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Kidney Stones Health Center

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Treatment Overview

For small stones, most people don't need any treatment other than taking pain medicine and drinking enough fluids.

Treatment for your first stone

If your doctor thinks the stone can pass on its own, and if you feel you can deal with the pain, he or she may suggest home treatment, including:

  • Using pain medicine. Nonprescription medicine, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may relieve your pain. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Your doctor can prescribe stronger pain medicine if needed.
  • Drinking enough fluids. You'll need to keep drinking water and other fluids when you are passing a kidney stone.

Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help your body pass the stone. To learn more, see Medications.

If your pain is too severe, if the stones are blocking the urinary tract camera.gif, or if you also have an infection, your doctor will probably suggest a medical procedure, such as lithotripsy, or surgery to deal with the stone. For more information, see Other Treatment and Surgery.

Kidney Stones: Should I Have Lithotripsy to Break Up the Stone?

Preventing future stones

After you have had a kidney stone, you are more likely to have one again.

You may be able to prevent getting more kidney stones by drinking more fluids and making changes in your diet. Talk with your doctor or a dietitian if you need help with your diet. If you have risk factors (things that put you at risk) for having more stones, such as a family history of stones, your doctor may suggest medicines that help prevent stones from forming.

actionset.gif Kidney Stones: Preventing Kidney Stones Through Diet

What to think about

You may need more treatment for your kidney stones if you have continuing problems and:

  • A lot of urinary tract infections.
  • Decreased kidney function.
  • A single kidney.
  • An impaired immune system.
  • Have had a kidney transplant.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 02, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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