Toradol: Injectable Pain Relief for Arthritis

What You Need to Know About This Powerful NSAID

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Toradol (ketorolac tromethamine) is a powerful prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), often given by injection. It is indicated for short-term management of moderate to severe acute pain.

Studies have found that injectable Toradol is equivalently effective, if not superior, when compared to corticosteroids.

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What It Does

Toradol, like other NSAIDs, is helpful in decreasing the substances that cause inflammation.Accordingly, toradol is effective at reducing the signs and symptoms of inflammation, such as swelling, pain, and fevers.However, some research has demonstrated that Toradol is more effective than other NSAIDs for pain reduction from both inflammatory and non-inflammatory causes.

Toradol is commonly used as a short-term treatment for chronic pain conditions such as arthritis and is sometimes given to people for pain management after surgery. 


Most people who use Toradol receive it via injection. It may be given for up to five days in adults.

A tablet form of Toradol can be taken by mouth, and a nasal spray is also available. The drug may also be given intravenously (IV).

Side Effects/Risks

Toradol carries the same risk of side effects as do all NSAIDs. In clinical trials of NSAIDs, the most common side effects, occurring in greater than 10% of participants, are gastrointestinal problems including abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, and gas. Drowsiness, headaches, rashes and itching, anemia, hypertension, ringing in the ears, sweating, dizziness, and fluid retention were also reported. 

Toradol can cause peptic ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, and performation of the stomach or intestines. Therefore, use of this medication is contraindicated for use by individuals with a history of these problems or who are at high-risk for developing these problems. Toradol is also contraindicated for individuals with serious kidney disease or at risk for it and for those at high risk for bleeding (including those at high risk for stroke). 

A Word From Verywell

Toradol should only be taken for short-term management of severe pain as it can have some serious side effects. When taken properly, Toradol can treat short-term pain without the effects of stronger pain medications, such as a narcotics and opioids. If your healthcare provider prescribes it for you, make sure you ask about the best way to take it and what side effects to look out for.

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Taheri P, Dehghan F, Mousavi S, Solouki R. Comparison of Subacromial Ketorolac Injection versus Corticosteroid Injection in the Treatment of Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. J Res Pharm Pract. 2017;6(4):223-227. doi:10.4103/jrpp.JRPP_17_57.x

  2. Plapler PG, Scheinberg MA, Ecclissato Cda C, Bocchi de oliveira MF, Amazonas RB. Double-blind, randomized, double-dummy clinical trial comparing the efficacy of ketorolac trometamol and naproxen for acute low back pain. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2016;10:1987-93. doi:10.2147/DDDT.S97756.x

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