Ketorolac is a new chiral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which is marketed for analgesia as the racemate. The drug is administered as the water soluble tromethamine salt and is available in tablets or as an intramuscular injection. The absorption of ketorolac is rapid, Cmax being attained between 20 to 60 min. Its oral bioavailability is estimated to range from 80 to 100%. The drug is extensively bound (> 99%) to plasma proteins and has a volume of distribution (0.1 to 0.3 L/kg) comparable with those of other NSAIDs. Only small concentrations of ketorolac are detectable in umbilical vein blood after administration to women in labour. The elimination half-life is between 4 and 6h and is moderate in comparison with other NSAIDs. The area under the plasma concentration-time curve of ketorolac is proportional to the dose after intramuscular administration of therapeutic doses to young healthy volunteers. Ketorolac is extensively metabolised through glucuronidation and oxidation; little if any drug is eliminated unchanged. Most of the dose of ketorolac is recovered in the urine as conjugated drug. Although ketorolac is excreted into the breast milk, the amount of drug transferred comprises only a small fraction of the maternal exposure. Little stereoselectivity was present in the pharmacokinetics of ketorolac in a healthy volunteer receiving single intravenous or oral doses. The elderly exhibit reduced clearance of the drug. Renal insufficiency appears to cause an accumulation of ketorolac in plasma, although hepatic disease may not affect the pharmacokinetics.