Medication Contributors to Kidney Stones

For Patients

If you suspect you have stones, visit your primary care provider or urologist.

If you've been diagnosed with stones and would like to be seen in the Metabolic Stone Clinic, please call (608) 263-4757.

The following medications may increase your chance of forming kidney stones.
  • Decongestants: In some individuals, medications such as ephedrine and guaifenesin may result in stones composed of these products as they are excreted into the urine.
  • Diuretics: Triamterene, used to treat high blood pressure, is associated with the formation of triamterene stones. Diuretics that increase urination are associated with increased risk for calcium stones in a small number of individuals who take them because they can increase the calcium concentration of urine.
  • Protease inhibitors: Indinavir sulfate, a protease inhibitor used to increase CD4+ cell counts and to decrease HIV-RNA titers in patients with HIV and AIDS, significantly increases the risk for stones made of indinavir. More than 10 percent of patients taking this medication develop stones. Also, AIDS patients who have hepatitis B, hepatitis C or hemophilia and those who take the antibiotic combination of TMP-SMX are at increased risk for kidney stones.
  • Anticonvulsants: Felbamate, topiramate and zonisamide increase stone risk.
  • Steroids: Long-term corticosteroid use can increase enteric absorption of calcium, leading to hypercalciuria and an increased risk for calcium-containing stones.
  • Chemotherapeutic agents: Certain cancer chemotherapies lead to cell breakdown and can cause uric acid stones.
  • Uricosuric agents: Medications in this category, such as colchicine and probenecid, cause hyperuricosuria and thus increase the risk for uric acid as well as calcium stones.