Efficacy of topical ketorolac tromethamine 0.4% for control of pain or discomfort associated with cataract surgery

Curr Med Res Opin. 2004 Dec;20(12):2015-9. doi: 10.1185/030079904x16759.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of ketorolac 0.4% ophthalmic solution for control of pain and discomfort associated with cataract surgery.

Methods: This was a single-center, double-masked, randomized, fellow-eye placebo-controlled clinical study of 25 patients (mean age 72 years; 76% female) requiring bilateral cataract surgery. Patients received either ketorolac tromethamine 0.4% ophthalmic solution (Acular LS *) or placebo, 1 drop QID for 3 days prior to and 1 day following phacoemulsification and intraocular lens implantation on their first eye, and the other treatment for surgery on the second, fellow eye 1 week-4 weeks later. The physician rated patient cooperation and ocular pain or discomfort during surgery, and patients rated ocular pain or discomfort immediately and 24 h after surgery.

Results: Patients reported significantly less ocular pain during the 24 h following surgery when treated with ketorolac 0.4% than with placebo (p = 0.02). Ocular pain was reported for only a single ketorolac 0.4%-treated eye (4%) during that period, compared with 39% of placebo-treated eyes (p = 0.004). No significant differences between eyes treated with ketorolac 0.4% and placebo were observed in patient cooperation, and ocular pain or discomfort during or immediately after surgery. No adverse events occurred during the study.

Limitations: Evaluation of pain is subjective, and the severity of pain experienced in the control, vehicle-treated eyes was low.

Conclusions: The reduction in pain associated with cataract surgery afforded by ophthalmic ketorolac 0.4%, together with its favorable safety profile, make it an important tool to help surgeons meet the high expectations of today's cataract and refractive surgery patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Cataract Extraction / adverse effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ketorolac Tromethamine / administration & dosage
  • Ketorolac Tromethamine / adverse effects
  • Ketorolac Tromethamine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Placebos
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Placebos
  • Ketorolac Tromethamine