Pharmacology in sports medicine

Estimated Duration: 
1 hour

There are a variety of medications which are commonly used in a sports medicine setting. These are usually used to manage pain or in an attempt to reduce inflammation. Elite athletes may be subject to drug testing. For these athletes, doctors can be very ‘dangerous’ people as the use of many common medications can lead to a positive drug test. 

This course will cover some of the more commonly prescribed medications in sports medicine, highlight the effects of exercise on some commonly prescribed drugs and review some of the issues relating to doping control in sport.

Learning objectives:

  • Have an understanding of the WADA code, where to look for information about prohibited medications and understand the process by which an athlete can apply for a therapeutic use exemption.
  • Have an understanding regarding the common supplements used in a sports medicine setting as well as the pros and cons of their use.
  • Have an awareness of the common medications used to treat sports medicine related conditions.
  • Have an understanding of the effect that participating in sport can have on common medical conditions and their treatment.


Once you have completed this short course and quiz, please click 'submit' where you will be taken to the results page. From here you can print your certificate for 1 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hour.


This content was created by Dr Helen Joyce Fulcher MBChB, DipPaed, PGCertHSc (Sports Med), in January 2017 and updated in January 2020.

The material is presented by the Goodfellow Unit (GFU), an accredited continuing medical education/ continuing professional development (CME/CPD) provider for the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and functions under a tripartite agreement between the Goodfellow Foundation, the College and the University of Auckland. The Unit is located within the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, and within the School of Population Health.


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