REVIEW Ketorolac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) chemically related to indomethacin and tolmetin. Ketorolac tromethamine is a racemic mixture of [-]S- and [+]R-enantiomeric forms, with the S-form having analgesic activity. Its antiinflammatory effects are believed to be due to inhibition of both cylooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cylooxygenase-2 (COX-2) which leads to the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis leading to decreased formation of precursors of prostaglandins and thromboxanes from arachidonic acid. The resultant reduction in prostaglandin synthesis and activity may be at least partially responsible for many of the adverse, as well as the therapeutic, effects of these medications. Analgesia is probably produced via a peripheral action in which blockade of pain impulse generation results from decreased prostaglandin activity. However, inhibition of the synthesis or actions of other substances that sensitize pain receptors to mechanical or chemical stimulation may also contribute to the analgesic effect. In terms of the ophthalmic applications of ketorolac - ocular administration of ketorolac reduces prostaglandin E2 levels in aqueous humor, secondary to inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis.
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