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Avatar universal

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.
36 Responses
Avatar universal
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.
i take topomax...are you saying topomax caused your stones
My neurologist warns me that Topamax has a tendency to create kidney stones and urges me to drink lots of water to avoid that result. I have developed only one kidney stone after years of taking Topamax.
230262 tn?1316645934
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.
547368 tn?1440541785
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,
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.  
356518 tn?1322263642
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:)
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
1326416 tn?1370927001
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.
Avatar universal
Dilaudid does not help. It just gave me a horrible headache.
Avatar universal
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
1326416 tn?1370927001
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
curly check studies, reducing calcium actually aids in the formations of stones, research shows that reducing calcium is a myth...
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...
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.  
Avatar universal
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
3095849 tn?1406994906
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.  
Avatar universal
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 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
655875 tn?1295695107
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.:/.
Avatar universal
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?                                  

You van get pyridium over the counter--it is called AZO.
3095849 tn?1406994906
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.  
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
It's the opiates that cause the gas/digestive system shut down, not the kidney stones.  
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