Last updated on RxList: 5/11/2021
Sprix Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

What Is Sprix?

Sprix (ketorolac tromethamine) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used in adults for short-term (up to 5 days) management of moderate to moderately severe pain that requires pain relief at the opioid level.

What Are Side Effects of Sprix?

Common side effects of Sprix include:

Dosage for Sprix

The recommended dose of Sprix is 31.5 mg (one 15.75 mg spray in each nostril) every 6 to 8 hours. The maximum daily dose is 126 mg (four doses).

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Sprix?

Sprix may interact with aliskiren, ACE Inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), cidofovir, probenecid, corticosteroids, clopidogrel, blood thinners, other forms of ketorolac, high doses of aspirin, or other NSAIDs. Check all prescription and over-the-counter medicine labels since many contain pain relievers/fever reducers (aspirin, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen). Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Sprix During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

During pregnancy, Sprix should be used only if prescribed during the first 30 weeks. After 30 weeks, use of Sprix is not recommended as it could harm a fetus; consult your doctor. Sprix passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Sprix (ketorolac tromethamine) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


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Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of a heart attack or stroke: chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, leg swelling, feeling short of breath.

Stop using ketorolac and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • any skin rash, no matter how mild;
  • high blood pressure--severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears;
  • heart problems--swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;
  • kidney problems--little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;
  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tiredness, flu-like symptoms, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet; or
  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Common side effects may include:

  • heartburn, stomach pain, gas, nausea, vomiting;
  • diarrhea, constipation;
  • slow heartbeats;
  • decreased urination;
  • abnormal liver function tests;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • pain or irritation in your nose;
  • runny nose;
  • watery eyes;
  • throat irritation; or
  • rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Sprix (Ketorolac Tromethamine Nasal Spray)


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Sprix Professional Information


The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

  • Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • GI Bleeding, Ulceration and Perforation [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hepatotoxicity [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hypertension [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Heart Failure and Edema [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Renal Toxicity and Hyperkalemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Anaphylactic Reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Serious Skin Reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hematologic Toxicity [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The data described below reflect exposure to SPRIX in patients enrolled in placebo-controlled efficacy studies of acute pain following major surgery. The studies enrolled 828 patients (183 men, 645 women) ranging from 18 years to over 75 years of age.

The patients in the postoperative pain studies had undergone major abdominal, orthopedic, gynecologic, or other surgery; 455 patients received SPRIX (31.5 mg) three or four times a day for up to 5 days, and 245 patients received placebo. Most patients were receiving concomitant opioids, primarily PCA morphine.

The most frequently reported adverse reactions were related to local symptoms, i.e., nasal discomfort or irritation. These reactions were generally mild and transient in nature.

The most common drug-related adverse events leading to premature discontinuation were nasal discomfort or nasal pain (rhinalgia).

Table 1: Post-Operative Patients with Adverse Reactions Observed at a Rate of 2% or More and at Least Twice the Incidence of the Placebo Group.

(N = 455)
(N = 245)
Nasal discomfort 15% 2%
Rhinalgia 13% <1%
Lacrimation increased 5% 0%
Throat irritation 4% <1%
Oliguria 3% 1%
Rash 3% <1%
Bradycardia 2% <1%
Urine output decreased 2% <1%
ALT and/or AST increased 2% 1%
Hypertension 2% 1%
Rhinitis 2% <1%

In controlled clinical trials in major surgery, primarily knee and hip replacements and abdominal hysterectomies, seven patients (N=455, 1.5%) treated with SPRIX experienced serious adverse events of bleeding (4 patients) or hematoma (3 patients) at the operative site versus one patient (N=245, 0.4%) treated with placebo (hematoma). Six of the seven patients treated with SPRIX underwent a surgical procedure and/or blood transfusion and the placebo patient subsequently required a blood transfusion.

Adverse Reactions Reported In Clinical Trials With Other Dosage Forms Of Ketorolac Or Other NSAIDs

Adverse reaction rates increase with higher doses of ketorolac. It is necessary to remain alert for the severe complications of treatment with ketorolac, such as GI ulceration, bleeding, and perforation, postoperative bleeding, acute renal failure, anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions, and liver failure. These complications can be serious in certain patients for whom ketorolac is indicated, especially when the drug is used inappropriately.

In patients taking ketorolac or other NSAIDs in clinical trials, the most frequently reported adverse experiences in approximately 1% to 10% of patients are:

Gastrointestinal (GI) experiences including:

abdominal pain constipation/diarrhea dyspepsia
flatulence GI fullness GI ulcers (gastric/duodenal)
gross bleeding/perforation heartburn nausea*
sto matitis vomiting
Other experiences:
abnormal renal function anemia dizziness
drowsiness edema elevated liver enzymes
headache* hypertension increased bleeding time
injection site pain pruritus purpura
rash tinnitus sweating
*Incidence greater than 10%

Additional adverse experiences reported occasionally (<1% in patients taking ketorolac or other NSAIDs in clinical trials) include:

Body as a Whole: fever, infection, sepsis

Cardiovascular Sys tem: congestive heart failure, palpitation, pallor, tachycardia, syncope

Digestive System: anorexia, dry mouth, eructation, esophagitis, excessive thirst, gastritis, glossitis, hematemesis, hepatitis, increased appetite, jaundice, melena, rectal bleeding

Hemic and Lymphatic: ecchymosis, eosinophilia, epistaxis, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia

Metabolic and Nutritional: weight change

Nervous System: abnormal dreams, abnormal thinking, anxiety, asthenia, confusion, depression, euphoria, extrapyramidal symptoms, hallucinations, hyperkinesis, inability to concentrate, insomnia, nervousness, paresthesia, somnolence, stupor, tremors, vertigo, malaise

Respiratory: asthma, dyspnea, pulmonary edema, rhinitis

Special Senses : abnormal taste, abnormal vision, blurred vision, hearing loss

Urogenital: cystitis, dysuria, hematuria, increased urinary frequency, interstitial nephritis, oliguria/polyuria, proteinuria, renal failure, urinary retention

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of ketorolac or other NSAIDs. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Other observed reactions (reported from postmarketing experience in patients taking ketorolac or other NSAIDs) are:

Body as a Whole: angioedema, death, hypersensitivity reactions such as anaphylaxis, anaphylactoid reaction, laryngeal edema, tongue edema, myalgia

Cardiovascular: arrhythmia, bradycardia, chest pain, flushing, hypotension, myocardial infarction, vasculitis

Dermatologic: exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme, Lyell's syndrome, bullous reactions including Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis

Gastrointestinal: acute pancreatitis, liver failure, ulcerative stomatitis, exacerbation of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease)

Hemic and Lymphatic: agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, hemolytic anemia, lymphadenopathy, pancytopenia, postoperative wound hemorrhage (rarely requiring blood transfusion)

Metabolic and Nutritional: hyperglycemia, hyperkalemia, hyponatremia

Nervous System: aseptic meningitis, convulsions, coma, psychosis

Respiratory: bronchospasm, respiratory depression, pneumonia

Special Senses : conjunctivitis

Urogenital: flank pain with or without hematuria and/or azotemia, hemolytic uremic syndrome


See Table 2 for clinically significant drug interactions with ketorolac.

Table 2: Clinically Significant Drug Interactions with Ketorolac

Drugs that Interfere with Hemostasis
Clinical Impact:
  • Ketorolac and anticoagulants such as warfarin have a synergistic effect on bleeding. The concomitant use of ketorolac and anticoagulants have an increased risk of serious bleeding compared to the use of either drug alone [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
  • Serotonin release by platelets plays an important role in hemostasis. Case-control and cohort epidemiological studies showed that concomitant use of drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and an NSAID may potentiate the risk of bleeding more than an NSAID alone.
  • When ketorolac is administered concurrently with pentoxifylline, there is an increased risk of bleeding.
Intervention: Monitor patients with concomitant use of SPRIX with anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin), antiplatelet agents (e.g., aspirin), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) for signs of bleeding [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Concomitant use of SPRIX and pentoxifylline is contraindicated [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Clinical Impact: Controlled clinical studies showed that the concomitant use of NSAIDs and analgesic doses of aspirin does not produce any greater therapeutic effect than the use of NSAIDs alone. In a clinical study, the concomitant use of an NSAID and aspirin was associated with a significantly increased incidence of GI adverse reactions as compared to use of the NSAID alone [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Intervention: Concomitant use of SPRIX and analgesic doses of aspirin is not generally recommended because of the increased risk of bleeding [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. SPRIX is not a substitute for low dose aspirin for cardiovascular protection.
ACE Inhibitors, Angiotensin Receptor Blockers, and Beta-blockers
Clinical Impact:
  • NSAIDs may diminish the antihypertensive effect of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), or beta-blockers (including propranolol).
  • In patients who are elderly, volume-depleted (including those on diuretic therapy), or have renal impairment, co-administration of an NSAID with ACE inhibitors or ARBs may result in deterioration of renal function, including possible acute renal failure. These effects are usually reversible.
  • During concomitant use of SPRIX and ACE-inhibitors, ARBs, or beta-blockers, monitor blood pressure to ensure that the desired blood pressure is obtained.
  • During concomitant use of SPRIX and ACE-inhibitors or ARBs in patients who are elderly, volume-depleted, or have impaired renal function, monitor for signs of worsening renal function [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • When these drugs are administered concomitantly, patients should be adequately hydrated. Assess renal function at the beginning of the concomitant treatment and periodically thereafter.
Clinical Impact: Clinical studies, as well as post-marketing observations, showed that NSAIDs reduced the natriuretic effect of loop diuretics (e.g., furosemide) and thiazide diuretics in some patients. This effect has been attributed to the NSAID inhibition of renal prostaglandin synthesis
Intervention: During concomitant use of SPRIX with diuretics, observe patients for signs of worsening renal function, in addition to assuring diuretic efficacy including antihypertensive effects [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of ketorolac with digoxin has been reported to increase the serum concentration and prolong the half-life of digoxin.
Intervention: During concomitant use of SPRIX and digoxin, monitor serum digoxin levels.
Clinical Impact: NSAIDs have produced elevations in plasma lithium levels and reductions in renal lithium clearance. The mean minimum lithium concentration increased 15%, and the renal clearance decreased by approximately 20%. This effect has been attributed to NSAID inhibition of renal prostaglandin synthesis.
Intervention: During concomitant use of SPRIX and lithium, monitor patients for signs of lithium toxicity.
Clinical Impact: Concomitant use of NSAIDs and methotrexate may increase the risk for methotrexate toxicity (e.g., neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, renal dysfunction).
Intervention: During concomitant use of SPRIX and methotrexate, monitor patients for methotrexate toxicity.
Clinical Impact: Concomitant use of SPRIX and cyclosporine may increase cyclosporine’s nephrotoxicity.
Intervention: During concomitant use of SPRIX and cyclosporine, monitor patients for signs of worsening renal function.
NSAIDs and Salicylates
Clinical Impact: Concomitant use of ketorolac with other NSAIDs or salicylates (e.g., diflunisal, salsalate) increases the risk of GI toxicity, with little or no increase in efficacy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Intervention: The concomitant use of ketorolac with other NSAIDs or salicylates is not recommended.
Clinical Impact: Concomitant use of SPRIX and pemetrexed may increase the risk of pemetrexed-associated myelosuppression, renal, and GI toxicity (see the pemetrexed prescribing information).
Intervention: During concomitant use of SPRIX and pemetrexed, in patients with renal impairment whose creatinine clearance ranges from 45 to 79 mL/min, monitor for myelosuppression, renal and GI toxicity. NSAIDs with short elimination half-lives (e.g., diclofenac, indomethacin) should be avoided for a period of two days before, the day of, and two days following administration of pemetrexed. In the absence of data regarding potential interaction between pemetrexed and NSAIDs with longer half-lives (e.g., meloxicam, nabumetone), patients taking these NSAIDs should interrupt dosing for at least five days before, the day of, and two days following pemetrexed administration.
Clinical Impact: Concomitant administration of oral ketorolac and probenecid results in increased half-life and systemic exposure. [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Intervention: Concomitant use of SPRIX and probenecid is contraindicated.
Antiepileptic Drugs
Clinical Impact: Sporadic cases of seizures have been reported during concomitant use of ketorolac and antiepileptic drugs (phenytoin, carbamazepine).
Intervention: During concomitant use of SPRIX and antiepileptic drugs, monitor patients for seizures.
Psychoactive Drugs
Clinical Impact: Hallucinations have been reported when ketorolac was used in patients taking psychoactive drugs (fluoxetine, thiothixene, alprazolam).
Intervention: During concomitant use of SPRIX and psychoactive drugs, monitor patients for hallucinations.
Nondepolarizing Muscle Relaxants
Clinical Impact: In postmarketing experience there have been reports of a possible interaction between ketorolac and nondepolarizing muscle relaxants that resulted in apnea. The concurrent use of ketorolac with muscle relaxants has not been formally studied.
Intervention: During concomitant use of SPRIX and nondepolarizing muscle relaxants, monitor patients for apnea.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Sprix (Ketorolac Tromethamine Nasal Spray)

© Sprix Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Sprix Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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