Medications to help pass kidney stones

Certain medications can improve your chances of passing a stone if you are experiencing an active stone episode. The most commonly used medication is tamsulosin (Flomax). Other similar medications used for this purpose include alfuzosin, nifedipine, doxazosin, and terazosin. In patients with stones, these medications relax the muscles in the ureter, allowing the stones to more easily and quickly pass.

How well do they work?

In studies of patients taking these medications or placebo (sugar pill), those on the medications were 1.45 times more likely to successfully pass their stone. They also required less pain medication and passed their stones more quickly with fewer return trips to the hospital than patients taking placebo.


4 Responses to Medications to help pass kidney stones

  1. Nancy says:

    I have been diagnosed with a uric acid kidney stone in my left side. Went into hospital this past August. I was given a stent and some medications to try and break it up. So far it has been in there 5 months because I do not have health insurance currently. I went again to hospital and my urologist was not available for an appointment until today. I have been having severe pains in my abdomen and feeling pressure in my bladder when I stand up and sometimes itching and extremely painful urination like glass is cutting into me. I found this website out of desperation because I tried to get hospital care this past Wednesday and they were not able to reach my regular doctor.
    They were not able to get any IV s in me but one for about 5 minutes or so to extract enough blood to get basic results. But I was not able to keep it in. A Cat scan showed some fluid around my kidney ands something called calcification. Still trying to figure out what that means. Help.

  2. Sam says:

    Hi, this is not an answer for you but a q to you . About 4 days back I have been diagnosed with a 4.2 mm stone in my left renal. The doctor is quite confident that it will pass naturally in a couple of Weeks and that I do not need any surgery. However he has told my family to not let me travel at all for this period. I am in a sales job and need to do day trips at the least to still remain employed :) My q is is he correct to as me not to Travel ? Also how have you been managing for the last year ?

    • Adrian says:

      I started having severe pain and bleeding on Christmas Day. Then pain and bleeding on and off for 6 months; sometimes I went 3 weeks without problems. I had a CT scan in June which found a 5mm stone in the outlet to my left kidney. I passed the stone at the end of July after taking Tamsulosin. Over those 7 months, I travelled for work (probably no more than 4 hours away from where I live though and mainly by train) and sometimes stayed away overnight. My main concern was passing the stone or having complications while I was away from home. My ‘insurance’ was always to pack plenty of prescription meds (anti-inflamatories and strong pain killers). I guess your doctor was just being cautious; if you had a problem while you were on the road you might end up in hospital a long way from where you live. Also not a good idea to drive if you’re in a lot of pain or on strong meds. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of taking his advice.

  3. Lalit says:

    I have a 10.5 mm stone in my left renal. I have been taking medicines for last 3 year but couldn’t get any good results. shall i go for laser surgery ?

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