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KetorolacDrug groupsNSAIDs Ketorolac is an active ingredient in the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used in the form of tablets and as a solution for injection to treat pain from various causes. Ketorolac eye drops are used to prevent and treat pain and inflammation after cataract surgery. The most common possible adverse effects include central disorders, digestive disorders and skin reactions. Like other NSAIDs, ketorolac can cause serious side effects such as gastrointestinal ulcers, heart disease, and kidney disease. The duration of treatment should therefore be kept short.

synonymous: Ketorolacum, Ketorolacum trometamolum, Ketorolactrometamol, Ketorolactromethamine


Ketorolac in the form of film-coated tablets, as a solution for injection (Tora-Dol®) and as eye drops in stores (Acular®, generics). It has been approved in Switzerland since 1992.

Structure and properties

Ketorolac (C.15H13NO3, Mr = 255.7 g / mol) is contained in medicinal products in the form of the salt ketorolactrometamol (= ketorolactromethamine), see also under trometamol. The pyrrolizine carboxylic acid derivative is structurally related to indomethacin and is present as a racemate that is soluble in water. The S.-Enantiomer is responsible for the pain relieving effects.


Ketorolac (ATC M01AB15, ATC S01BC05) has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties. The effects are based on the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis through a non-specific inhibition of cyclooxygenase. It is controversial in the literature whether parenteral ketorolac is beneficial for treating pain after surgery. According to Arora et al. (2007), for example, oral ibuprofen can be used just as well.

Mechanism of action of NSAIDs, click to enlarge. Illustration © PharmaWiki


Ketorolac is used systemically to treat pain from various causes. The injection solution is approved in Switzerland for the treatment of pain after operations and can be used in children from 2 years of age if opioids are contraindicated. On the eye, ketorolac is used to prevent and treat pain and inflammation after cataract surgery.


According to the specialist information. Due to the numerous possible undesirable effects, the dose for systemic use should be kept as low and the duration of treatment as short as possible. The medicine is only intended for short-term treatment.


The complete information on precautionary measures and interactions can be found in the product information sheet.

unwanted effects

The most common possible adverse effects include headache, nausea, dyspepsia, abdominal pain and discomfort, purpura, drowsiness, drowsiness, sweating, dizziness, high blood pressure, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, stomatitis, vomiting, itching, rash, swelling, and pain at the injection site.

Like other NSAIDs, ketorolac can cause serious side effects such as gastrointestinal ulcers, heart disease, and kidney disease.

When applied to the eye, stinging and burning sensation when the drops are used, as well as other local side effects are often observed.

see also

NSAID eye drops

  • Anthony D., Jasinski D.M. Postoperative pain management: morphine versus ketorolac. J Perianesth Nurs, 2002, 17 (1), 30-42 Pubmed
  • Arora S., Wagner J.G., Herbert M. Myth: parenteral ketorolac provides more effective analgesia than oral ibuprofen. CJEM, 2007, 9 (1), 30-2 Pubmed
  • Pharmaceutical product information (CH, USA)
  • Di Massa A., Scardigli M., Bruni L., Valentino L. Ketorolac for pediatric postoperative pain. A review. Minerva Anestesiol, 2000, 66 (10), 749-56 Pubmed
  • Gillis J.C., Brogden R.N. Ketorolac. A reappraisal of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties and therapeutic use in pain management. Drugs, 1997, 53 (1), 139-88 Pubmed
  • Perry H.D., Donnenfeld E.D. An update on the use of ophthalmic ketorolac tromethamine 0.4%. Expert Opin Pharmacother, 2006, 7 (1), 99-107 Pubmed
  • Sinha V.R., Kumar R.V., Singh G. Ketorolac tromethamine formulations: an overview. Expert Opin Drug Deliv, 2009, 6 (9), 961-75 Pubmed

Conflicts of Interest: None / Independent. The author has no relationships with the manufacturers and is not involved in the sale of the products mentioned.

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This article was last changed on 9/25/2020.
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