question and answer
Antibiotics for kidney stones?
March 2011
If someone has a symptomatic kidney stone, do we give them antibiotics prophylactically? Marlene Lidkea, MD, St Albert, AB
Although prophylactic antibiotics have been used in some studies to prevent urinary tract infection, further analysis of the trials that added antibiotics suggests a marginal benefit when these agents were added to tamsulosin for stone passage. Antibiotics in patients with kidney or ureteric stones are not generally recommended and should instead be considered in select groups of patients — those with concurrent infection, fever, obstruction, patients undergoing percutaneous nephrolithotomy or cystoscopy, and those with history of struvite stones or known urinary tract malformations.
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