Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Ketorolac

Ketorolac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. It is prescribed for short term management of moderate to severe pain, such as post-operative pain.

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Ketorolac is the active ingredient of Tora-dol and Acular.

General Information

Ketorolac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. It is prescribed for short term management of moderate to severe pain, such as post-operative pain. It is not indicated for minor conditions and should not be prescribed for chronic use. It is advised that treatment with ketorolac should not exceed 5 days.

This medication does not cure the underlying condition responsible for pain or inflammation, but simply keeps the symptoms under control.

Ketorolac as an eye drop is prescribed to treat pain and swelling that may follow eye surgery.

Ketorolac may irritate or even damage your stomach. To reduce this, it is advisable to take this medication with food.

It has been reported that people who take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as ketotolac) may have a higher risk of having a heart attack or a stroke than those not taking it. This risk may be higher if you take these medications over a prolonged period of time. Tell your doctor if you have or had heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke.

How does ketorolac work?

Ketorolac blocks the production of chemicals in the body responsible for pain, fever, swelling and inflammation.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 4

Available as: Ketorolac is available as tablets, eye drops and injection.

What does it do? Ketorolac reduces pain, and inflammation.

Overdose risk: Medium

Dependence risk: Low

Is ketorolac available as a generic ? No

Is ketorolac available on prescription only? Yes

User information

Onset of effect: Within 30 minutes

Duration of action: Up to 8 hours

Dietary advice: Ketorolac should be taken with a meal to minimise gastrointestinal irritation.

Stopping this medicine: Use this medication strictly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use for longer than 5 days unless your prescriber has instructed you to do so.

Prolonged use: The likelihood of adverse effects increases with prolonged use. Your doctor may perform periodic liver and kidney function tests, while also examining you for possible gastrointestinal damage.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • You have asthma
  • You have a stomach ulcer
  • You have kidney or liver disease
  • You have a bleeding disorder
  • You have heart disease
  • You are taking blood thinning medication
  • You are allergic to aspirin or any other medication
  • You are taking other medication.

Pregnancy: Avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: This medication is not intended for use in children.

Elderly: Caution is advised in the elderly as side effects may be more likely. The dose may need to be adjusted.

Driving and hazardous work: Caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness, light-headedness, blurred vision (eye drops) and/or sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how this medication affects you.

Alcohol: Avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication as it may worsen stomach irritation

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Gastrointestinal disorders

x

Headache

x

x

Dizziness

x

x

Drowsiness

x

x

Depression

x

x

Weight changes

x

x

Rash/ itch

x

x

Difficulty breathing

x

x

Blood in vomit

x

Dark tarry stools

x

Interactions:

Drug interactions:

Blood pressure medication

Reduced pressure lowering effect

Alcohol

Potential gastrointestinal symptoms

Warfarin

Risk of bleeding

Asthma medication

Reduced effect of asthma medication; risk of asthma attack

Cardiac glycosides, digoxin

Risk that heart failure may be more severe

Corticosteroids

Potential gastrointestinal symptoms

Ciclosporin

Potential Ketorolac toxicity

Methotrexate

Potential methotrexate toxicity

Diuretics

Potential risk of kidney damage

Blood glucose lowering drugs

Risk of prolonged low blood sugar

Baclofen

Potential baclofen toxicity

Other NSAID's

Potential risk of gastrointestinal bleeding

Probenecid

Risk of Ketorolac toxicity

Vancomycin

Increased risk of kidney damage

Quionolone antibiotics

Risk of seizures

Tacrolimus

Increased risk of kidney damage

Zidovudine

Increased risk of zidovudine toxicity

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have asthma, a stomach ulcer, bleeding disorder, you are taking blood thinning medication or if you are allergic to aspirin or any other medication.

Overdose action

An overdose of this medication can be serious. Seek immediate emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 10mg every 6 hours. Maximum daily dose is 40 mg.

 

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