Skip to main content

Ketorolac (oral/injection)

Generic name: ketorolac (oral/injection) [ KEE-toe-ROLE-ak ]
Dosage forms: injectable solution (15 mg/mL; 30 mg/mL), intramuscular solution (60 mg/2 mL), oral tablet (10 mg)
Drug class: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Medically reviewed by on Aug 3, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is ketorolac?

Ketorolac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used short-term (5 days or less) to treat moderate to severe pain.

Ketorolac may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Ketorolac side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of a heart attack or stroke: chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, feeling short of breath.

Ketorolac may cause serious side effects. Stop using ketorolac and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);

  • swelling or rapid weight gain;

  • a skin rash, no matter how mild;

  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • liver problems--loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • kidney problems--little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath; o

  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet.

Common side effects of ketorolac may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Ketorolac can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke. Do not use ketorolac just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG). Ketorolac may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal.

You should not use ketorolac if you have any active or recent bleeding (including bleeding inside your body), a head injury, a stomach ulcer, severe kidney disease, a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder, a history of severe allergic reaction to aspirin or an NSAID, if you are scheduled to have surgery, if you are in late pregnancy, or if you are breast-feeding a baby.

You should not use ketorolac if you also take pentoxifylline, probenecid, aspirin, or other NSAIDs.

Before taking this medicine

Ketorolac can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, even if you don't have any risk factors. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Ketorolac may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using ketorolac, especially in older adults.

You should not use ketorolac if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • active or recent stomach ulcer, stomach bleeding, or intestinal bleeding;

  • a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder;

  • a closed head injury or bleeding in your brain;

  • bleeding from a recent surgery;

  • severe kidney disease or dehydration;

  • a history of asthma or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID;

  • if you are scheduled to have surgery (especially bypass surgery); or

  • if you are in late pregnancy or you are breast-feeding a baby.

Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with ketorolac. Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you use any of the following drugs:

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

If you are pregnant, you should not take ketorolac unless your doctor tells you to. Taking an NSAID during the last 20 weeks of pregnancy can cause serious heart or kidney problems in the unborn baby and possible complications with your pregnancy.

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding.

Ketorolac is not approved for use by anyone younger than 2 years old.

How should I take ketorolac?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Use the lowest dose that is effective in treating your condition.

Ketorolac oral is taken by mouth.

Ketorolac injection is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection

Ketorolac should not be used for longer than 5 days, including both injection plus tablets. Long-term use of ketorolac can damage your kidneys or cause bleeding.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since ketorolac is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose. Skip any missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking ketorolac?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using other medicines for pain, fever, swelling, or cold/flu symptoms. They may contain ingredients similar to ketorolac (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen).

What other drugs will affect ketorolac?

Ask your doctor before using ketorolac if you take an antidepressant. Taking certain antidepressants with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect ketorolac, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Popular FAQ

Toradol (ketorolac tromethamine) is given as an intramuscular (IM) injection into the muscle or intravenously (IV) into a vein. Intramuscular injections are usually given into the hip or outer, upper arm area. The injections are given to you by a healthcare provider. Continue reading

More FAQ

View more FAQ

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.