The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications as recommended by your doctor, or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.

Prescription Medications

Acetohydroxamic Acid

This medication is used in combination with antibiotics to prevent urinary tract infections that lead to the formation of struvite kidney stones. This drug should not be used in pregnancy or during breastfeeding. Since this drug is associated with a high rate of side effects such as deep vein thrombosis and hemolytic anemia, its use is limited.

Possible side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Hair loss
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness

Allopurinol

This medication reduces the amount of uric acid in the blood. This helps to control gout and to minimize the formation of uric acid kidney stones. This medication should be taken with food to avoid upset stomach. Drink a full glass of water with each dose, and do not take vitamin C supplements while on this medication. Use this drug with care if you have kidney disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

Possible side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Liver dysfunction

Cellulose Sodium Phosphate

  • Common name: Calcibind

This medication is used to prevent the formation of calcium-containing kidney stones in people who absorb too much calcium from the gastrointestinal tract by binding calcium. Take this medication at mealtime, and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day while on this medication. Avoid dairy products, vitamin C supplements, salty foods, and foods high in oxalate. Tell your doctor if you are currently taking calcium supplements or antacids that contain either calcium or magnesium. This drug should not be used in the following conditions: under 16 years old, severe kidney disease, low blood calcium or magnesium, osteoporosis, or hyperactive parathyroid tumor (hyperparathyroidism).

Possible side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Magnesium deficiency symptoms
  • Weakness

Hydrochlorothiazide

Common names include:

  • Esidrix
  • Hydro-chlor
  • Hydro-D
  • HydroDIURIL
  • Microzide
  • Oretic

This medication is a diuretic and is usually used to treat high blood pressure. It also helps to decrease the amount of calcium released by the kidneys into the urine and is used to prevent the formation of calcium-containing stones. Diuretics can cause the body to lose potassium, so your doctor may want you to eat certain foods or take a potassium supplement to make up for this loss. This medication can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. This drug should not be used in the following conditions: severe kidney or liver disease, low blood potassium or sodium, increased blood calcium (hypercalcemia), and Addison’s disease.

Possible side effects include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Low blood potassium
  • Upset stomach
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness

Potassium Citrate

Common names include:

  • Polycitra-K
  • Urocit-K

Citrates are used to make the urine more alkaline; this helps prevent the formation of some kinds of kidney stones. Do not eat salty foods or use salt or salt substitutes while taking this medication. Check with your doctor before you begin any strenuous exercise, especially if you are out of shape or taking other medications. Notify your doctor immediately if you notice black, tarry stools, since this could be a sign of intestinal bleeding. This drug should not be used in the following conditions: children, urinary tract infection, and high level of blood potassium (hyperkalemia).

Possible side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

Mercaptopropionylglycine

Common names include:

This medication is used to control the formation of cystine stones.

Possible side effects include:

  • Loss of taste
  • Upset stomach

Penicillamine

Common names include:

  • Cuprimine
  • Depen

This drug is used to treat cystine stones. Since this drug can cause suppression of bone marrow and serious kidney disease, your doctor will be monitoring your blood and urine regularly. This drug should not be used in pregnancy.

Possible side effects include:

  • Rash
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Loss of taste sensation

Special Considerations

Whenever you are taking a prescription medication, take the following precautions:

  • Take them as directed—not more, not less, not at a different time.
  • Do not stop taking them without consulting your doctor.
  • Don’t share them with anyone else.
  • Know what effects and side effects to expect, and report them to your doctor.
  • If you are taking more than one drug, even if it is over-the-counter, be sure to check with a physician or pharmacist about drug interactions.
  • Plan ahead for refills so you don’t run out.

When to Contact Your Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms, including mental confusion, mood changes, muscle spasms, irregular heartbeat, numbness of arms and legs, bruising, rash, or weakness.