(see also Boxed WARNING)
The total combined duration of use of oral ketorolac tromethamine and intravenous or intramuscular dosing of ketorolac tromethamine is not to exceed 5 days in adults. Ketorolac tromethamine is not indicated for use in pediatric patients.
The most serious risks associated with ketorolac tromethamine are:
- Gastrointestinal Effects – Risk of Ulceration, Bleeding and Perforation: Ketorolac tromethamine is contraindicated in patients with previously documented peptic ulcers and/or gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Ketorolac tromethamine can cause serious GI adverse events including bleeding, ulceration and perforation, of the stomach, small intestine, or large intestine, which can be fatal. These serious adverse events can occur at any time, with or without warning symptoms, in patients treated with ketorolac tromethamine.
Only one in five patients who develop a serious upper GI adverse event on NSAID therapy is symptomatic. Minor upper gastrointestinal problems, such as dyspepsia, are common and may also occur at any time during NSAID therapy. The incidence and severity of gastrointestinal complications increases with increasing dose of, and duration of treatment with ketorolac tromethamine. Do not use ketorolac tromethamine for more than five days. However, even short-term therapy is not without risk. In addition to past history of ulcer disease, other factors that increase the risk for GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include concomitant use of oral corticosteroids, or anticoagulants, longer duration of NSAID therapy, smoking, use of alcohol, older age, and poor general health status. Most spontaneous reports of fatal GI events are in elderly or debilitated patients and therefore, special care should be taken in treating this population.
To minimize the potential risk for an adverse GI event, the lowest effective dose should be used for the shortest possible duration. Patients and physicians should remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during NSAID therapy and promptly initiate additional evaluation and treatment if a serious GI adverse event is suspected. This should include discontinuation of ketorolac tromethamine until a serious GI adverse event is ruled out. For high risk patients, alternate therapies that do not involve NSAIDs should be considered. NSAIDs should be given with care to patients with a history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease) as their condition may be exacerbated.
Because prostaglandins play an important role in hemostasis and NSAIDs affect platelet aggregation as well, use of ketorolac tromethamine in patients who have coagulation disorders should be undertaken very cautiously, and those patients should be carefully monitored. Patients on therapeutic doses of anticoagulants (e.g., heparin or dicumarol derivatives) have an increased risk of bleeding complications if given ketorolac tromethamine concurrently; therefore, physicians should administer such concomitant therapy only extremely cautiously. The concurrent use of ketorolac tromethamine and therapy that affects hemostasis, including prophylactic low-dose heparin (2500 to 5000 units every 12 hours), warfarin and dextrans have not been studied extensively, but may also be associated with an increased risk of bleeding. Until data from such studies are available, physicians should carefully weigh the benefits against the risks and use such concomitant therapy in these patients only extremely cautiously. Patients receiving therapy that affects hemostasis should be monitored closely.
In postmarketing experience, postoperative hematomas and other signs of wound bleeding have been reported in association with the peri-operative use of intravenous or intramuscular dosing of ketorolac tromethamine. Therefore, peri-operative use of ketorolac tromethamine should be avoided and postoperative use be undertaken with caution when hemostasis is critical (see PRECAUTIONS).
Long-term administration of NSAIDs has resulted in renal papillary necrosis and other renal injury. Renal toxicity has also been seen in patients in whom renal prostaglandins have a compensatory role in the maintenance of renal perfusion. In these patients, administration of a NSAID may cause a dose-dependent reduction in prostaglandin formation and, secondarily, in renal blood flow, which may precipitate overt renal decompensation. Patients at greatest risk of this reaction are those with impaired renal function, heart failure, liver dysfunction, those taking diuretics and ACE inhibitors, and the elderly. Discontinuation of NSAID therapy is usually followed by recovery to the pretreatment state.
Ketorolac tromethamine and its metabolites are eliminated primarily by the kidneys, which, in patients with reduced creatinine clearance, will result in diminished clearance of the drug (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Therefore, ketorolac tromethamine should be used with caution in patients with impaired renal function (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION) and such patients should be followed closely. With the use of ketorolac tromethamine, there have been reports of acute renal failure, interstitial nephritis and nephrotic syndrome.
Impaired Renal Function
Ketorolac tromethamine is contraindicated in patients with serum creatinine concentrations indicating advanced renal impairment (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). Ketorolac tromethamine should be used with caution in patients with impaired renal function or a history of kidney disease because it is a potent inhibitor of prostaglandin synthesis. Because patients with underlying renal insufficiency are at increased risk of developing acute renal decompensation or failure, the risks and benefits should be assessed prior to giving ketorolac tromethamine to these patients.
As with other NSAIDs, anaphylactoid reactions may occur in patients without known prior exposure to ketorolac tromethamine. Ketorolac tromethamine should not be given to patients with the aspirin triad. This symptom complex typically occurs in asthmatic patients who experience rhinitis with or without nasal polyps, or who exhibit severe, potentially fatal bronchospasm after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and PRECAUTIONS – Pre-existing Asthma). Emergency help should be sought in cases where an anaphylactoid reaction occurs.
Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events
Clinical trials of several COX-2 selective and nonselective NSAIDs of up to three years duration have shown an increased risk of serious cardiovascular (CV) thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, which can be fatal. Based on available data, it is unclear that the risk for CV thrombotic events is similar for all NSAIDs. The relative increase in serious CV thrombotic events over baseline conferred by NSAID use appears to be similar in those with and without known CV disease or risk factors for CV disease. However, patients with known CV disease or risk factors had a higher absolute incidence of excess serious CV thrombotic events, due to their increased baseline rate. Some observational studies found that this increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events began as early as the first few weeks of treatment. The increase in CV thrombotic risk has been observed most consistently at higher doses.
To minimize the potential risk for an adverse CV event in NSAID-treated patients, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Physicians and patients should remain alert for the development of such events, throughout the entire treatment course, even in the absence of previous CV symptoms. Patients should be informed about the symptoms of serious CV events and the steps to take if they occur.
There is no consistent evidence that concurrent use of aspirin mitigates the increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events associated with NSAID use. The concurrent use of aspirin and an NSAID, such as ketorolac tromethamine, increases the risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) events (see WARNINGS).
Status Post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
Two large, controlled clinical trials of a COX-2 selective NSAID for the treatment of pain in the first 10 to 14 days following CABG surgery found an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke. NSAIDs are contraindicated in the setting of CABG surgery (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).
Observational studies conducted in the Danish National Registry have demonstrated that patients treated with NSAIDs in the post-MI period were at increased risk of reinfarction, CV-related death, and all-cause mortality beginning in the first week of treatment. In this same cohort, the incidence of death in the first year post MI was 20 per 100 person years in NSAID-treated patients compared to 12 per 100 person years in non-NSAID exposed patients. Although the absolute rate of death declined somewhat after the first year post-MI, the increased relative risk of death in NSAID users persisted over at least the next four years follow-up.
Avoid the use of ketorolac tromethamine in patients with a recent MI unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of recurrent CV thrombotic events. If ketorolac tromethamine is used in patients with a recent MI, monitor patients for signs of cardiac ischemia.
NSAIDs, including ketorolac tromethamine, can lead to onset of new hypertension or worsening of pre-existing hypertension, either of which may contribute to the increased incidence of CV events. Patients taking thiazides or loop diuretics may have impaired response to these therapies when taking NSAIDs. NSAIDs, including ketorolac tromethamine, should be used with caution in patients with hypertension. Blood pressure (BP) should be monitored closely during the initiation of NSAID treatment and throughout the course of therapy.
Heart Failure and Edema
The Coxib and traditional NSAID Trialists' Collaboration meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials demonstrated an approximately two-fold increase in hospitalizations for heart failure in COX-2 selective-treated patients and nonselective NSAID-treated patients compared to placebo-treated patients. In a Danish National Registry study of patients with heart failure, NSAID use increased the risk of MI, hospitalization for heart failure, and death.
Additionally, fluid retention and edema have been observed in some patients treated with NSAIDs. Use of ketorolac tromethamine may blunt the CV effects of several therapeutic agents used to treat these medical conditions (e.g., diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (see PRECAUTIONS – Drug Interactions).
Avoid the use of ketorolac tromethamine in patients with severe heart failure unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening heart failure. If ketorolac tromethamine is used in patients with severe heart failure, monitor patients for signs of worsening heart failure.
NSAIDs, including ketorolac tromethamine, can cause serious skin adverse events such as exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which can be fatal. These serious events may occur without warning. Patients should be informed about the signs and symptoms of serious skin manifestations and use of the drug should be discontinued at the first appearance of skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity.
Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)
Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) has been reported in patients taking NSAIDs such as ketorolac tromethamine. Some of these events have been fatal or life-threatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, lymphadenopathy, and/or facial swelling. Other clinical manifestations may include hepatitis, nephritis, hematological abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis. Sometimes symptoms of DRESS may resemble an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. Because this disorder is variable in its presentation, other organ systems not noted here may be involved. It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity, such as fever or lymphadenopathy, may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, discontinue ketorolac tromethamine and evaluate the patient immediately.
Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus:
Avoid use of NSAIDs, including ketorolac tromethamine, in pregnant women at about 30 weeks gestation and later. NSAIDs including ketorolac tromethamine, increase the risk of premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus at approximately this gestational age.
Oligohydramnios/Neonatal Renal Impairment:
Use of NSAIDs, including ketorolac tromethamine, at about 20 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy may cause fetal renal dysfunction leading to oligohydramnios and, in some cases, neonatal renal impairment. These adverse outcomes are seen, on average, after days to weeks of treatment, although oligohydramnios has been infrequently reported as soon as 48 hours after NSAID initiation. Oligohydramnios is often, but not always, reversible with treatment discontinuation. Complications of prolonged oligohydramnios may, for example, include limb contractures and delayed lung maturation. In some postmarketing cases of impaired neonatal renal function, invasive procedures such as exchange transfusion or dialysis were required.
If NSAID treatment is necessary between about 20 weeks and 30 weeks gestation, limit ketorolac tromethamine use to the lowest effective dose and shortest duration possible. Consider ultrasound monitoring of amniotic fluid if ketorolac tromethamine treatment extends beyond 48 hours. Discontinue ketorolac tromethamine if oligohydramnios occurs and follow up according to clinical practice (see PRECAUTIONS; Pregnancy).
Ketorolac tromethamine cannot be expected to substitute for corticosteroids or to treat corticosteroid insufficiency. Abrupt discontinuation of corticosteroids may lead to disease exacerbation. Patients on prolonged corticosteroid therapy should have their therapy tapered slowly if a decision is made to discontinue corticosteroids.
The pharmacological activity of ketorolac tromethamine in reducing inflammation may diminish the utility of this diagnostic sign in detecting complications of presumed noninfectious, painful conditions.
Ketorolac tromethamine should be used with caution in patients with impaired hepatic function or a history of liver disease. Borderline elevations of one or more liver tests may occur in up to 15% of patients taking NSAIDs including ketorolac tromethamine. These laboratory abnormalities may progress, may remain unchanged, or may be transient with continuing therapy. Notable elevations of ALT or AST (approximately three or more times the upper limit of normal) have been reported in approximately 1% of patients in clinical trials with NSAIDs. In addition, rare cases of severe hepatic reactions, including jaundice and fatal fulminant hepatitis, liver necrosis and hepatic failure, some of them with fatal outcomes have been reported.
A patient with symptoms and/or signs suggesting liver dysfunction, or in whom an abnormal liver test has occurred, should be evaluated for evidence of the development of a more severe hepatic reaction while on therapy with ketorolac tromethamine. If clinical signs and symptoms consistent with liver disease develop, or if systemic manifestations occur (e.g., eosinophilia, rash, etc.), ketorolac tromethamine should be discontinued.
Anemia is sometimes seen in patients receiving NSAIDs, including ketorolac tromethamine. This may be due to fluid retention, occult or gross GI blood loss, or an incompletely described effect upon erythropoiesis. Patients on long-term treatment with NSAIDs, including ketorolac tromethamine, should have their hemoglobin or hematocrit checked if they exhibit any signs or symptoms of anemia. NSAIDs inhibit platelet aggregation and have been shown to prolong bleeding time in some patients. Unlike aspirin, their effect on platelet function is quantitatively less, of shorter duration, and reversible. Patients receiving ketorolac tromethamine who may be adversely affected by alterations in platelet function, such as those with coagulation disorders or patients receiving anticoagulants, should be carefully monitored.
Patients with asthma may have aspirin-sensitive asthma. The use of aspirin in patients with aspirin-sensitive asthma has been associated with severe bronchospasm which can be fatal. Since cross reactivity, including bronchospasm, between aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs has been reported in such aspirin-sensitive patients, ketorolac tromethamine should not be administered to patients with this form of aspirin sensitivity and should be used with caution in patients with pre-existing asthma.
Information for Patients
Ketorolac tromethamine is a potent NSAID and may cause serious side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding or kidney failure, which may result in hospitalization and even fatal outcome.
Physicians, when prescribing ketorolac tromethamine, should inform their patients or their guardians of the potential risks of ketorolac tromethamine treatment (see Boxed WARNING, WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, and ADVERSE REACTIONS sections), instruct patients to seek medical advice if they develop treatment-related adverse events, and advise patients not to give oral ketorolac tromethamine to other family members and to discard any unused drug.
Remember that the total combined duration of use of oral ketorolac tromethamine and intravenous or intramuscular dosing of ketorolac tromethamine is not to exceed 5 days in adults. Ketorolac tromethamine is not indicated for use in pediatric patients.
Patients should be informed of the following information before initiating therapy with an NSAID and periodically during the course of ongoing therapy. Patients should also be encouraged to read the NSAID Medication Guide that accompanies each prescription dispensed.
- Advise patients to be alert for the symptoms of cardiovascular thrombotic events, including chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, or slurring of speech, and to report any of these symptoms to their healthcare provider immediately (see WARNINGS).
- Ketorolac tromethamine, like other NSAIDs, can cause GI discomfort and, rarely, serious GI side effects, such as ulcers and bleeding, which may result in hospitalization and even death. Although serious GI tract ulcerations and bleeding can occur without warning symptoms, patients should be alert for the signs and symptoms of ulcerations and bleeding, and should ask for medical advice when observing any indicative sign or symptoms including epigastric pain, dyspepsia, melena, and hematemesis. Patients should be apprised of the importance of this follow-up (see WARNINGS, Gastrointestinal Effects: Risk of Ulceration, Bleeding, and Perforation).
- Serious Skin Reactions, including DRESS
Advise patients to stop taking ketorolac tromethamine immediately if they develop any type of rash or fever and to contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible (see WARNINGS).
- Advise patients to be alert for the symptoms of congestive heart failure including shortness of breath, unexplained weight gain, or edema and to contact their healthcare provider if such symptoms occur (see WARNINGS).
- Patients should be informed of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (e.g., nausea, fatigue, lethargy, pruritus, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, and "flu-like" symptoms). If these occur, patients should be instructed to stop therapy and seek immediate medical therapy.
- Patients should be informed of the signs of an anaphylactoid reaction (e.g., difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat). If these occur, patients should be instructed to seek immediate emergency help (see WARNINGS).
- Fetal Toxicity
Inform pregnant women to avoid use of ketorolac tromethamine and other NSAIDs starting at 30 weeks gestation because of the risk of the premature closing of the fetal ductus arteriosus. If treatment with ketorolac tromethamine is needed for a pregnant woman between about 20 to 30 weeks gestation, advise her that she may need to be monitored for oligohydramnios, if treatment continues for longer than 48 hours (see WARNINGS; Fetal Toxicity, PRECAUTIONS; Pregnancy).
Because serious GI tract ulcerations and bleeding can occur without warning symptoms, physicians should monitor for signs or symptoms of GI bleeding. Patients on long-term treatment with NSAIDs, should have their CBC and a chemistry profile checked periodically. If clinical signs and symptoms consistent with liver or renal disease develop, systemic manifestations occur (e.g., eosinophilia, rash etc.) or if abnormal liver tests persist or worsen, ketorolac tromethamine should be discontinued.
Ketorolac is highly bound to human plasma protein (mean 99.2%). There is no evidence in animal or human studies that ketorolac tromethamine induces or inhibits hepatic enzymes capable of metabolizing itself or other drugs.
Warfarin, Digoxin, Salicylate, and Heparin
The in vitro binding of warfarin to plasma proteins is only slightly reduced by ketorolac tromethamine (99.5% control vs 99.3%) when ketorolac plasma concentrations reach 5 to 10 mcg/mL. Ketorolac does not alter digoxin protein binding. In vitro studies indicate that, at therapeutic concentrations of salicylate (300 mcg/mL), the binding of ketorolac was reduced from approximately 99.2% to 97.5%, representing a potential two-fold increase in unbound ketorolac plasma levels. Therapeutic concentrations of digoxin, warfarin, ibuprofen, naproxen, piroxicam, acetaminophen, phenytoin and tolbutamide did not alter ketorolac tromethamine protein binding.
In a study involving 12 adult volunteers, oral ketorolac tromethamine was coadministered with a single dose of 25 mg warfarin, causing no significant changes in pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics of warfarin. In another study, ketorolac tromethamine dosed intravenous or intramuscular was given with two doses of 5000 U of heparin to 11 healthy volunteers, resulting in a mean template bleeding time of 6 minutes (3.2 to 11.4 min) compared to a mean of 6.0 minutes (3.4 to 7.5 min) for heparin alone and 5.1 minutes (3.5 to 8.5 min) for placebo. Although these results do not indicate a significant interaction between ketorolac tromethamine and warfarin or heparin, the administration of ketorolac tromethamine to patients taking anticoagulants should be done extremely cautiously and patients should be closely monitored (see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS – Hematologic Effects).
The effects of warfarin and NSAIDs, in general, on GI bleeding are synergistic, such that the users of both drugs together have a risk of serious GI bleeding higher than the users of either drug alone.
When ketorolac tromethamine is administered with aspirin, its protein binding is reduced, although the clearance of free ketorolac tromethamine is not altered. The clinical significance of this interaction is not known; however, as with other NSAIDs, concomitant administration of ketorolac tromethamine and aspirin is not generally recommended because of the potential of increased adverse effects.
Clinical studies, as well as postmarketing observations, have shown that ketorolac tromethamine can reduce the natriuretic effect of furosemide and thiazides in some patients. This response has been attributed to inhibition of renal prostaglandin synthesis. During concomitant therapy with NSAIDs, the patient should be observed closely for signs of renal failure (see WARNINGS – Renal Effects), as well as to assure diuretic efficacy.
Concomitant administration of oral ketorolac tromethamine and probenecid resulted in decreased clearance and volume of distribution of ketorolac and significant increases in ketorolac plasma levels (total AUC increased approximately three-fold from 5.4 to 17.8 mcg/h/mL) and terminal half-life increased approximately two-fold from 6.6 to 15.1 hours. Therefore, concomitant use of ketorolac tromethamine and probenecid is contraindicated.
NSAIDs have produced an elevation of plasma lithium levels and a reduction in renal lithium clearance. The mean minimum lithium concentration increased 15% and the renal clearance was decreased by approximately 20%. These effects have been attributed to inhibition of renal prostaglandin synthesis by the NSAID. Thus, when NSAIDs and lithium are administered concurrently, subjects should be observed carefully for signs of lithium toxicity.
NSAIDs have been reported to competitively inhibit methotrexate accumulation in rabbit kidney slices. This may indicate that they could enhance the toxicity of methotrexate. Caution should be used when NSAIDs are administered concomitantly with methotrexate.
ACE Inhibitors/Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonists
Concomitant use of ACE inhibitors and/or angiotensin II receptor antagonists may increase the risk of renal impairment, particularly in volume-depleted patients. Reports suggest that NSAIDs may diminish the antihypertensive effect of ACE inhibitors and/or angiotensin II receptor antagonists. This interaction should be given consideration in patients taking NSAIDs concomitantly with ACE inhibitors and/or angiotensin II receptor antagonists.
Sporadic cases of seizures have been reported during concomitant use of ketorolac tromethamine and antiepileptic drugs (phenytoin, carbamazepine).
Hallucinations have been reported when ketorolac tromethamine was used in patients taking psychoactive drugs (fluoxetine, thiothixene, alprazolam).
When ketorolac tromethamine is administered concurrently with pentoxifylline, there is an increased tendency to bleeding.
Nondepolarizing Muscle Relaxants
In postmarketing experience there have been reports of a possible interaction between ketorolac tromethamine intravenous/intramuscular and nondepolarizing muscle relaxants that resulted in apnea. The concurrent use of ketorolac tromethamine with muscle relaxants has not been formally studied.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
There is an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding when selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are combined with NSAIDs. Caution should be used when NSAIDs are administered concomitantly with SSRIs.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, and Impairment of Fertility
An 18-month study in mice with oral doses of ketorolac tromethamine tablets at 2 mg/kg/day (0.9 times the human systemic exposure at the recommended intramuscular or intravenous dose of 30 mg qid, based on area-under-the-plasma-concentration curve [AUC]), and a 24-month study in rats at 5 mg/kg/day (0.5 times the human AUC) showed no evidence of tumorigenicity.
Ketorolac tromethamine was not mutagenic in the Ames test, unscheduled DNA synthesis and repair, and in forward mutation assays. Ketorolac tromethamine did not cause chromosome breakage in the in vivo mouse micronucleus assay. At 1590 mcg/mL and at higher concentrations, ketorolac tromethamine increased the incidence of chromosomal aberrations in Chinese hamster ovarian cells.
Impairment of fertility did not occur in male or female rats at oral doses of 9 mg/kg (0.9 times the human AUC) and 16 mg/kg (1.6 times the human AUC) of ketorolac tromethamine, respectively.
Use of NSAIDs, including ketorolac tromethamine, can cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus and fetal renal dysfunction leading to oligohydramnios and, in some cases, neonatal renal impairment. Because of these risks, limit dose and duration of ketorolac tromethamine use between about 20 and 30 weeks of gestation, and avoid ketorolac tromethamine use at about 30 weeks of gestation and later in pregnancy (see WARNINGS; Fetal Toxicity).
Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus
Use of NSAIDs, including ketorolac tromethamine, at about 30 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy increases the risk of premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus.
Oligohydramnios/Neonatal Renal Impairment
Use of NSAIDs at about 20 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy has been associated with cases of fetal renal dysfunction leading to oligohydramnios, and in some cases, neonatal renal impairment.
Data from observational studies regarding other potential embryofetal risks of NSAID use in women in the first or second trimesters of pregnancy are inconclusive. Reproduction studies have been performed during organogenesis using daily oral doses of ketorolac tromethamine at 3.6 mg/kg (0.37 times the human AUC) in rabbits and at 10 mg/kg (1.0 times the human AUC) in rats. Results of these studies did not reveal evidence of teratogenicity to the fetus. However, animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response. Oral doses of ketorolac tromethamine at 1.5 mg/kg (0.14 times the human AUC), administered after gestation Day 17, caused dystocia and higher pup mortality in rats. Based on animal data, prostaglandins have been shown to have an important role in endometrial vascular permeability, blastocyst implantation, and decidualization. In animal studies, administration of prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors such as ketorolac, resulted in increased pre- and post-implantation loss. Prostaglandins also have been shown to have an important role in fetal kidney development. In published animal studies, prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors have been reported to impair kidney development when administered at clinically relevant doses.
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population(s) is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2–4% and 15–20%, respectively.
Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions
Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus:
Avoid use of NSAIDs in women at about 30 weeks gestation and later in pregnancy, because NSAIDs, including ketorolac tromethamine, can cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus (see WARNINGS; Fetal Toxicity).
Oligohydramnios/Neonatal Renal Impairment:
If an NSAID is necessary at about 20 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy, limit the use to the lowest effective dose and shortest duration possible. If ketorolac tromethamine treatment extends beyond 48 hours, consider monitoring with ultrasound for oligohydramnios. If oligohydramnios occurs, discontinue ketorolac tromethamine and follow up according to clinical practice (see WARNINGS; Fetal Toxicity).
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of ketorolac tromethamine in pregnant women. Ketorolac tromethamine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus:
Published literature reports that the use of NSAIDs at about 30 weeks of gestation and later in pregnancy may cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus.
Oligohydramnios/Neonatal Renal Impairment:
Published studies and postmarketing reports describe maternal NSAID use at about 20 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy associated with fetal renal dysfunction leading to oligohydramnios, and in some cases, neonatal renal impairment. These adverse outcomes are seen, on average, after days to weeks of treatment, although oligohydramnios has been infrequently reported as soon as 48 hours after NSAID initiation. In many cases, but not all, the decrease in amniotic fluid was transient and reversible with cessation of the drug. There have been a limited number of case reports of maternal NSAID use and neonatal renal dysfunction without oligohydramnios, some of which were irreversible. Some cases of neonatal renal dysfunction required treatment with invasive procedures, such as exchange transfusion or dialysis.
Methodological limitations of these postmarketing studies and reports include lack of a control group; limited information regarding dose, duration, and timing of drug exposure; and concomitant use of other medications. These limitations preclude establishing a reliable estimate of the risk of adverse fetal and neonatal outcomes with maternal NSAID use. Because the published safety data on neonatal outcomes involved mostly preterm infants, the generalizability of certain reported risks to the full-term infant exposed to NSAIDs through maternal use is uncertain.
Labor and Delivery
The use of ketorolac tromethamine is contraindicated in labor and delivery because, through its prostaglandin synthesis inhibitory effect, it may adversely affect fetal circulation and inhibit uterine contractions, thus increasing the risk of uterine hemorrhage (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).
Effects on Fertility
The use of ketorolac tromethamine, as with any drug known to inhibit cyclooxygenase/prostaglandin synthesis, may impair fertility and is not recommended in women attempting to conceive. In women who have difficulty conceiving or are undergoing investigation of infertility, withdrawal of ketorolac tromethamine should be considered.
Limited data from one published study that included 10 breastfeeding women 2-6 days postpartum showed low levels of ketorolac in breast milk and were undetectable (less than 5 ng/mL) in 4 of the patients. After a single administration of 10 mg of ketorolac tromethamine, the maximum milk concentration observed was 7.3 ng/mL, and the maximum milk-to-plasma ratio was 0.037. After 1 day of dosing (10 mg every 6 hours), the maximum milk concentration was 7.9 ng/mL, and the maximum milk-to-plasma ratio was 0.025. Assuming a daily intake of 400-1,000 mL of human milk per day and a maternal body weight of 60 kg, the calculated maximum daily infant exposure was 0.00263 mg/kg/day, which is 0.4% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose.
Exercise caution when ketorolac is administered to a nursing woman. Available information has not shown any specific adverse events in nursing infants; however, instruct patients to contact their infant's healthcare provider if they note any adverse events.
Ketorolac tromethamine is not indicated for use in pediatric patients. The safety and effectiveness of ketorolac tromethamine in pediatric patients below the age of 17 years have not been established.
Geriatric Use (≥65 Years of Age)
Because ketorolac tromethamine may be cleared more slowly by the elderly (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY) who are also more sensitive to the dose-related adverse effects of NSAIDs (see WARNINGS –Gastrointestinal Effects – Risk of Ulceration, Bleeding, and Perforation), extreme caution and reduced dosages (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION) and careful clinical monitoring must be used when treating the elderly with ketorolac tromethamine.