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Ketorolac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain. While it can be effective in providing relief, like any medication, it carries certain risks. Here are some of the potential risks associated with taking Ketorolac:

  • Gastrointestinal Effects: NSAIDs, including Ketorolac, can increase the risk of gastrointestinal side effects such as stomach ulcers, bleeding, and perforation. These complications can be severe and may occur without warning, particularly in older adults or those with a history of gastrointestinal issues.
  • Kidney Damage: Ketorolac can impair kidney function, especially when used for extended periods or at high doses. Individuals with pre-existing kidney problems, dehydration, or conditions that affect kidney function are at a higher risk. It’s essential to stay well-hydrated while taking Ketorolac.
  • Cardiovascular Risks: NSAIDs have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. This risk may be higher in individuals with existing heart conditions or those using Ketorolac for a prolonged duration.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some people may be allergic to Ketorolac or other NSAIDs. Allergic reactions can range from mild symptoms like rashes and itching to severe reactions such as difficulty breathing, swelling, or anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention.
  • Bleeding: Ketorolac inhibits blood clotting, which can lead to an increased risk of bleeding. It is generally contraindicated in patients with bleeding disorders or those at risk of excessive bleeding, such as individuals undergoing surgery or taking blood-thinning medications.
  • Other Side Effects: Common side effects of Ketorolac can include nausea, stomach pain, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, and increased blood pressure. These side effects are usually temporary and mild but should be reported to a healthcare professional if they persist or worsen.

It’s important to note that the risks associated with Ketorolac can vary depending on individual factors such as age, overall health, and duration of use. To minimize the risks, it’s crucial to use Ketorolac strictly as prescribed by a healthcare professional, for the shortest duration necessary, and to follow their instructions closely. It is always advisable to consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance before starting or stopping any medication.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Ketorolac is prescribed for the short-term management of moderate to severe pain. It belongs to a class of medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Ketorolac works by reducing inflammation and inhibiting the production of certain chemicals in the body that cause pain and swelling.

It is typically used in situations where pain relief is needed for a limited period, such as postoperative pain, pain due to injuries, dental pain, or pain associated with conditions like kidney stones or migraines. Ketorolac is often used as an alternative to opioid medications because it has a lower risk of dependence and addiction.

How should this medicine be used?

Ketorolac should be used exactly as prescribed by a healthcare professional. It is typically available in oral tablet form or as an injectable solution for intravenous (IV) or intramuscular (IM) administration. Here are some general guidelines for the use of Ketorolac:

  • Dosage: The recommended dosage will depend on the individual’s condition, severity of pain, and other factors. It is important to follow the prescribed dosage and not exceed it.
  • Duration: Ketorolac is generally prescribed for short-term use, typically up to five days. Prolonged use increases the risk of side effects. If the pain persists beyond the prescribed duration, consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation.
  • Oral Tablets: If using oral tablets, take them with a full glass of water. It is generally recommended to take Ketorolac with food or milk to minimize the risk of gastrointestinal side effects.
  • Injectable Solution: If Ketorolac is prescribed as an injectable solution, it will be administered by a healthcare professional. Follow their instructions carefully and do not attempt to self-administer injections without proper training.
  • Avoid Certain Situations: While taking Ketorolac, it is advisable to avoid activities that require alertness, as the medication may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision.
  • Do Not Combine with Other NSAIDs: It is important to avoid taking other NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, while using Ketorolac, as it may increase the risk of side effects.
  • Regular Check-ups: Regularly follow up with the prescribing healthcare professional to monitor the effectiveness of the medication and discuss any concerns or potential side effects.

Always remember to read the medication guide provided with Ketorolac and consult a healthcare professional for specific instructions based on your individual needs and medical history.

Other uses for this medicine

Ketorolac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is primarily used for the short-term relief of moderate to severe pain. However, there are some other uses for Ketorolac as well, including:

  • Treatment of postoperative inflammation: Ketorolac can be used to manage pain and reduce inflammation after surgical procedures.
  • Migraine headaches: It can be employed as a short-term treatment option for migraines, particularly when other medications are not effective.
  • Renal colic: Ketorolac may be used in the management of renal colic, which is severe pain caused by kidney stones.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions, here are some important considerations when using Ketorolac:

  • Allergies and Sensitivities: Inform your healthcare professional if you have a known allergy to Ketorolac or any other NSAIDs, or if you have experienced asthma attacks, hives, or allergic reactions after taking these medications.
  • Medical Conditions: Ketorolac should be used with caution or avoided entirely in individuals with a history of gastrointestinal ulcers or bleeding, kidney problems, heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, liver disease, or bleeding disorders.
  • Contraindications: Ketorolac should not be used in certain situations, such as before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft) due to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. It is contraindicated in the presence of active bleeding, including gastrointestinal bleeding, and in patients with a history of cerebrovascular bleeding or other bleeding disorders.
  • Elderly Population: Older adults are generally more susceptible to the side effects of Ketorolac, including an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and kidney problems. The medication should be used with caution in this age group and at the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration.
  • Interactions with Other Medications: Ketorolac may interact with other medications, including blood thinners, certain antidepressants, diuretics, and other NSAIDs. Inform your healthcare professional about all the medications you are taking to avoid potential interactions.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Ketorolac is generally not recommended during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester, as it may harm the unborn baby or interfere with labor. It is also not recommended during breastfeeding due to the potential for the medication to pass into breast milk.

As always, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional who has access to your complete medical history and can provide personalized advice and guidance regarding the use of Ketorolac and any precautions specific to your situation.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary instructions for Ketorolac. However, to minimize the risk of gastrointestinal side effects, it is generally recommended to take Ketorolac with food or milk. This can help protect the stomach lining and reduce the chances of stomach upset or ulcers. It is always advisable to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare professional regarding the administration of Ketorolac.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Ketorolac, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed dose.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Ketorolac, like other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can cause various side effects. The frequency and severity of these side effects can vary among individuals. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience all of these side effects, and some people may not experience any at all. Common side effects of Ketorolac can include:

  • Gastrointestinal Effects: Ketorolac can irritate the stomach lining and increase the risk of gastrointestinal side effects, such as abdominal pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers. In some cases, these effects can be severe and may lead to gastrointestinal bleeding or perforation.
  • Kidney Effects: Ketorolac can potentially impair kidney function, especially when used for an extended duration or at high doses. Symptoms of kidney problems may include decreased urine output, swelling in the ankles or feet, fatigue, and changes in urine color.
  • Cardiovascular Effects: NSAIDs, including Ketorolac, have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, particularly when used for prolonged periods or in high doses. Individuals with existing heart conditions or risk factors for heart disease may be at a higher risk.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Ketorolac, characterized by symptoms like skin rashes, itching, hives, swelling (particularly of the face, lips, tongue, or throat), difficulty breathing, or wheezing. Severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, are rare but require immediate medical attention.
  • Bleeding: Ketorolac inhibits blood clotting and can increase the risk of bleeding. This can manifest as prolonged bleeding from cuts or injuries, easy bruising, or nosebleeds. Individuals with bleeding disorders or taking blood-thinning medications are particularly susceptible.
  • Central Nervous System Effects: Ketorolac can cause drowsiness, dizziness, headache, and blurred vision. These effects can impair your ability to perform tasks that require alertness, such as driving or operating machinery.

It is essential to promptly report any unusual or severe side effects to your healthcare professional. They can assess your specific situation and provide appropriate guidance. Additionally, the medication guide accompanying Ketorolac will provide more comprehensive information on potential side effects.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

  • Storage: Ketorolac should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Follow the specific storage instructions provided by the manufacturer or pharmacist.
  • Disposal: Do not keep expired or unused Ketorolac. It is important to dispose of medications properly to prevent accidental ingestion or misuse. Follow local guidelines for medication disposal, which may include using drug take-back programs, participating in community disposal events, or disposing of it in household trash following specific instructions (e.g., mixing with undesirable substances like coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing it in a bag).

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of a suspected overdose, immediately contact emergency medical services or go to the nearest emergency room. Call your local poison control center for guidance as well.
  • Overdosing on Ketorolac can be serious and may result in symptoms such as severe stomach pain, vomiting blood, black or tarry stools, shallow breathing, fainting, seizures, or decreased urine output.
  • Be sure to inform the healthcare professionals about the medication taken, dosage, and timing of the overdose for appropriate medical intervention.

What other information should I know?

  • Inform your healthcare professional about any allergies or sensitivities you have, as well as any medical conditions or medications you are currently taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements, and vitamins.
  • Regularly attend follow-up appointments with your healthcare professional while taking Ketorolac to monitor your response to the medication and assess for any side effects.
  • Ketorolac can interact with other medications, so it’s crucial to inform your healthcare professional about all the medications you are taking to avoid potential drug interactions.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol while taking Ketorolac, as it can increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and other side effects.
  • If you are scheduled for any surgery or dental procedure, inform the healthcare professional performing the procedure about your Ketorolac use, as it may need to be temporarily discontinued beforehand.

Always consult your healthcare professional or pharmacist for personalized guidance and specific instructions regarding the storage, disposal, and emergency procedures related to Ketorolac.

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