The kidney stones are solid, pebble-like piece of hard material that may form in one or in both of the kidneys. This occurs when high levels of some minerals are present in your urine. Kidney stones can be treated, but the treatments are really limited and they are also painful.

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In the United States Of America, it is estimated that 1 in 11 individuals have kidney stones. These kidney stones affect more men than women; and more than 10% of men get kidney stones when compared to only 7.1% of women developing kidney stones. (1)

Though kidney stones are usually harmless, they may be linked with some more serious conditions, like chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. (2)

There are several ways to treat kidney stones. Let us know if these kidney stones can be removed by medicine and also know about some medicine that can be used to remove kidney stones.

Can Kidney Stone Be Removed By Medicine?

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Can Kidney Stone Be Removed By Medicine?

Most of the kidney stones having a diameter of less than 5 mm, and about half of all the stones in between 5 mm -10 mm, pass out of the affected person’s body on their own. These tiny kidney stones are generally flushed out in the urine after 1 or 2 weeks. (3)

Doctors generally recommend waiting if your kidney stones are small enough to be flushed out without any treatment. Your doctor might suggest you to wait for at least 2-4 weeks if your kidney stone does not trouble you. Usually small stones can pass out by drinking lots of water; i.e. at least 1.9 to 2.8 liters of water in a day.
Medication may also be given to pass some cases of kidney stones. In case the stones cause pain as it travels through the ureter, you might be prescribed with some painkillers such as Diclofenac, Acetaminophen, or Ibuprofen to have some relief. Apart from these pain killers, there are also some other medicines which may be recommended by your doctor to remove some types of kidney stones. Alpha blockers, Thiazide diuretic, Allopurinol, potassium citrate and sodium citrate, and some other medications are used to remove kidney stones. So, if you wonder “Can kidney stones be removed by medicine?”; then we would say, “Yes! Some of them can be removed by medications.”

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What Medicine Can Dissolve Kidney Stone?

Medicines can dissolve kidney stones. The type of medicine that your doctor prescribes depends on the kind of kidney stones that you have. Below are some of them.

Alpha Blockers Medication To Make It Easier For The Stones To Pass Out Of The Body:

Alpha blockers are known to make it quite easier for the kidney stones to pass out of your body. These alpha blockers relax the muscles found in the lower part of the bladder. These are the medications that are used for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, which is an enlarged prostate condition. Though these alpha blockers have not yet been approved for treating kidney stones; yet sometimes, particularly alpha blocker tamsulosin is used.

As per a current research, it is found that alpha blocker medicines can help pass kidney stones. This was shown in an analysis of 67 studies that showed it to be true for kidney stones that measured about 5-10 mm in diameter. It was found that without alpha blockers, the kidney stones took 4 weeks in about 50 out of 100 persons to pass out; while with alpha blockers, the kidney stones passed within 4 weeks in 73 persons out of 100.

So, this treatment with alpha blockers helps 23 out of 100 individuals to pass the kidney stone. There have been some temporary side effects experienced by alpha blockers, such as dizziness, low blood pressure and tiredness. (4)

Thiazide Diuretic Medication To Reduce Calcium Stones:

There are also medications to dissolve calcium kidney stones. In order to reduce or help in preventing calcium kidney stones from occurring, your healthcare provider may prescribe you with a thiazide diuretic or may prescribe you with a phosphate-containing preparation.

Allopurinol Medication To Reduce Uric Acid Kidney Stones:

Uric acid levels in the blood and urine can be reduced by allopurinol ( Aloprim, Zyloprim). Allopurinol will be prescribed by your doctor for reducing the levels of uric acid in blood and in the urine. Apart from this, your doctor will also prescribe you a medicine for keeping your urine alkaline. In certain cases, allopurinol along with an alkalizing agent can fairly dissolve uric acid kidney stones.

It must also be mentioned that drinking plenty of water helps in increasing the effect of the medications to dissolve uric acid. The more urine is there, the better can the uric acid dissolve. (5)

Potassium Or Sodium Citrate Medication To Reduce Uric Acid Stones:

Uric acid kidney stones can be removed with potassium citrate or sodium citrate. These solutions will dissolve the uric acid kidney stones.

Medication To Reduce Cystine Kidney Stones:

Cystine kidney stones are generally hard to treat. Your healthcare provider may recommend you to drink enough of water and fluids so as to produce more amount of urine. In case that is not enough, you may be prescribed with some medications to reduce the cystine amount found in the urine.

Conclusion:

If you suffer from kidney stones and want to remove them with medicines, you need to talk to your doctor about your health history and your symptoms. Accordingly the doctor would conduct diagnosis and would prescribe you with relevant medicines having minor side effects or would recommend other kinds of treatment for you.

Reference Links:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323084.php
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5817324/#B9
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK348939/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK348939/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK348939/

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: April 19, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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