Ketorolac : Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, Precautions



 Ketorolac is an anti-inflammatory drug that is non-steroidal in nature. Ketorolac is mainly used to alleviate pain and inflammation for a short duration of a maximum of 5 consecutive days. It blocks the pain signals of the brain and stops the release of the chemical messengers that cause pain and inflammation. Doctors do not recommend it for long-term use as it can lead to several health issues like kidney problems, ulcers, stomach bleeding, asthma, etc.

Let’s get to the various aspects of this medicine to create a better understanding.

What are the uses of ketorolac?

The most common uses of Ketorolac are as follows:

  1. Ketorolac relieves the pain and inflammation due to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

  2. Doctors recommend it to reduce post-surgery pain and inflammation.

  3. It is used to alleviate the regular inflammation of joints and muscles.

  4. It is used for the treatment of muscle sprains and injuries.

  5. It is very effective in treating severe toothaches.

How and when to take ketorolac?

Doctors recommend dissolving Ketorolac in a glass of water and then taking the liquid. This medicine should always be taken after meals. Ketorolac may upset the stomach for some people. In that case, take an antacid with the medicine.

Usually, Ketorolac can be taken every 4 or 6 hours for 5 days. But you should always take the dosage as prescribed by the doctor. It is advised not to lie down for around 10-15 minutes after taking the medicine. If the pain still persists even after consuming it according to the prescribed dose, you should contact your doctor.

What are the side effects of ketorolac tablets?

The side effects of Ketorolac are many, from vomiting to drowsiness. 

The most common side effects of ketorolac are as follows:

  • Stomach Pain

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Indigestion

  • Heartburn

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness

  • Drowsiness

If you face any of the mentioned side effects persistently, stop taking the medicine and contact your doctor for help immediately.

Precautions to be taken while taking Ketorolac?

You should always have Ketorolac on a full stomach. If it is not possible for you to take it right after a meal, then at least take it with a glass of milk. It is not advised to take medicine on an empty stomach. If you suffer from any other ailments, inform your doctor about them. If you have certain diseases like kidney or liver issues, Ketorolac might cause serious harm to the body. In those cases, the doctor will either recommend some other drug or lower the dose if the disease is not very severe. You should not take Ketorolac tablets for mild pain.

Ketorolac may cause drowsiness and dizziness. So, you should try not to drive just after taking it, to avoid accidents. Never use Ketorolac to relieve labour pain. It should also not be taken just before surgery. If you face nausea or stomach issues after taking Ketorolac, have an antacid along with it. Do not take it with alcohol. It may cause severe health issues.

Pregnant women should consult the doctor first before taking Ketorolac, as it might be unsafe for the foetus, and the same goes for breastfeeding women. If they must take the drug, they should refrain from breastfeeding until the drug is eliminated from the body.

Prolonged use of ketorolac can lead to stomach and intestinal ulcers, hypertension, and kidney diseases. Ketorolac can also cause internal bleeding, liver problems, and asthma. 

What if I missed the dose of ketorolac?

If you forget to take a dose of ketorolac, have it immediately when you remember. If it's close to the next dose, then take the next dose only and skip the missed one. Never take two doses together if you miss one to compensate for it.

What if I overdose on ketorolac?

If ketorolac is taken in higher doses or for a longer period of time than recommended, it may cause abdominal pain, drowsiness, lack of stamina, nausea, and vomiting. Overdosing on Ketorolac for a long time might cause a patient to face serious ailments like ulcers, renal failure, and respiratory troubles. If you have taken ketorolac more than the recommended dose, seek medical help immediately.

What are the storage conditions for ketorolac?

Try to keep this medicine at room temperature. Do not keep the tablet in direct sunlight. Heat and light will damage the drug. Make sure the tablets are out of the reach of children.

Can I take ketorolac with other medications?

As mentioned earlier, ketorolac can affect the body adversely if the kidney or liver is already damaged. If you are currently on medication for some other illness, tell your doctor about it.

You should not take Ketorolac with any other painkillers like Naproxen, Ibuprofen, or Aspirin. It will aggravate the side effects and raise several complications, like internal bleeding.

Always consult your doctor if you are already on existing medications and are going to start taking Ketorolac.

How quickly will the ketorolac tablet show results?

It varies from person to person according to their physical condition. But usually, ketorolac starts working within 60 minutes of consumption for an average person.

Ketorolac Tablet and Tramadol + Paracetamol Comparison

In the table below, Ketorolac is compared with another anti-inflammatory drug, Tramadol + Paracetamol (a fixed-dose combination).



Tramadol + Paracetamol


It is used to alleviate extreme pain. 

It is used to alleviate mild to extreme pain.

Most Effective In

It is most effective in relieving postoperative pain, and muscle & joint pain. 

It is most effective in relieving headaches, fevers, and other illnesses.

Side Effects

Vomiting, Heartburn, Dizziness, Diarrhoea, etc.

Tiredness, Loss of appetite, stomach pain, constipation, etc.




Disclaimer: The information provided here is not meant to substitute an advice from a healthcare professional. The information is not intended to cover all the possible uses, side-effects, precautions, and drug interactions. This information is not intended to suggest that using a specific drug is suitable, safe, or efficient for you or anyone else. The absence of any information or warning regarding the drug should not be interpreted as an implicit guarantee from the organisation. We strongly advise you to consult a doctor if you have any concerns about the drug and never use the medication without a doctor’s prescription.