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Br J Urol. 1994 Dec;74(6):690-3.

A comparison of intramuscular ketorolac and pethidine in the alleviation of renal colic.

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Leicester General Hospital, UK.



To compare the analgesic efficacy of a single 30 mg intramuscular dose of ketorolac with that of intramuscular pethidine 100 mg, in a double-blind, parallel-group investigation of patients presenting with pain suggestive of renal colic.


Seventy-six patients (17 women, 15 men; mean age 45.2 years, range 20-80) were allocated by means of a pre-determined randomization schedule to receive ketorolac and 78 patients (20 women, 58 men; mean age 42.1, years range 18-70) to receive pethidine. Data from eight patients in the ketorolac group and six in the pethidine group were excluded from the efficacy analyses because of protocol violations. The severity of each patient's pain was assessed on a four-point verbal rating scale (VRS) and a 10 cm visual analogue scale at pre-dose and at 15 min intervals for the first hour post dosing. The time to first administration of rescue analgesic, up to 24 h following dosing with the study medication, was recorded. Adverse events were elicited by general questioning.


Eighty-eight per cent of patients in each treatment group had improved according to the VRS of pain severity 1 h after dosing; the summed pain intensity differences up to 1 h were statistically significantly different in favour of ketorolac (P < 0.05). Fifty-six per cent of patients who were receiving ketorolac required rescue analgesia during the study period compared with 74% receiving pethidine. The incidences of adverse events were lower in the ketorolac group (28%) than the pethidine group (51%).


Ketorolac can be considered a viable alternative to pethidine for the treatment of renal colic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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