New drugs can dissolve kidney stones

Last Updated 16 August 2014, 12:12 IST

If you have gone through that excruciating pain from a kidney stone and are prone to develop more, here comes good news.

According to a new study, a class of drugs approved to treat leukemia and epilepsy also may be effective against kidney stones.

The drugs are histone deacetylase inhibitors or HDAC inhibitors.

Researchers found that two of them - Vorinostat and trichostatin A - lower levels of calcium and magnesium in the urine.

Both calcium and magnesium are key components of kidney stones.

"We are hopeful this class of drugs can dissolve kidney stones because its effects on reducing calcium and magnesium are exclusive to kidney cells," said Jianghui Hou, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University's school of medicine in St Louis.

In the mice, they achieved dramatic effects at a fraction of the dosage used to treat leukemia and without significant side effects.

Some people are genetically prone to developing kidney stones and they naturally release too much calcium into the urine.

Typically, doctors recommend drinking lots of water to help pass kidney stones from the body.

In the new study on mice, Hou and his colleagues showed that small doses of Vorinostat reduced calcium levels in the urine by more than 50 percent and magnesium levels by more than 40 percent.

Similar results were noted for trichostatin A.

"We now want to test the drug in clinical trials for patients with kidney stones," Hou concluded.

The research appeared online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

(Published 16 August 2014, 12:11 IST)

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