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.


146 Responses to Medications to help pass kidney stones

  1. tony says:

    been told i have 10mm kidney stone have to see specialist .1st time for me. but i have no pain shall i just leave it to pass ?

    • Debbie says:

      That is a big stone and you probably won’t be able to pass it without help. I have been passing stones for 30 years. Smaller ones can pass but larger stones usually require lithotripsy to break up the stone.

  2. Bobby says:

    I have 7mm stone midway between kidney and bladder – right side. This is my third time, five year intervals, that I had KS. I passed stones in the first two episodes – I don’t recal the size. I do remember the pain! I have BPH – large prostate (138). I am looking for a natural remedy dissolver to reduce size of the 7mm stone. I take 1 x 0.4 mg Flowmax daily. Thank you for any suggestions.

    • Debbie says:

      Flomax and plenty of fluids is the only thing I have used when trying to pass stones. I have passed stones for 30 years. Not a pleasant experience.

  3. David says:

    I ve got a stone 5.5mm… jad it for 3 months 4 trips to the hospital so far. It should be in my bladder. Good I love Morphine.. Anyway of to the urologist on Tuesday.

  4. Cezar says:

    Chanca pedra use it you will feel better

  5. Becky says:

    I am on my 3rd bout of stones in the last 18 years. The last episode, I had ureteroscopy with stents placed. that was awful! Now I have been told that I have stones in both kidneys and there is one in the left kidney that is 2.7 cm. I was told by the urologist the only way to get rid of this is through percutaneous nephrolithotomy. This seems extreme , not to mention painful. I am very concerned about my kidney being punctured with a nephrostomy tube. Has anyone else had experience with this procedure or with stones this size?

    • Anna says:

      I am on my 11th stone in 8.5 years. Any time I get them in my left kidney I have to have them removed by surgery. I’ve had a stint 2 different times. First time they removed the stone and placed the stint. Second time they did not remove the stone but placed the stint then 2.5 months later I finally got them to remove both. Stones on my left side have ranged from 5.5 to 7.8 mm. Any time I have a stone on my right side I am able to pass them on my own. I was told I have calcium leaking into my kidneys and they is what is forming the stones. Nothing that can be done about or at least that’s what they’ve told me. I haven’t ever hears of the percutaneous nephrolithotomy procedure but it sounds scary to me.

      • Lauren says:

        Anna, what you are talking about is totally different then having the nepheostomy placed. It’s a large tube that comes out of your kidney through your back and drains urine in a bag. I had this in 2015 and hope to never have it again. However, it is the only way to get rid of certain sized stones in certain areas of the kidney. I would get a second opinion before I did it again though. Pretty serious and rough. Recovering from blasting now though and it’s not much fun either.

  6. Eve says:

    Have a tiny one stuck in urethra hospitalized 3 times since wed pain intolerable

    • Aditya says:

      I also hv 5mm in lower ureter n it had killing pain, now I’m under homeopathy treatment.
      Hope it gets out at d earliest.

  7. ishtiaq ahmed says:

    i have 1.1cm stone in my right kidney please help

    • Honest pain from stent is unbearable at you think I'll pass it in time? says:

      I have a 1.2 cm stone in right kidney I had 4 sessions of lipotropsy & I have a stent…some days pain free, other days not so good like today. I am waiting to see my urologist in 2 weeks. I feel if stent was gone, ixe be ok, v painful to day the least…trying lemon juice & Olive oil wishes to you.

      • Peggy Green says:

        I went through this 3 years ago so my heart goes out to you. I was told that I had a stone the size of a gum ball. It was huge but the doctor decided to go the Lipitrsy route. I had at least 5-6 rounds of that as they tried to break it up with shock treatments. This didn’t work so after being put through the many attempts they stuck a stent in me. That didn’t work. Not to mention that it was painful. Long story but they eventually had to go retrieve it with surgery. A basket and this was after months of pain, trying everything but the one option that was clearly necessary. My answer to your question is most likely not going to be able to pass it without surgery. Go see your doctor informed. My best wishes for a good outcome.

      • Barbara sivo says:

        I had a stent in for 6 weeks. Never passed anything. Complete torture. Never again.

  8. Spring says:

    Learn about treatment for kidney stones, including waiting for the stone to pass, taking pain medicine, or having a procedure to remove the stone.

  9. William Drummond says:

    I wish I had found this site 10 + years ago. If kidney stones were worth as much as diamonds, I would be rich. The first stone was the absolute worst – until now. For several years I passed stones routinely without much more than some pain meds, and then very little. I do not like the way my mind is muddled when I take pain meds. A few months ago I had a CT done because of prostate problems. The Dr spotted a 8+ mm stone deep in my left kidney. Mind you, the prostate pain was already tough to take and the Dr guesstimated it would be 6 or more months before there would maybe need to be some kind of treatment for this stone. It turns out it moved from deep in the kidney to being problematic within two months. Now I am in week 10 of pain and discomfort. Every time I wake up pain free, the euphoria lasts just a couple of hours before that horse kicks again. The only good thing I have learned from this concurrent prostate and kidney stone episode is that if your man parts hurt, it is very unlikely to be prostate cancer. Apparently, there is no pain with prostate cancer. Prostatitis hurts ALL under. As for comparing the pain from the two, kidney stones hurt MUCH worse. Prostatitis made me quite a bit more ill feeling; I suspect the infection had a lot to do with that. Oh, yeah, if it only hurts when you pee, it is not a kidney stone. Those little suckers hurt from kidney to bladder and again from bladder to toilet. Someone needs to invent a kidney stone vibrating mat that uses ultrasonic waves to help move those things along faster. They can call it Shake-n-Pee or Vibe-n-Pee.

    • Peggy Green says:

      I found your comment humorous. I’m going through yet my second bout with a stone approximately the same size as yours. It sure would be convenient to have the shock treatment at home as all the trips to the Stone institute was getting old and just didn’t work for me. There are risk to the lipitripy route as well. You can google it. I’m convinced the urologist get a kick back from in my case the Stone institute. My stone at that time was the size of a gum ball as they joked about among themselves. I wasn’t laughing. Months of this and I had to have a “ basket procedure “ to retrieve it. Whose wise decision was it to begin to think that it would pass is anybody’s guess but ask questions. I didn’t and I wish I had known now what I didn’t know then. Be proactive about your health care because many doctors are not going to tell you that they just might be in their best interest to have you go with the shock treatments. I’m convinced that my neurologist got a kickback from all those shock treatments and at my suffering.

  10. MARK WIENER says:

    A large 20mm stone was silent in my kidney for who knows how long and was discovered by accident by CT scan because of acute pain from a small stone in the other kidney that I passed. Underwent ESWL for the large stone which accomplished nothing except me peeing blood and probably sustaining kidney damage. Then 2 successive laser lithotripsy adventures that provided partial relief but left seed fragments in my kidney. Now, 7 years later, one of the seeds has grown to 10mm and a laser lithotripsy dusting only slightly reduced it. MD says he has to stop dusting because he cannot see and thus cannot continue to remove stone. I researched equipment and discovered state-of-the-art laser units have superior irrigation to rinse away dust during a procedure and have enhanced imaging. But I doubt hospitals or doctors will admit they use less than the best. In pain and frustrated and probably sustaining kidney induced body damage.

  11. John says:

    Please help me!!! I have a 2mm stone diagnosed 6 months ago in thailand.Doctor said no meds for it just operation 2000 $ cutting me i am still in thailand i cant afford it.I’v been drinking lemon and olive oil nearly everyday but it seems to help,,at least for an hour!!i dont have health insurance and no possibilty of going uk till next year.I can feel there anything else i can do?am i leaving it too long?im in great shape,, 50, dont smoke or drink!!! Please please help me?

  12. Kathryn says:

    To all who are allowing MDs to add scars your tubes with physical intervention: Once should be enough to realize that they are only making the tube smaller with the scar tissue they cause. If you haven’t heard of Royal Break-stone (Chanca Piedra) sold thru Whole World Botanicals. Available online. Try it! It passes a stone in 1 to 3 hours. I have doctors trying to cure me with antibiotics. They don’t help to pass stones.Try the herb! 2caps daily with large glass of distilled water, while managing a stone., and you are enjoying a meal before the day is out. Never seen anything like it in all my years of struggling with kidney stones. Then look up your blood type and discover what and how you are eating that is not digesting properly. You will find the answer to why they start in the first place. God Bless you all! Its a tough disease.

    • Andrea Scalzo says:

      I am so glad to read this. I have an 7mm stone stuck in my ureter and I do not want to have lithotripsy based on my intuition telling me to avoid it. I ordered the “Stonebreaker” and am taking Chinese herbs to hopefully cure it.

      • Peggy Green says:

        Hi, I’m curious if you would tell me why your urologist advises you against the shock treatments. Did they give you a particular reason? Trying to understand and inform myself. Good luck

        • MM says:

          My lithotripsy was unsuccessful. They couldn’t seen the stones during the procedure. It was a huge waste of money and recovery time. I still have the stones I had before the procedure.

    • Patrick Macintosh says:

      I looked up the chance pieces and it comes in so many different strengths I dont know which to get

    • Peggy Green says:

      Thank you. This is good information.

  13. pete wills says:

    Over 15 years I’ve passed at least 30 stones over the years as well I’ve had lithotripsy 7 times last august I had urendoscopy laser stone fragmentation basget stone removal with JJ stent not nice just had checkup 4 mill stone in left 5.2 and 6 mill in right hear we go again just don’t know what to do my younger and older brothers are having the same to all kidney stoners out there I feel for you

  14. Brittney Brandt says:

    Please help. How do I pass a stone quickly??

  15. I had stone removed in jan.had stent in for 5 weeks.had that removed and ct scan same day .week later they phoned to say scan showed small stone still in tube.after stent was removed passed lot of derie for day.then all clear and no after efects.they say i urgently need to get scan .but am in spain now.

  16. anshu sharma says:

    left lower calyceal stone measuring 4mm,suggest medicines to dissolve

  17. john says:

    passed a stone 3 weeks ago-pain was excruciating, by time got through triage-pain settled, but ultrasound next day showed 6mm stone still in kidney; 2-3 litres of lemon/lime and water for 2.5 weeks and yesterday passed the 6mm stone that was measured to 5mm by time got to the bladder; pain was so bad I vomited three times on way the ED; at ED triage I was literally rolling around on the floor and wimpering please help me; the triage nurse just ignored me and it was the ward clerk who waved me in, but by time they arrived with morphine, pain had subsided-subsequently CT KUB shows two more measuring 4mm still in the kidney-back on 2-3 litres a day and cutting out all oxalate type foods;

  18. Abdul Wasit says:

    I have a 0.34cm stone in my right kidney. Plz help me to pass it out. I do feel pains when urinating and vomit when the symptoms arise.

  19. Justin says:

    I have a 5.2mm kidney stone in the mid pole calyx region of my right kidney. I’ve increased my water intake till 4 to 5 litres a day. I’m taking various medicines like cystone, neeri tablets and apple cider vinegar.. I’ve been following this since the past 3 weeks.. I’ve just gone for another sonography and it shows no change… I’ve consulted different doctors here.. They saying to just continue the process… my friends advice me to have beer to get rid of it.. need to get this stone out!

  20. Joe says:

    I had a 4MM stone, after taking flomax 3 days , it passed. the pain was swear in the beginning, doctor put me on Vacadin ( don’t know how to spell correctly), but I took only Advil 3-4 days instead of Vacadin.

  21. Stone of 4.5 mm size in left kidney in lower to passed out through urine

  22. Arif says:

    I have passed a 1.4 cm stone and my doc said its huge and i need lithotripsy or surgery but i eventually passed two stones one is 1.4 cm and another one 8 mm but this was 2 years ago and now i have diagnosed with a 2.3 cm stone in my right ureter,no pain or blood while urinating, taking bome remedies so tat the stone will eventually break and i pass it again wigbout any surgery,

    • Kuma says:

      Arif, you’re such a lucky fella. Those are HUGE stones you’re talking about!

    • Nijo says:

      I have a stone size 15mm in my right ureter at the lower crossing of liliac vessel.What to do.

    • William says:

      What was the home remedy that you used?

    • Sadie says:

      Arif you are so lucky , plz do share how you did that , I have 1 cm stone which ureteric lithotripsy couldn’t remove and now they want to go for something bigger . Plz also tell us how long did it take ?

    • Mohammed Javeed says:

      Assalam alaikum bhai,
      good to hear that you passed stones .pl help me i am having 9mm in my left ureter and 7 mm in left top pass it without surgery because 10 yrs back i had lithotripsy with 22 mm size stone in ureter.
      pl guide me how to pass i am in saudi arabia and no treatment available here.
      Mohammed Javeed

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