Drug therapy for kidney stones assessed

Drug therapy to help the passing of kidney stones is ineffective, found HTA-funded research published in The Lancet.

Kidney stone disease, or urinary stones, is a common health problem affecting about 1.6 million adults in the UK with 50 percent having a recurrence within five years. It was thought that drugs which cause relaxation of the ureteric smooth muscle may hasten the spontaneous passage of ureteric stones and avoid the need for further interventions.

The HTA SUSPEND trial investigated the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the use of an alpha-blocker (tamsulosin) and a calcium channel blocker (nifedipine) in the management of symptomatic ureteric stones.

The trial randomly assigned 1167 participants, aged 18–65 years at 24 UK hospitals undergoing expectant management for a single ureteric stone identified by CT scan. Participants were randomly assigned to tamsulosin, nifedipine, or placebo taken daily for up to four weeks.

Researchers found tamsulosin and nifedipine are not effective at decreasing the need for further treatment to achieve stone clearance in four weeks for patients with expectantly managed ureteric colic.

Visit the project page to read more about this study 

More articles     Posted on: 12 June 2015