Ketorolac eye drops (Acular)

Tell your doctor before using these 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.

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 Acular®
Available as Eye drops

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

Before using ketorolac eye drops

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start using ketorolac 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 sugar diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • 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, such as herbal and complementary medicines.

How to use ketorolac eye drops

Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the eye drops and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from using them.

How to use these 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. The usual dose is one drop three times daily, starting the day before the procedure and continuing for 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.
  • 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 may cause blurred vision. This should quickly clear. Make sure you can see clearly before you drive, use machines or do any other jobs which could be dangerous if you were unable to see properly.
  • If you normally wear contact lenses, your doctor is likely to recommend you use glasses for a time following eye surgery. This is to allow your eyes to recover from the procedure. Also, there is a preservative in bottles of eye drops which can affect soft contact lenses.

Can ketorolac eye drops cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Very common ketorolac side-effects - these affect more than 1 in 10 people who use these drops
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 less than 1 in 10 people who use these drops 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

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to these eye drops, speak with your 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.
  • Eye drops only keep for four weeks once the bottle has been opened. Do not use ketorolac if the bottle has been open for longer than this, even if there is some solution remaining.