Ketorolac tromethamine

  • 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.

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

Ketorolac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) similar to ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen, and many others. Ketorolac blocks prostaglandin synthesis. Prostaglandins have many effects in the body including their role in pain and inflammation. In the eye prostaglandin is involved in inflammation, pain, and irritation due to allergies or mechanical injury. Ketorolac provides relief from pain and inflammation in the eyes. The FDA approved ketorolac eye drops in November 1992.

What brand names are available for ketorolac tromethamine-ophthalmic?

Acular, Acular LS, Acuvail

Is ketorolac tromethamine-ophthalmic available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for ketorolac tromethamine-ophthalmic?


What are the side effects of ketorolac tromethamine-ophthalmic?

Side effects of Ketorolac are:

  • burning and stinging of eyes,
  • corneal edema,
  • inflammation and irritation,
  • eye infection,
  • dryness,
  • visual disturbances, and
  • headache.

Which drugs or supplements interact with ketorolac tromethamine-ophthalmic?

Ketorolac should not be used with other NSAID eye drops due to risks of increased bleeding and delayed healing.

Ketorolac should be used with caution with steroid-containing eye drops due to increased likelihood of infections.

Ketorolac should be used with caution in patients who bleed easily or patients receiving blood thinners.

Is ketorolac tromethamine-ophthalmic safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies done on Ketorolac to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.

It is not known whether Ketorolac enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about ketorolac tromethamine-ophthalmic?

What preparations of ketorolac tromethamine-ophthalmic are available?

Ophthalmic Solution: 0.4%, 0.45%, 0.5%

How should I keep ketorolac tromethamine-ophthalmic stored?

Store Ketorolac eye drops between temperatures 5 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F), and protect from light.


Ketorolac tromethamine (Acular, Acular LS, Acuvail) is a NSAID medication similar to other NSAIDs like ibuprophen, naproxen, and many others. Ketorolac tromethamine is prescribed for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis (pink eye), post operative inflammation pain, burning, and stinging after eye surgery such as cataract surgery or corneal refractory surgery. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and storage information should be reviewed prior to using this medication.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

REFERENCE: Ketorolac FDA Prescribing Information.