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Safety Considerations in the Use of Ketorolac for Postoperative Pain

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 1 ]

Author(s):

Benjamin Maslin, Lawrence Lipana, Brandon Roth, Gopal Kodumudi and Nalini Vadivelu   Pages 67 - 73 ( 7 )

Abstract:


Background: Ketorolac use has significantly expanded for postoperative pain management since it first became available in the United States, primarily due to well established effects on patient pain scores and its ability to reduce perioperative opioid requirements. As an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase, ketorolac use has raised clinical concern including particular controversy regarding its potential effects on bone healing, postoperative kidney function and perioperative bleeding.

Objective: To review the supporting data from clinical studies addressing the safety of ketorolac use for postoperative pain.

Method: This review highlights the most up-to-date research from clinical trials as well as from retrospective studies and meta-analyses regarding the effects of perioperative use of ketorolac on bone healing, kidney function and blood loss.

Results: Based on the most up-to-date literature, ketorolac in normal doses has been demonstrated to be safe with respect to bone healing. In patients with normal kidney function, numerous studies have established the safety of Ketorolac; however other studies have raised safety concerns in patients with comorbid kidney, heart and liver disease. While there is evidence that ketorolac may cause prolonged bleeding time and may be associated with increased postoperative blood loss after tonsillectomy, large scale prospective randomized controlled trials and subsequent meta-analyses have failed to establish an association of ketorolac use and perioperative blood loss.

Conclusion: Perioperative administration of ketorolac has been demonstrated to be safe and effective in healthy patients and is particularly beneficial as an opioid-sparing agent in vulnerable patient groups. However, in certain surgical and medical contexts, proper patient selection based on the multidisciplinary collaboration between perioperative clinician specialists will optimize patient safety and pain management outcomes.

Keywords:

Ketorolac, postoperative pain, toradol, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug.

Affiliation:

Yale University School of Medicine - Anesthesiology, New Haven, CT



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