Oral Antibiotics Tied to Increased Risk of Kidney Stones

Oral Antibiotics Tied to Increased Risk of Kidney Stones

Antibiotics, especially in the form of an easy to dispense and use pill, are often heralded as a medical marvel. And while they have changed the face of medicine for millions of patients, new research shows they might have an unexpected side effects. A review of patient records over nearly twenty years reveals patients taking one of five very common oral antibiotics have a higher chance to develop kidney stones than patients who did not receive those antibiotics. The researchers looked through any patient’s treatment record who was diagnosed with a kidney stone, going back up to a year in their medical history, to spot the link. The increased risk depended on which of the antibiotics the patient had taken, but ranged from about twenty-five percent more to as much as double.

The study’s authors are not advocating a reduction or elimination of antibiotic use, but merely for doctors to be aware of the possible link. This will permit them to be in a position to watch for a developing kidney stone, and be ready to take additional steps to help their patients deal with the medical issue. The study needs to be expanded, and the link investigated further to better understand it. Worldwide, about one in ten people develop kidney stones at some point.

Kidney stones disease rates are on the rise.  Many possible theories have been put forward such as lack of hydration and unhealthy diets.  This is the first time that antibiotic use has been associated with kidney stones.

Key Points:

  • 1Children and adults who take five commonly prescribed types of antibiotics may be more likely to develop kidney stones than people who don’t use these medicines, a recent study suggests.
  • 2Antibiotics – sulfas, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, nitrofurantoin/methenamine, and broad-spectrum penicillins increase your risk for kidney stones.
  • 3The risk increase associated with these antibiotics ranged from 27 percent higher odds with broad-spectrum penicillins to more than doubled odds with sulfas.


Scientists already knew that antibiotics alter the composition of the human microbiome – all of the bacteria, viruses and fungi that live in and on the body.
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