Tips for Travelers with Kidney Stones

Last Updated:

Daniel L. Watson, M.D.

Any patient with a history of kidney stones–especially those who pass stones frequently–should visit their urologist before a significant trip.

Ask for a prescription for pain medication (preferably one you’ve used successfully before), even if you are not currently having pain. Fill the prescription and carry the medication with you. It is better to have an unused prescription than to experience kidney colic. Most urologists will honor this request, as long as you have never had difficulty discontinuing pain medication previously.

Consider having a plain abdominal x-ray taken to see if there are any stones that may need treatment before your trip.

Drink alot of water and/or other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages during your travels. Dehydration is common during traveling and is by far the most important factor predisposing you to stone formation. This advice is particularly important if you are visiting the tropics.

Remember, always to pack all of your medications in your carry-on luggage.

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