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Ketorolac eye drops


Tell your doctor before using the drops if you are allergic to aspirin or to medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Use one drop three times daily for three weeks, unless you have been told otherwise by your doctor.

The most common side-effect is a burning or stinging feeling when the drops are put in. This does not last for long.

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About ketorolac eye drops

Type of medicine

A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory eye drop

Used for

To ease pain and discomfort after eye surgery

Also called


Available as

Eye drops

Ketorolac belongs to a group of medicines known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Ketorolac eye drops are used short-term to relieve pain and swelling following eye surgery.

Before using ketorolac eye drops

To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using the eye drops it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine. It is particularly important that you tell your doctor if you know you are allergic to an NSAID such as naproxen, diclofenac or ibuprofen, or if you have ever had a bad reaction to aspirin.

  • If you have a tendency to bleed easily.

  • If you know you have an eye infection.

  • If you have diabetes (diabetes mellitus) or rheumatoid arthritis.

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • If you are taking any other medicines or using any other eye drops. This includes any medicines or creams which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.

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How to use ketorolac eye drops

Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about the eye drops and will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from using them.

How to use eye drops

  1. First wash your hands.

  2. Remove the cap.

  3. Tilt your head back a little and pull the lower lid of your eye downwards to form a pocket.

  4. Hold the bottle upside down near to your eye. Try not to touch your eye as you do this.

  5. Gently apply enough pressure to release one drop into your eye.

  6. Close your eye for a minute or two, and press gently on the side of your nose where the corner of your eye meets your nose. This helps to stop the drop from draining away and keeps it in your eye.

  7. Repeat the process in your other eye if you have been told to use the drops in both eyes.

  8. Replace the cap.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Use the drops exactly as your doctor tells you to. It is usual to use one drop three times daily, starting the day before the procedure and continuing for up to three weeks afterwards.

  • Take care not to touch your eye, fingers, or any other surface with the dropper of the bottle. This could contaminate the drops left in the bottle.

  • If your doctor has recommended you use another eye preparation as well as these drops, then leave at least five minutes between putting in ketorolac drops and the other preparation.

  • Remember to use the drops at regular intervals and try not to miss any doses. If you do forget, use them as soon as you remember (unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case just use the drops when they are next due). Do not 'double up' to make up for forgetting to use the drops.

  • Try to keep the appointments which have been booked for you with the eye clinic. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.

  • When first put in, eye drops can make your eyes water and may sometimes cause blurred vision. If this happens, it should quickly clear. Make sure you can see clearly again before you drive, or before using tools or machines.

  • If you normally wear contact lenses, your doctor will recommend you use glasses for a time following eye surgery. This is to allow your eyes to recover from the procedure. There is also another reason why you should not wear contact lenses while you are using ketorolac eye drops. This is because they contain a preservative which can affect soft contact lenses.

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Can ketorolac eye drops cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the ones associated with ketorolac. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with the eye drops. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Very common ketorolac side-effects (these affect more than 1 in 10 people)

What can I do if I experience this?

Eye irritation such as burning or stinging, eye pain

This can happen soon after applying the drops. It should quickly pass

Common ketorolac side-effects (these affect fewer than 1 in 10 people)

What can I do if I experience this?

Eyelid puffiness, or eye irritation such as itching, discharge or redness

If any of these become troublesome, mention it to your doctor


Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue, let your doctor know

Bottles of eye drops contain preservatives which some people can develop an allergic reaction to. If your eye becomes red or inflamed after using the drops, contact your doctor for advice.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the eye drops, speak with a doctor or pharmacist.

How to store ketorolac eye drops

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.

  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

  • Bottles of eye drops only keep for four weeks once the bottle has been opened. Dispose of the bottle once your course of treatment has finished, even if there is still some solution remaining.

Important information about all medicines

Important information about all medicines

This preparation is for use in the eyes only. If someone swallows some of it, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are using.

If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with your prescribed medicines.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Report side effects to a medicine or vaccine

If you experience side effects, you can report them online through the Yellow Card website.

Further reading and references

Article History

The information on this page is written and peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

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