The following article will synthesize the approved uses of ketorolac tromethamine (ketorolac), medical considerations when prescribing this drug, important patient education points, and ongoing research on possible medical benefits of the utilization of ketorolac.
Ketorolac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and is indicated for the short-term management of moderately severe acute pain management at an opioid level it is also recognized to have antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects (Keltman, 2010 & Lippincott, 2010). However, ketorolac is not known to have any anxiolytic or sedative benefits (Keltman, 2010 & Lippincott, 2010).
Ketorolac is available in oral, intramuscular (IM), and intravenous (IV) and is marketed under several trademarks in the United States, such as Toradol and Acular, among others. The use of all forms of ketorolac combined should not exceed 5 days and oral therapy should not be started without an initial administration of either an IM or IV dose due to adverse reactions and increasing severity of reactions with recommended doses (Keltman, 2010 & Lippincott, 2010).
Practioners should be aware that there are other forms of ketorolac not covered in this article which include an ophthalmic solution for the treatment of eye pain and seasonal allergies, and an intranasal spray for the short term relief of pain requiring opioid level intervention. (Lippincott, 2010).
Ketorolac is a member of the pyrrolo-pyrrole family of NSAIDs and has been shown to exhibit analgesic activity in animal models; although the exact mechanism of action of all NSAIDs is not completely understood the action of ketorolac, as with other NSAIDs, is believed to be related to the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis (Keltman, 2010). The peak analgesic effect of oral ketorolac is within 2 to 3 hours and bioavailability does not vary significantly between oral, IM and IV (Keltman, 2010). The primary