- What is a Kidney Stone?
- Medication Types
- Best Medications List
- Common Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Safety and Warnings
WHAT IS A KIDNEY STONE?
An excessive amount of salts and minerals in your urine lead to the formation of stones. Kidney stones may start small, but they can expand in size and fill the hollow spaces inside the kidney. Some stones remain inside the kidney and do not cause complications. Sometimes, kidney stones may travel down the ureter to the bladder, to be eliminated from the body through urine. If the stone gets trapped in the ureter, it prevents urine flow from the kidney, causing discomfort.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON MEDICATIONS?
The physician initially waits for some time for the kidney stone to dissolve. However, if it fails to come out of the urine, the physician may recommend these medications:
- Analgesics: These are the most used medications intended to relieve pain and inflammation associated with kidney stones. Analgesics can be narcotic or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. Drugs included in this class are:
- Morphine sulphate
- Oxycodone and acetaminophen
- Calcium channel blockers: These medications relax your ureter, thereby allowing the free flow of urine from the kidney to the bladder. Nifedipine is the drug of choice for treating kidney stones.
- Alpha blockers: These medications relax the smooth muscles of the ureter, thereby allowing the free flow of urine from the kidney to the bladder. Drugs included in this class are:
- Xanthine oxidase inhibitors: These medications prevent the production of uric acid. Allopurinol is an example of this class.
- Alkalinizing agents: These prevent the formation of kidney stones by inhibiting the formation of uric acid and calcium oxalate. Potassium citrate or sodium citrate is commonly used for treating kidney stones.
- Antibiotics: These are necessary to prevent bacterial infection. Some drugs used for treating bacterial infection associated with kidney stones include:
WHAT IS THE BEST MEDICATION?
Some of the commonly prescribed medications for different kidney stones are highlighted below:
|Type of Kidney Stone||Possible Medicines Prescribed by Your Doctor|
|Uric acid stones||
WHAT ARE THE COMMON SIDE EFFECTS?
Common side effects of analgesics include:
- Shortness of breath
- Stomach upset
Common side effects of calcium channel blockers include:
- Muscle cramps
- Mood change
Common side effects of alpha-blockers include:
Common side effects of xanthine oxidase inhibitors include:
- Kidney failure
Common side effects of alkalinizing agents include:
- Mental/mood changes (such as confusion, restlessness)
- Tingling of the hands/feet
- Unusually cold skin
- Muscle cramps/weakness
- Severe dizziness
- Slow/Irregular heartbeat
This is not a complete list of side effects and other serious side effects or health problems that may occur because of the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
IS IT SAFE TO TAKE KIDNEY STONE MEDICATIONS DURING PREGNANCY?
Narcotic analgesics should be avoided during pregnancy. Most drugs should be used if the benefits outweigh the risks during pregnancy. Contact your physician before taking these medications during pregnancy.
IS IT SAFE TO DRINK ALCOHOL WHILE TAKING KIDNEY STONES MEDICATIONS?
Drinking alcohol is contraindicated in people with kidney stones. Alcohol can cause dehydration, increasing the risk of kidney stones. Avoid drinking alcohol while you take medications for kidney stones as there is a high risk of interaction between the two.
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