Patients who have had kidney stones are very likely to get them again. In order to prevent the further formation of stones, healthcare providers recommend individuals to have a healthy diet and consume lots of fluids. When this is not enough and patients continue to develop the stones, it is time to move to medication.
Between 30 and 50 percent of the patients who have had kidney stones, develop them again. Usually, the new formation of the rocks takes place within the next five years after they current stones are removed. On the other hand, 10 percent of patients who have had stones will develop them again along the course of their lives.
Many people who have suffered from the stones (and even those who haven’t) often show interest in knowing what they can do to prevent their further formation. This is where medication becomes interesting as an alternative to remaining stone free.
The Chemical Composition
Giving a prescription to prevent the formation of kidney stones is not always easy for healthcare providers. First, they need to know which type of kidney stones the patient is getting. After that, it is important to analyze the chemical composition of these stones, since it will help determine the causes of their formation.
Kidney stones can be caused by numerous factors. Finding the chemical composition of them will allow doctors to know what kind of medicine patients can use. As this is an alternative that takes place only in patients who have already developed stones in the past, it is recommended for patients who currently have kidney stones to use a cloth when they are urinating in order to collect the stones. This will help the doctor since it will be able to analyze the composition of that particular stone.
Another good way for doctors to know what kind of medicine they can prescribe is by running some blood and urine tests on the patient. The obtained results may show the actual chemical levels present in the blood that are causing that individual to develop kidney stones. In the United States, 80% of the patients develop calcium oxalate or phosphate stones, this is why most of the prescribed medicine to prevent the further formation of kidney stones is meant to fight calcium formations.
What kind of medicine should you take?
Besides consuming water and intelligent dieting, patients can use medicines to reduce the risk of getting kidney stones again. As it was said before, the type of medicine depends on the type of developed stones. Below, Joe Cosgrove will share a few details regarding what kind of medication patients should use depending on the type of stones they have.
Medicines with no prescription: To start, not all patients want to go to the doctor and not all alternatives need to be prescribed by a doctor. Patients who have had kidney stones usually consume nonsteroidal and anti-inflammatory medicines to relieve the pain while passing a stone. Also, they consume natural supplements and mixes that help them reduce the chances of getting kidney stones again.
Medicine for Calcium Stones: As it was said before, this is the most common type of kidney stones patients can get. In order to prevent their formation, the doctor may prescribe you to consume drugs such as Thiazides, Orthophosphate and Potassium citrate.
Uric Acid Stones: Between 10 to 15 percent of the patients who develop kidney stones have Uric Acid stones. These are made of a waste product that regularly exists in exclusively in the urine. To prevent the further formation of this type of rocks, your doctor may prescribe you to use Potassium citrate, Allopurinol, and Sodium bicarbonate.
Cystine Stones: This is the less common type of kidney stones. It accounts only 5 percent of the kidney stones patients. These rocks are made of a chemical known as cysteine which formation can be prevented by consuming Potassium citrate, Penicillamine, and Tiopronin.
Struvite Stones: When patients develop this type of stones, it means they also have a kidney infection. In this case, consuming medicine to prevent their formation is not enough. Patients need to use antibiotics to cure the infection first. Otherwise, they will keep on developing new stones for as long as they have the infection. In this situation, medications such as urease inhibitors are prescribed by doctors to prevent the further formation of struvite stones.
When should you consume these medications?
If you find yourself in one of the following categories, it is important for you to talk to your doctor and determine if you need medication.
- If you have developed kidney stones at least once in your life.
- If someone in your family has had kidney stones.
- If you are taking any type of medical treatment.
- If you have or have had a urinary infection.
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