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Toradol for Migraine Pain

Introduction

A migraine is not a regular headache. The major symptom of a migraine is a moderate or severe pain that typically occurs on one side of your head. Migraine pain lasts longer than a regular headache. It can last for as long as 72 hours. Migraines also have other symptoms. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light, sound, or both.

There are drugs that are commonly used to stop migraine pain once it starts. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Diclofenac
  • Naproxen
  • Aspirin

However, these drugs don’t always work to treat migraine pain. When they don’t, sometimes Toradol is used.

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Toradol

What is Toradol?

Toradol is a brand name for the drug ketorolac. It belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. NSAIDs are commonly used to treat many types of pain. Toradol is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat moderately severe short-term pain. It is also used off-label to treat migraine pain. Off-label drug use means that a drug that’s been approved by the FDA for one purpose is used for a different purpose that has not been approved. However, a doctor can still use the drug for that purpose. This is because the FDA regulates the testing and approval of drugs, but not how doctors use drugs to treat their patients. So, your doctor can prescribe a drug however they think is best for your care.

Learn more: All about off-label prescription drug use »

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How it works

How Toradol works

The exact way that Toradol helps to control pain is not known. Toradol stops your body from making a substance called prostaglandin. It is believed that the decrease of prostaglandin in your body helps reduce pain and swelling.

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Features

Drug features

Toradol comes in a solution that a healthcare provider injects into your muscle. It also comes in an oral tablet. Both the oral tablets and the injectable solution are available as generic drugs. When your doctor prescribes Toradol for your migraine pain, you receive the injection first, and then you also take the tablets.

Learn more: Detailed drug information for Toradol, including dosage, interactions, and more »

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Side effects

Side effects

Toradol has side effects that can be very dangerous. The risk of serious side effects from Toradol increases as the dosage and length of treatment increase. For this reason, you aren’t allowed to use Toradol for more than 5 days at a time. This includes the day that you received the injection as well as the days you took the tablets. Talk to your doctor to find out how long you have to wait between treatments with Toradol and how many treatments you’re allowed per year.

The more common side effects of Toradol can include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Toradol can also cause serious side effects. These can include:

  • Bleeding in your stomach or other places along your digestive tract. You shouldn’t take Toradol if you have certain stomach problems, including ulcers or bleeding.
  • Heart attack or stroke. You shouldn’t take Toradol if you have recently had a heart attack or heart surgery.
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Takeaway

Is Toradol right for me?

Toradol is not for everyone. You should not take Toradol if you:

  • Are allergic to NSAIDs
  • Have kidney problems
  • Take probenecid (a drug that treats gout)
  • Take pentoxifylline (a drug that helps improve your blood flow)
  • Have certain stomach problems, including ulcers or bleeding
  • Have recently had a heart attack or heart surgery

Talk to your doctor about Toradol. Your doctor knows your medical history and is the best resource to help you decide if Toradol is right for you.

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