• Alternative Names

    Stones - cystine; Cystine stones


    The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and prevent the development of more stones. A person with severe symptoms may need to be admitted to a hospital.

    Treatment involves drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water, so that large amounts of urine are produced. The patient should drink at least 6-8 glasses per day.

    In some cases, fluids may need to be given through a vein (by IV).

    Medications may be prescribed to help dissolve the cystine crystals. Eating less salt can also decrease cystine excretion and stone formation.

    Pain relievers may be needed to control pain in the kidney or bladder area associated with the passage of stones. The stones usually pass through the urine on their own. If they do not, surgery may be needed:

    • Percutaneous nephrostolithotomy or nephrolithotomy
    • Ureteroscopy, for stones in the lower urinary tract
    • Extracorporeal shock wavelithotripsy (ESWL). This procedure is not as successful for removal of cystine stones as it is for other types of stones)

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Cystinuria is a chronic, lifelong condition. Stones commonly return. However, the condition rarely results in kidney failure, and it does not affect other organs.

    • Bladder injury from stone
    • Ureteral obstruction
    • Kidney injury from stone
    • Kidney infection
    • Urinary tract infection

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of urinary tract stones.