After their first kidney stone event, 35-50% of people will experience recurring kidney stones. But kidney stone medications are available to lower your risk. As experienced kidney stone experts, the team at Stone Relief Center in The Woodlands, Texas, can recommend the kidney stone medication that’s best for you, as well as lifestyle changes to prevent future kidney stones. To learn more about preventive kidney stone care, call the office or book an appointment online.
Kidney stones consist of a specific mineral or substance. When kidney stones recur, they’re usually the same type as the first stone.
Identifying the type determines which medication may help treat current stones or prevent future stones. In most cases, the type of stone you produce is determined by examining the stone after it’s removed or you pass it through your urine.
These are the four primary types of kidney stones:
Calcium stones, which are the most common type, typically consist of calcium and oxalate.
These stones account for 7-10% of all kidney stones. They develop when your urine is highly acidic.
These stones are caused by bacteria that produce ammonia. They usually contain ammonium, magnesium, and phosphate. The bacteria often cause stone problems after a urinary tract infection.
Cystine stones are rare. They’re caused by a hereditary disorder that leads to high levels of cystine, which is a nonessential amino acid.
Kidney stone medications are primarily used to prevent future stones from recurring. However, uric acid stones are an exception.
Uric acid stones are the only type of stone that Stone Relief Center may treat with medication alone. Your provider may prescribe medications that dissolve the stone, such as potassium citrate or sodium citrate. You may also prevent future stones with medications such as allopurinol that lower uric acid production.
Your provider may prescribe a type of diuretic medication called a thiazide diuretic. These medications prevent future calcium stones by lowering the levels of calcium in your urine. One of the most important ways to prevent calcium oxalate stones is by limiting foods that are high in oxalates, such as beets, spinach, sweet potatoes, and chocolate.
Your provider at Stone Relief Center may prevent struvite stones with an antibiotic that eliminates the bacteria.
The first line of treatment for cystine stones is to increase your fluid intake. When needed, your provider may prescribe thiol-based drugs that make cystine more soluble to help prevent high levels of cystine from being available to form stones. You may also take these medications prior to extracorporeal shock wave therapy because they make the stones easier to break down with sound waves.
To learn more about kidney stone medications and how to prevent kidney stones, call Stone Relief Center or book an appointment online.