Medical therapy of stone disease: from prevention to promotion of passage options.
Medical therapy has been used for many years in the prevention of urinary stones. Medications directed at correcting urinary metabolic abnormalities responsible for promoting stone formation include thiazide diuretics, citrate salts, and allopurinol. All have proven to be efficacious. In addition, intake of citrate-rich juices, such as lemonade, may help to reduce urinary stone formation. More recently, there has been increasing interest in and use of medical therapy to aide in the passage of ureteral stones. Medical expulsive therapy (MET) has been shown to be cost effective compared with observation followed by treatment. Alpha-adrenergic receptor blockers are most commonly prescribed to promote passage of ureteral stones. They are able to facilitate stone passage, reduce time to passage, and decrease pain. Calcium-channel blockers also increase stone-passage rates. Steroids are useful adjuncts in MET.
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