OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, dosing, efficacy, and safety of ketorolac in postoperative patients younger than 6 months of age.

METHODS

PubMed (1988–July 2020), Medline (1946–July 2020), and EBSCO Discovery Service (1988–July 2020) were searched to identify relevant published articles using the following search terms: ketorolac, neonate, infant. English-language articles evaluating the use of ketorolac in infants younger than 6 months of age were included.

RESULTS

Eight reports that included 239 infants receiving ketorolac were included. Of the included patients, 237 were younger than 6 months of age. Ketorolac exhibits rapid elimination of the analgesia-producing S (−) isomer, elimination half-life of 0.83 hours. Most patients received 0.5 mg/kg/dose every 6 hours for 48 to 72 hours. Analgesia was demonstrated by reduced use of open-label morphine and significant lowering of Neonatal/Infant Pain Scale scores. Adverse effects were minimal when ketorolac was used in term neonates and infants without baseline renal dysfunction.

CONCLUSIONS

Randomized placebo-controlled trials of ketorolac use in this population are lacking; however, most published reports noted efficacy and safety with ketorolac in properly selected infants.

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