education Program Manager, Drug Free Sport

It’s no secret that athletes are prone to injury, especially those causing inflammation around ligaments, joints, tendons, bones, even the brain. Inflammation may occur in the brain after a concussion or hard impact with the head.  A common response to inflammation is to reach for over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin.

But, did you know certain foods have anti-inflammatory properties? Nutrition is fuel for the body— helping it to heal and grow. Focus on eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, fruits/veggies, whole grains and drinking adequate water. Think: Brightly colored, minimally processed, whole foods.

Recommended Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Eat:

  • Vitamins C, D, & E
    • Bell peppers
    • Oranges
    • Kale
    • Cauliflower
    • Brussels Sprouts
    • Broccoli
    • Dairy Products
    • Nuts

  • Whole Grains
    • Whole wheat bread/pasta
    • Brown rice
    • Oatmeal

  • Fruits/Veggies
    • The darker the veggie, the better
    • Berries

  • Water
Foods to Avoid:
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Salty food
  • Sweets/candy
  • Fried food

The bottom line:  take care of your body, especially when recovering from injury. For best results, work with a Sports Dietitian to determine the proper type and amount of foods to consume to optimize your path to recovery. You can also visit Drug Free Sport AXIS (dfsaxis.com) and look under the “Sports Nutrition” section for athlete-friendly recipes and nutrition handouts.

Concussion Resources:

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Medical Exceptions and TUE Procedures: What You Need to Know

"My prescription is a banned substance! Now what?"

It’s that time of year when athletes are returning to campus, the season is starting, and the banned drug list is hanging over everyone’s head. It’s also the time of year that Drug Free Sport receives many phone calls, emails, and online inquiries regarding banned medications and medical exception procedures.

If you are an athlete or parent reading this, please note that it is inherently important to report all medications and supplements to the sports medicine staff at your organization or school. 

Prescription and Over-the-Counter medications can be checked using the Drug Free Sport AXIS (formerly the Resource Exchange Center/REC) medication database at drugfreesport.com/axis. By entering the brand or generic name of the medication, you can view the status of the medication as “banned” or “not banned” by your sports organization. 

If the medication registers the response “Drug Class Unassigned,” the medication is not yet categorized in our database. To check the status of this medication, navigate to the Dietary Supplement Inquiry page in the TOOLS menu bar and submit the medication to our AXIS team. A response will be provided within 24-48 hours and the medication will be added to the database. [Images below detail the process of of checking medications in the database and submitting an "unassigned" medication via the Dietary Supplement Inquiry form.]

From the Homepage, select the quick link box on the bottom right (shown above) titled 

"Prescription & Over-the- Counter Medication Database" to begin. 

In the database, simply start typing the name of the medication in the search bar. Once the medication 
appears in the auto-generated drop down menu, click and view the Medication Status in the gray box on the right. 
In this example, Adderall is Banned under the Stimulants drug class. 

If the Medication Status comes back as "Drug Class Unassigned," use the TOOLS menu bar 
shown with the arrow above to select "Dietary Supplement Inquiry" to send it to our team. 

To send the medication to the AXIS team, "Start a new inquiry" and type the name of the medication in the search bar. For example, "Acxion" as shown above. Select the green bar that reads "Don't see your supplement listed? Click here." and enter the medication information in the Supplement Name box. Add to inquiry and click "SEND" to receive a confirmation email that your inquiry has been received by our team.

Commonly, medications (such as those used to treat ADHD) come back as “banned” in the database. Sport organizations understand that some banned substances are warranted for treating specific medical conditions. In this case, each organization has a medical exception or Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process that athletes and sports medicine personnel can follow to clear an athlete for competition. Before pursuing a medical exception or TUE, prescribing physicians should always consider alternative medications that do not contain banned substances, when appropriate for certain treatment plans.

Below are links for more information about the medical exception or TUE process for differing organizations. We have also shared additional insights and notes regarding the NCAA medical exception process specifically as you read on. 

PGA Tour: Page 36

For NCAA athletes, preapproval from the NCAA is only required if the medication or treatment plan aligns with the Peptide Hormones and Analogues or Anabolic Agents drug classes. Medical exceptions are NOT granted for any substances within the “Street Drugs” class, regardless of the possession of a medical prescription. All other banned drug classes do NOT require preapproval, but it is recommended to have all documentation in place prior to competition.

For medications that are banned under the Diuretics & Masking Agents, Beta-2 Agonists, and Alcohol/Beta Blockers (banned for rifle only) drug classes, the athletic department will maintain appropriate documentation in the student-athlete’s medical record in the event that the athlete tests positive for the prescribed substance. This documentation includes: the current diagnosis, medical history, course of treatment, and a current prescription/dosage for the medication.

Note: Many asthma medications are Beta-2 Agonists that appear as banned substances. However, the NCAA Banned Drug List states that “Beta-2 Agonists [are] permitted only by prescription and inhalation.” By this account, prescription inhalers such as albuterol are permitted with a current prescription documented in the student-athletes medical record.

For medications banned under the Stimulants drug class (such as those used to treat ADHD), the institution will need to maintain the same documentation as for the other drug classes, in addition to the ADHD Reporting Form that can be found here.  Again, this form and all other documentation do not need to be sent to the NCAA until the student-athlete tests positive on a NCAA drug test, at which time the institution may request an exception.

For additional questions about medical exceptions procedures for your institution or sport organization, please use the links provided above or email our Education Department at axis@drugfreesport.com.