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Acuvail Side Effects

Generic Name: ketorolac ophthalmic

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of ketorolac ophthalmic. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Acuvail.

For the Consumer

Applies to ketorolac ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by ketorolac ophthalmic (the active ingredient contained in Acuvail). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking ketorolac ophthalmic:

More common:
  • Itching, redness, tearing, or other sign of eye irritation not present before use of this medicine or becoming worse during use
  • redness of the clear part of the eye
  • sensitivity to light
  • swelling of the eye
  • tearing
  • throbbing pain
  • Blurred vision or other change in vision
  • eye irritation or redness

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with ketorolac ophthalmic may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Stinging or burning of the eye when medicine is applied
  • Dry eyes
  • headache

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to ketorolac ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution


Ocular side effects have included transient burning and stinging upon instillation in 20% to 40% of patients. Conjunctival hyperemia, corneal infiltrates, and ocular edema have been reported in 1% to 5% of patients. Corneal edema, iritis, ocular inflammation, ocular irritation, ocular pain, superficial keratitis, and superficial ocular infections have been reported in 1% to 10% of patients. Corneal erosion, corneal thinning, and epithelial breakdown have also been reported.[Ref]


A 44-year-old female with a history of severe asthma was given ophthalmic ketorolac for the treatment of conjunctivitis previously unresponsive to topical antihistamine treatment. Two hours after instillation, she developed coughing and tightness in her chest which worsened over night. The next morning the patient was hospitalized with complaints of coughing, dyspnea at rest and wheezing. Her condition improved after administration of intravenous steroids and albuterol nebulizations.[Ref]

Hypersensitivity reactions have been reported in 1% to 10% of patients.[Ref]


1. Ostrov CS, Sirkin SR, Deutsch WE, Masi RJ, Chandler JW, Lindquist TD "Ketorolac, prednisolone, and dexamethasone for postoperative inflammation." Clin Ther 19 (1997): 259-72

2. "Product Information. Acular (ketorolac)." Allergan Inc, Irvine, CA.

3. Flach AJ, Jampol LM, Weinberg D, Kraff MC, Yannuzzi LA, Campo RV, Neumann AC, Cupples HP, Lefler WH, Pulido JS, et al "Improvement in visual acuity in chronic aphakic and pseudophakic cystoid macular edema after treatment with topical 0.5% ketorolac tromethamine." Am J Ophthalmol 112 (1991): 514-9

4. Fraser-Smith EB, Matthews TR "Effect of ketorolac on herpes simplex virus type one ocular infection in rabbits." J Ocul Pharmacol 4 (1988): 321-6

5. Rooks WH 2d, Maloney PJ, Shott LD, Schuler ME, Sevelius H, Strosberg AM, Tanenbaum L, Tomolonis AJ, Wallach MB, Waterbury D, et al "The analgesic and anti-inflammatory profile of ketorolac and its tromethamine salt." Drugs Exp Clin Res 11 (1985): 479-92

6. "Product Information. Acular LS (ketorolac ophthalmic)." Allergan Inc, Irvine, CA.

7. Fraser-Smith EB, Matthews TR "Effect of ketorolac on Pseudomonas aeruginosa ocular infection in rabbits." J Ocul Pharmacol 4 (1988): 101-9

8. Sitenga GL, Ing EB, Vandellen RG, Younge BR, Leavitt JA "Asthma caused by topical application of ketorolac." Ophthalmology 103 (1996): 890-2

Not all side effects for Acuvail may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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