How are uric acid stones treated?

Stones smaller than seven millimeters (7 mm) in diameter may pass on their own with time. This can take up to three weeks. Even when stones do pass, however, it is important to seek treatment in order to prevent the formation of more stones. The use of medications known as alpha blockers may encourage the passage of stones located in the lower ureter.

Drinking more fluids is the most important step in treatment. Higher levels of fluids reduce the concentration of minerals in urine, and encourage urination which can flush away materials that might form stones. It is recommended that a person drink enough fluid each day to produce about 2.5 liters of urine. This usually requires intake of about three liters (3.1 quarts) of fluids per day, since some may be lost through sweating, particularly in hot weather, or as a result of work or exercise.

All types of fluids count toward the goal of increased intake, but the best fluid to drink is water. Hard water with high calcium content and soft water with high sodium content are best to avoid because they add extra minerals to urine.

In cases of stones that are large, block the flow of urine, cause infection, or have not passed after four to six weeks, surgery may be needed to remove them.

What are possible complications of uric acid stones?

Any kind of kidney stone increases the risk of developing long-term kidney disease. Once a stone is found, the risk of having another is about 50% in the next five to seven years.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/03/2016.

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