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What Are the Most Common Ketorolac Side Effects?

Autumn Rivers
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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Ketorolac is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is often used as a short-term solution for severe pain. While this pain relief medication is tolerated by most patients, there are some ketorolac side effects of which one should be aware. Some issues, such as headaches, sweating and drowsiness, should be mentioned at the next doctor's appointment, but they are not considered serious. Many of the minor medical problems associated with this drug — including nausea, diarrhea and heartburn — are known to affect the stomach area. Ketorolac side effects that include internal bleeding and difficulty breathing are often serious and should be treated immediately.

The most common ketorolac side effects are considered mild and do not usually need to be treated by a doctor, though they should be reported at the next appointment. For example, some patients may become dizzy or drowsy while taking this drug, and they may get a headache. They also may experience itchy skin or sweat unexpectedly. In addition, because this drug is often injected intravenously, many patients notice some pain at the injection site, though it should not last long. While some of these ketorolac side effects are uncomfortable, patients should not have to endure them for long because they are only supposed to take this drug on a short-term basis, such as after surgery.

Many of the most common ketorolac side effects involve the stomach, with some patients experiencing nausea and vomiting. They also may suffer from heartburn, gas and constipation. In many cases, taking over-the-counter (OTC) drugs to combat these symptoms is enough to eliminate the issue so patients can continue to take ketorolac. If this route does not work, though, they may have to switch to a different drug to control the pain.

Some stomach problems, including ulcers and bleeding, are considered more serious and should be reported to a doctor right away. Another serious threat to some patients is internal bleeding anywhere in the body, a problem that is usually indicated by blood in the vomit, urine or stools, as well as a bloody nose and skin with purple spots. Some patients also develop liver damage as a result of taking ketorolac for pain, so those who notice nausea, exhaustion and yellowed skin are usually advised to see their doctor right away. Finally, some people find that they are allergic to this drug, which may be indicated by a skin rash, difficulty breathing and swelling. Such patients will need to take a different NSAID for pain or even switch to a narcotic if their doctor deems it necessary.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Autumn Rivers
By Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for WiseGeek, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.

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Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for WiseGeek, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
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