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What pain meds are effective for chronic kidney stones?
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by CurlyQ26, Jan 04, 2010
I am a 26 year old female and I have been dealing with kidney stones for the past 9 years.  I pass atleast 2 stones every month.  Recently, I had SEVERE pain in my left flank  and went to the ER.  Had a CT scan done and it showed I had several stones in both kidneys.  I was given morphine at the hospital and vicodin to take home.  I saw a urologist and he told me that yes, there were several stones in my left kidney but they shouldn't be causing me that much pain because they were still in the kidney.  Why do doctors tell you that what you have isn't painful when you KNOW and FEEL that the pain is REAL?  I felt like someone was stabbing me witha butcher knife over and over again.  It was paralizing pain.  I couldn't walk, eat, play with my son...nothing.  I was in hell and the urologist wouldn't give me anything for pain or nausea because he didn't think my pain was "kidney related" so my brilliant urologist referred my back to my Family doc. He actually listened to me and prescribed several different medications.  I actually felt as though he cared about me.  My kidneys make stones at an incredible rate.  I pretty much always have at least one stone in each kidney and I dont care what any doctor says about "stones don't hurt while in the kidney" because I know different.  I'm tired of being made to believe that I'm crazy or imagining my pain.  Who would imagine pain?  You can't just make yourself double over in agonizing pain.  Its quite depressing to know that I will have chronic kidney stone pain for the rest of my life.   The pain is unimaginable and I'm not sure I can take it all the time.  Vicodin doesn't help at all.  Morphine is the only thing that comes close but it doesn't even completely kill the pain.  It just makes it less shocking.  What are meds I can take almosts daily that can control this?  I'm feeling depressed, anxious and completely exhaused every day.  I'm in need to relief and I'm not sure how much longer I can take this.
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Member Comments (23)
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by nurseaudrea, Jan 04, 2010
IF and when you have another kidney stone the only med that worked for me was Toradol. It was amazing. The pain practically went away. I had severe kidney stones while I was on Topamax. I ended up hospitalized with a stone that got stuck and had to be retrieved out of the ureter. My right kidney started to fail because they did not know it was stuck. We thought we would wait for it to come out on it's own. After four days of waiting and no kidney stone, back to the hospital I went. They found out that my ureters were the size of a child the age of 8 or so. So, naturally, any stone, even small ones, have the likelihood of getting stuck. After that scare I no longer take Topamax, and no more stones.
For me Toradol was a wonder drug. It was the only thing that worked. I continued to have the severe pain that you describe due to the kidney spasms. It causes the same stabbing pain in your side and back, but up higher around the kidney. You have to be carefull with Toradol. It is not meant to be taken everyday.

Hope this helps.
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by troubleinohio, Jan 05, 2010
im so sorry your pain was doubted. that is absolutely terrible. Stories like this make me so mad!!
As for what can help you, I dont know..ive never had kidney stones but my mom and brother have and nothing helped them when they were in the worst of it either. The only thing i can suggest to you is this... can you get them removed /crushed via ultrasonic waves? I think they call it lithotripsy (sp?). THats what my mom had done..she sat in a hottub and ultrasonic waves thru the water shattered her stones. She was then given a diet to follow and some sort of pills that are to help prevent future formation of new stones..i think they're just sodium bicarbonate tablets.  You have to find out which kind of stones you have...uric acid or calcium I think are the 2 and then go from there on ways to prevent new ones. SHe hasnt had any new stones in years now! Hope this helps you some.
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by Tuckamore, Jan 05, 2010
Hello CurlyQ,

Welcome to the Pain Management Forum. I am sorry to hear about your kidney stones and the pain that they cause you.

I have chronic kidney stones. I've yet to have a CT that did not reveal several. It is true that they should not hurt unless they are moving. It's called renal colic. However they can move without it being known. Several small stones can pass without being detected unless you are having CT's weekly. The last one I passed was almost 7mm. Impossible to pass they said but I did.

TroubleinOhio is correct. Shock-wave lithotripsy is used to remove stones slightly smaller than a half an inch that are located near the kidney. There are other surgical procedures for larger stones.  

I finally had my largest stone analysed. For some ppl there bodies just produce stones and the reasons can be unclear. I am one of those ppl. Stones are little crystals that form in our kidneys. Medications to help decrease the formation of stones will depend on the type of stone. There are also medications to help break down the stone or remove the material that is causing the stone. Diet changes can also be also helpful if your stone type is related to your dietary intake. Again you must know what is causing them first.

Drinking lots of water helps deter the formation and flush them out when they are tiny. I am a poor water drinker which contributes to the formation of most kidney stones. I suggest that you have your stones analysed if you have not done that.

I was told by 2 urologists that there is nothing that I can take or do that will change my situation. Both urologist told me the same as what yours said, my chronic back pain was not related to kidney stones. They were correct and I was diagnosed with other issues that was the cause of most of my chronic low back pain. Kidney stone pain is acute and horrid!  I suggest that you have your back pain investigated.

When I am actually passing a kidney stone only IV morphine helps ease the pain, nothing stops it. I have been given Toradol also but had no significant relief. It is a NSAID that is to be taken no longer than five days. We all are different and what works for one may not work for another. It is worth a try.

I wish I had better answers for you but I think they will come when you know the type of stone you are producing.  I wish you the very best. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

Take Care,
Tuck    
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by CurlyQ26, Jan 05, 2010
My stones are Calcuim Oxilate and they could do lithotripsy and it would get rid of the stone that I have now but the problem is I make them so rapidly they would have to do it every other week.  I have changed my diet...VERY little dairy and no dark sodas or tea.  I take a medication every day to prevent the formation of the stones but I still suffer.  I'm not sure its made a difference at all.  I have had several stones get stuck in the ureter and had to be removed.  I was born with two ureters on my left side and I tend to produce more stones on that side.  I guess its just something I'm going to have to live with.  But how do you live with this type of pain?  I'm not sure I'm strong enough to deal with it every two weeks for the rest of my life.  I feel like I'm cursed with this.  Its ruining my life.  I plan trips only to be thinking the whole time if I will actually get to go or if I will be in the fetal position in bed.  I guess the vicodin will have to do....I have no other options.
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by Cat46, Jan 25, 2010
Wow, you sound like my twin as far as the stones go however I am 46 years old and have been dealing with the same idiotic comments from doctors for YEARS.  Then of course the stone moves further and then they do something.  Mine never pass on their own.  I usually have ESWL (lithotripsy).  The problem I have now is that I am addicted to the opiate meds they keep giving me (vicodin, percocet).  I am now 6 days into withdrawing.  It has been horrible!  But I am scared to death of getting another stone.  What do I do for pain?  CAn I detox and then use them only as needed again?  I wish there were some answers out there.  As someone else said, toredol does absolutely nothing for my kidney stone pain.  Just be careful with how much you take.  And hang in there.  
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by sandee1818, Jan 25, 2010
I had an old country doctor give me something once and I can not remember the name of the drug right now but it was amazing! It worked wonderfully. I will find the name and get back you with it:)
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by geminigirl1963, Jan 26, 2010
My dad takes allopurinol daily as he also suffers from kidney stones quite often.  It has helped to reduce his stone production and thus, his pain.
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by savannahblues, Jan 20, 2013
I too make stones on a regular basis and have 8 now in my right kidney, and yes they do hurt even if they are in the kidney. I am on Norco 10/325 and it only dulls the pain for a very little while.  I am schedule for surgery next month, but don't know if I can wait that long.
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by shinty, Jan 20, 2013
I know that my wife was given Dilaudid while in the ER for a stone. Her condition wasn't nor ever became chronic like yours. I believe dilaudid is one of the stronger pain medications you can get, and also believe a stronger pain medication is warranted for such a condition.My wife stated that she hasn't been in that much pain since having a  natural childbirth unexpectedly. That tells me that I never want to get a kidney stone that's for sure! I have been on high dose narcotic therapy for about 13 years now give or take. I started out small, and "worked" my way up as my tolerance to pain medications increased over time. I would take a long-acting opiate, and have an "instant release" opiate for breakthrough pain and bad days. Combinations i have been on were Mscontin and oxycodone, Oxycontin with either oxycodone, morphine, or dilaudid, Opana and morphine, the list goes on and on. Currently I take methadone as a long acting, with oxycodone for breakthrough moments. Currently on a relatively high dose of Lyrica at this time, to see if it helps any. If your condition is chronic then it's going to need to be treated around the clock 24/7/365. If your primary care physician isn't comfortable or knowledgeable dealing with a patient with chronic pain, then have the doctor refer you to a pain specialist for a recommendation. The specialist should be able to figure out a medication regimen that will hopefully lower your pain levels significantly, and improve your quality of life. I see a pain specialist monthly, having my pain managed by that practice. Every other health concern is handled by my primary care physician, and both doctors are in communication with each other regarding my care. Sometimes a primary care physician will write monthly prescriptions that the pain specialist recommended after a referal. I think it's best to go to the pain doctor monthly, simply because it's easier to make changes (and faster) to medications or whatever is needed, rather than see your primary care doctor, get refered to the pain doctor, and then going back to the primary care with the specialists recommendation. When your in pain you want it taken care of yesterday, not wait to see your primary, wait another month to see the specialist and then back and forth, jumping through hoops! I wish you the best of luck with your condition. if you have any other questions or problems just ask! I'm happy to try and help you.
        Sean