Patients with large kidney stones can benefit from alpha blockers for stone passage. Roughly one in 11 Americans will develop kidney stones in their lifetime. Although kidney stones can be passed while urinating, in some cases, the stones are far too large to pass through, so medical intervention must take place.
In some cases, alpha blockers are prescribed to aid in stone passage, but a large study has actually put their effectiveness to a test.
The researchers explored the effectiveness of alpha blockers for kidney stone treatment in 1,136 patients in the U.K.
First author John M. Hollingsworth explained, “If we can facilitate kidney stone passage without surgery, it allows our patients to avoid extra pain and risks that come with a surgical procedure. When the 2015 study did not show a significant difference between alpha blockers and placebos, we wanted to explore the issue further.”
Coauthor Benjamin K. Canales explained, “We found alpha blockers were successful, but the benefit is primarily in patients with larger kidney stones.”
The findings suggest that there is a 57 percent higher likelihood of passing a larger kidney stone with alpha blockers, but no benefit for smaller ones. Neither the location of the kidney stone, nor the type of alpha blocker used made a difference.
Senior author Philipp Dahm added, “It’s important not to discount low-risk options for patients who may benefit from them. Our findings suggest providers consider prescribing a course of an alpha blocker.”
Hollingsworth continued, “This data helps me better identify the patients who are likely to benefit from alpha blockers. It’s important to consider stone size when deciding whether to recommend alpha blockers to kidney stone patients.”
Getting rid of kidney stones naturally
Some people require surgery to remove kidney stones, but many can address the pain without an invasive operation. Before we take a look at how to get rid of kidney stones naturally without surgery, let’s first discuss some preventative measures to avoid kidney stone formation.
As mentioned above, we all have the potential for developing kidney stones. However, there are some steps that can decrease your risk. Take a look at the prevention tips below to see how you can reduce your chances of getting kidney stones.
- Drink lots of fluids to keep your urine less concentrated with waste
- Eat more fruits and vegetables, which make urine less acidic
- Reduce excess salt as it can add to stone formation
- Get sufficient amounts of calcium
In the vast majority of situations, kidney stones are small and pass on their own. Home remedies can be a good way to help the process along, but in some cases medical assistance is required. One of the first questions people with kidney stones ask is, how long does it take to pass a kidney stone naturally? Every case is different, so it can be a few days or it can be weeks. There are a number of factors that can influence the time that it takes for stones to pass.
Kidney stones are common. The lifetime incidence is almost 13 percent in men and about seven percent in women. While most cases clear on their own, situations that are stubborn and involve a lot of pain must be addressed by seeking advice from a medical professional.