ketorolac (Toradol brand has been discontinued in the US)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

What is ketorolac-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

  • Ketorolac is a member of a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are used for treating inflammation and pain. Other drugs in this class include ibuprofen (Motrin) and naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), but ketorolac is more effective than other NSAIDs in reducing pain from both inflammatory and non-inflammatory causes. Ketorolac reduces the production of prostaglandins, chemicals that cells of the immune system make that cause the redness, fever, and pain of inflammation and that also are believed to be important in the production of non-inflammatory pain. It does this by blocking the enzymes that cells use to make prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase 1 and 2). As a result, pain as well as inflammation and its signs and symptoms, redness, swelling, fever, and pain, are reduced.
  • The FDA approved ketorolac in November 1989.

Is ketorolac-oral available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for ketorolac-oral?

Yes

What are the uses for ketorolac-oral?

  • Ketorolac is used for short-term management (up to 5 days) of moderately severe acute pain that otherwise would require narcotics.
  • It should not be used for minor or chronic painful conditions.

What are the side effects of ketorolac-oral?

Common side effects from ketorolac include:

Rare side effects of ketorolac include:

Serious side effects of ketorolac include:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Intestinal bleeding
  • Reduced kidney function
  • Liver failure

Other serious adverse events include:

  • NSAIDs reduce the ability of blood to clot and therefore increase bleeding after an injury. Ketorolac may cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestines, particularly with use for more than five days. Sometimes, stomach ulceration and intestinal bleeding can occur without any abdominal pain. Sometimes, the only signs or symptoms of bleeding may be:
  • NSAIDs reduce the flow of blood to the kidneys and impair function of the kidneys. The impairment is most likely to occur in patients with preexisting impairment of kidney function or congestive heart failure, and use of NSAIDs in these patients should be done cautiously.
  • Liver failure has also been associated with ketorolac.
  • People who are allergic to aspirin and other NSAIDs should not use ketorolac.
  • Individuals with asthma or nasal polyps are more likely to experience allergic reactions to NSAIDs.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/8/2016

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