Pain Management Community
What pain meds are effective for chronic kidney stones?
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to pain management, chronic pain, arthritis, back pain, cancer, headaches, movement disorders pain, and muscle pain.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

What pain meds are effective for chronic kidney stones?

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.
Related Discussions
30 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
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.
Blank
230262_tn?1316649534
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.
Blank
547368_tn?1440545385
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    
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
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.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
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.  
Blank
356518_tn?1322267242
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:)
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
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.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
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.
Blank
1326416_tn?1370930601
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
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Dilaudid does not help. It just gave me a horrible headache.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I am in extreme agony. My heating pad has become my best friend. I take Norco 10/325 & they aren't working. I've tried methadone and its not working. I go to the Dr in the morning and need pain meds something that will work. Maybe taking a trip to the ER today i can't seem to get off the couch. Any help out there?? Thank toy Jessica
Blank
1326416_tn?1370930601
Hi there! It would help if you gave a little more information as to what's causing your pain, etc. I see your on norco 10/325 (which don't work), and have also tried methadone. Are you going to see a pain specialist in the morning? more information, and maybe starting your own post would help get you more help/answers/suggestions.
                                                 shinty
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Reading your post make me want to cry. I am exactly the same way. I have passed over 300+ stones. The local hospitals think I am crazy. I hear the stones don't hurt if they aren't moving. You and I know that is bull ****. They have put me on the black list and won't prescribe pain meds because they think I am an addict and I am faking the pain to get high. I am miserable. I can't stand it anymore.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
curly check studies, reducing calcium actually aids in the formations of stones, research shows that reducing calcium is a myth...
http://www.healtheast.org/kidney-stone-institute/myths-kidney-stones-a-diet.html
many more research studies will support this claim, dietary calcium you should stay away from... my doctor actually told me to stay away from calcium, a urologist, he was wrong...Research on this, I have had stones many years and followed the strict diet constraints that my doctor has advised, but he is wrong... along with many urologists, imagine that...
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I feel the same way about doctors and help with the chronic pain.   All doctors tell me my stones shouldn't hurt in the kidney but they do.  Everyone looks at me as a drug seeing scum bag.   I have cystine kidney stone with multiple surgerys over the past 10 years.  right now i have 2 more stones growing and am in constant pain.  No one will listen.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Oxy based drugs like Opana and OxyContin  cause renal difficulties and actually constrict the ureters.  No good for stones.  I have a stent in my left ureter now for a large stone.  It ***** horribly.  Your back pain may be a result of, and I know it sounds stupid, but excess gas build up.  The digestive system shuts down during a kidney stone or kidney issue and gas builds up in the body and disperses around the intestines, causing extreme pain when rubbing around the already irritated and sensitive tissue.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I'm a 28 year old mother of 2 and suffer from chronic kidney stones . I pass anywhere from 6 to. 8 or sometimes more stones a month I pretty much always have one passing threw and sometimes pass multiple stones at the time and even pass multiple stones from both kidneys at the same time . And I have been dealing with this for 4 & half years now and dosent get easier . But for those of you who have chronic calcium oxilated stones passing go get blood work done at a endocronoligist (thyroid dr) for what is known as hyperparayhyroidisam which is cause your body to produce to much calcium therefore leaving the kidneys not able to get rid of the over produced calcium deposits and builds up in the kidney . I know this because after dealing with this and having 3 urologist tell me this is jus something I'm gonna have all my life and its a medical mystery as to why I have them so bad and produce them so rapidly and pass them so rapidly . But I knew there had to be more to and it and I knew something was going undetected and missed . So I got a second option and the dr said I'm going to run blood work on u and check you (PTH) levels and so when they tested and the results came back and sure enough they found out that I have somewhere around 43,000 mg more of calcium be produced and released in my body which is why my kidneys form stones and are engulfed with stones bc my kidneys cannot filter the calcium deposits out fast enough  . And it's a simple surgery to have done its a dr office visit . Unfortunletly I cannot have it done bc I do not have health insurance and get turned down for pre existing conditions and my husband is self employeed . And WARNING !!! Is not treated over time hyperparayhyroidisam has serious health issues it cause if left untreated . Like osteoporosis . Which i now have it also throws your electrolytes off balance over time if left untreated which results in eplipsey from not being able to stay hydrated enough and with the Nasuea and vomiting of passing stones all the time adding more dhydration is dangerous . Which also can cause renal damages as well as Chronic stone passing can cause dangers over time if left undone like renal failure can and has happened bc of stones and the damage they cause them selves and not to mention infection and possibly disease . So go get checked and have them check to see if your parathyroid glands are producing to much calcium and if you have hyperparayhyroidisam because if you do there is how for you and the chance to be stone free . Take some time and look up hyperparayhyroidisam and read over and acknowledge urself on this health problem and see how much off the symptoms you have that match hyperparayhyroidisam and alert your dr off your research and print papers off and take to your dr and go from there and you might just find the cure for urself . Good luck and god bless how this helps
Blank
3095849_tn?1406998506
Is it possible to have a stone when lab work has come back showing all is ok??  I had my labs done two days ago when I went in to my doctor's PA regarding this pain.  Pain was worse the next day but they would not give me anything because my lab work showed nothing wrong.  

Laztronaut...thank you for your post...the gas thing had me stumped.  Nothing stops it.  Was wondering what on earth was going on and the pain seems to be getting worse.  Not sure what my next step is except maybe more lab work...surely something will show up by now.  
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Yes it is I am a patient at mayo,I was in pain they did a MRI it show the many stone I have in each kidney,the nephrologist said nothing should be hurting he said it was prostatitious A  bacteria in the prorate. 3 day later I passed a 4 mil stone.
I have primary hyperoxaluria type one  my liver does not produce and enzyme that take the oxalates out of my body, causing many stones and kidney failure, if your having cronic (chronic) stones get checked for it, a nephrologist is who u need to see, urologist only treat the the stones effects on you. Not what causes them, I will one day soon need a liver and kidney transplant they will not do only a kidney because it will be destroyed by my liver.try to get into mayo the are the best facility I have ever seen,my local neph. Was an idiot said my egfr at 28 was nothing to worry about, any way good luck and get checked for PH pain is a Constance companion of mine and s never far away, followed by a stone. John D.
PS I have had stones since 18 I am now 56 don't let them give you. Toradal more than once evey 2 months if will cause kidney failure
Blank
655875_tn?1295698707
They gave me diludad(sp) for kidney pain once I was out of the hospital.  I had a severe kidney infection that lasted 3 months.  I was hospitalized for a week on IV pain meds and IV antibiotics.  I have permanent kidney damage from it too.:/.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I had an addiction to opiates and I've been on Methadone 95mg for five years now. I've had chronic kidney stones for about 7 years now. I went to the ER two weeks ago with severe pain in my right side from kidney stones. Before this, I had managed to stay out of the ER for a year. Anyways I have always been honest with them and told them I was taking Methadone for an opiate addiction. I was treated awful. All they would give me for pain is Toradol, which does nothing for me. They done a CT and it showed a 5mm stone stuck in the left ureter. They also done a drug test on me. You'd think that they done the drug test to make sure I was doing right, and that when the CT showed that I wasn't lying about the pain (I have never went to the hospital and lied about being in pain) they would give me something that would actually help me. Instead they gave me flomax, Zofran, and 10 Toradol. I even asked them to give me pyridium which numbs your bladder so you dont feel as much pressure and they wouldnt do it! So I went home and suffered for 15 hours till finally it passed! A week later,same thing. I had severe pain in my left side. Went to the ER. (.I have no job and no insurance)  another CT and DRUG TEST. This time I have a 12mm stuck. The doctor said there was no way it could pass on its own.( I was admitted at this hospital a little over a year ago had no insurance then either and the stone was 6mm and they gave me moraphine and they were told about the methadone.) So this time they decide to send me home...and again..NO pain meds. Just Flomax and Cipro! I beg the doc to give me pyridium at least! The doc wouldnt do it. I asked her what I was suppose to do for pain. She tells me I'm taking the best pain med there is...Methadone..I tried to make her understand that I have been taking it for 5 years and that it did nothing for pain..it just made me feel normal..She didnt care and told me to go see a urologist. I told her I couldnt afford it and she said I would just have to find a way! This happened 3 days ago and the stone is still killing me..I dont know what to do!! I feel so helpless...Ive even contemplated suicide! Is there any legal action I could take? Any suggestions from anyone?                                  

--Sherri
Blank
3095849_tn?1406998506
Sherri....I had diverticulitis pain that  totallly resembled kidney stone pain.  It was on a weekend and I had put off going to the ER.  So needed to sleep, so I took tizanidine, a muscle relaxer that I had at the time for neck and back pain.  All of my pain went away immediately!  Of course, that didn't solve the problem and I ended up at the ER on that Sunday and was admitted...and of course, they didn't think I knew what I was talking about and they gave me Dilaudid.  Got a horric headache with it.  Doctors had never told me about how diverticulitis can mimic kidney stone pain and if kidney stones hurt that badly...I don't want them.  No doctor has ever mentioned that muscle relaxers can help with such pain.  I think they figured I was out of my head...but it's all true.  Sorry for your suffering.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I am going thru what u have been thru. I found out I had kidney stones about 11 weeks ago. They also said they r in ur kidneys and should not hurt. Well that's a lie!!! I have passed over 10 stones that I know of since then. And pain everyday, blood in my urine, UTI' s, kidney infections and kidney stones to show that I'm passing them. My stupid urologist won't give me anything for pain. He said he doesn't know what's causing the pain. Said I have to go to pain management for something. He wants to do some test that puts a dye in my bladder and up my urethra tubes to see what's going on. He had the nerve to put me on vesicare for overactive bladder. What an idiot!!!! It's not overactive bladder, it's clearly kidney stones. I have brought the ones I've caught in to him and yet still nothing to help relieve the pain. I was also told during one of the ER visits that my colon is inflamed. I've read this can happen from antibiotics.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
It's the opiates that cause the gas/digestive system shut down, not the kidney stones.  
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I'm a long time kidney stone producer, 20 years x 10 stones and one in each kidney now. For what it's worth,  Toridol is one of the best drugs you can get quickly (60mg injection) at many local walk in urgent care clinics. It's an ok pain reliever but it a good anti-inflamitory, which is really more important and why it's almost always prescribed for kidney stones. It's used along with an opiate. I've stock piled Oxycontin's (only thing I found strong enough that I won't vomit back up during the first day or two of the attack). I also have found that taking flowmax and prednizone (which my urologist never suggested but my regular MD supported) help pass the stone as the flowmax relaxes the ureter/plumbing, and the cortizone reduces inflamation (inflammation).  I don't know how any urologist would say you should have no pain while the stone is in the kidney- I think folks who repeat this are misinformed. The worst pain is from this-but it's when the stone is blocking a passage and causing swelling or moving is often when the real pain happens and this can be confirmed via a CT or IVP. I also tried Ultram this last time- don't know if it's appropriate or not, but had some and it worked well.  I would agree that 90% of what you are given in pill form doesn't work-Cotylenol, darvon, and all the variations are not strong enough and while Dilaudid is fabulous in my opinion, it's only available at the ER and only good for a few hours. A pain pump in the hospital works, but your digestive system shuts down after a day or two and the gas/constipation is as painful as the stone- seriously, it's bad.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Try looking at "low oxalate.info" web site. If your stones are calcium oxalate there is help which mainly involves changing what you eat. The changes are nothing radical ( well, depending on what you eat now!). The basis is that you cut down on high oxalate containing foods, limit the vit c intake and change the timing of calcium intake.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hello everyone, if your stones are calcium, and you haven't checked already, I urge you to have your Doctor check your Parathyroid Hormone levels, and your blood calcium levels. Your parathyroid controls the levels of calcium in your blood, and since your kidneys filter blood, having a high level of calcium is going to increase your risk for stones, especially recurring, and could even lead to renal failure. Tumors on the Parathyroid gland are not all that uncommon, and cause your parathyroid to release more of the hormone that causes your body to have higher calcium levels (usually by sucking it right out of your bones). Anyway, I am not a doctor, but the issue runs in my family and I know the pain of stones. It's an easy fix, and when your calcium levels get back to normal you won't believe the difference it makes.
Blank
547368_tn?1440545385
Sadly I don't think any of the posters are still active on MedHelp. This is an old thread - old threads don't often get noticed or responses.

I encourage you to begin a new one and share your information. You may also want to post in our Urology Community. All communities can be found by the pull down menu on top of the page.

I look forward to reading your comments - on a new thread.

Thanks,
~Tuck
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have chronic stones and the only thing that helps me cause I have them so often is actually a non narcotic Lidoderm  Patch that helps numb the area so that the pain is not so bad. you can use up to 3 patch every 12 hours for the days that the pain starts and seems to help me a lot. My stone are the tiny fisher stones so they always pass on there own but I know that they do hurt when they are in my kidney cause mine are like little pieces of glass. Funny thing is even though most Dr's say you can't feel them my PCP believes you can cause he has had a lot himself and swears the info is wrong cause his was still in his kidney and he felt it. Most Dr have no problem writing for the patches and it won't hurt to try them.
Blank
547368_tn?1440545385
Sorry, this thread is very old. Curly hasn't been active on MedHelp for many years. Ppl find this in a search and bring it up from our archives.

I agree with you and your Doc. At times I think I can feel the "gravel" in my kidneys - gravel is the term they have used when multiple small stones appear on my CTs. I know I can feel the Big Ones!!

I wish the Lidoderm Patch worked for me - it doesn't. I'm delighted it works for you. It's certainly worth a try for others.

Thanks for your input.

~Tuck
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Pain Management Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
Marathon Running Done Over Many Yea...
May 21 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Article on Multifocal IOL vs &q...
May 21 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
748543_tn?1371753642
Blank
TMJ/TMJ The Connection Between Teet...
Jan 27 by Hamidreza Nassery , DMD, FICOI, FAGDBlank
Top Pain Answerers
7721494_tn?1431631564
Blank
philnoir
Four Corners
547368_tn?1440545385
Blank
Tuckamore
On the Beaches of Paradise, FL
535089_tn?1400677119
Blank
Mollyrae
WI
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
remar
st. louis, MO
4851940_tn?1385441629
Blank
jemma116
United Kingdom
1193998_tn?1265121197
Blank
carolanivey
OH