As mentioned previously, I have been a long-time sufferer of kidney stones, which are also known by the formal name of nephrolithiasis. I currently have a stone lodged in my left ureter, causing me a considerable amount of discomfort.
While reading up on the topic, I came across an article on Medscape Today that suggests a link between kidney stones and pseudoephedrine use. I am also someone who consumes Sudafed for sinus congestion, so I was intrigued by this link.
Given the fact that the kidney stone pain has been most fierce in the late morning, I began to wonder about the effects that pseudoephedrine might have on kidney stones stuck in the ureter. I usually take Sudafed between nine and ten in the morning (one or two 30 mg tablets), and the pain becomes more severe between eleven and twelve o'clock. My theory is that - since pseudoephedrine narrows blood vessels - it might also narrow the ureter, making any stones lodged therein even more painful.
I read that pseudoephedrine is used to treat urinary incontinence, as it causes the sphincter muscles at the bladder neck to contract and tighten. Would it not follow that a similar mechanism is at work on the ureter in people taking pseudoephedrine?
At any rate, now that I have read a few warnings about pseudoephedrine and kidney disease, I shall cease taking said decongestant. Should my symptoms subside, I will gladly trade stuffy sinuses for searing kidney stone pain.
If such a medical study examining the relationship between pseudoephedrine use and kidney stone pain has been completed, feel free to link to it in the comments section of this blog. If not, and you are a researcher in urinary medicine, be sure to cite this blog as inspiration for your future award-winning experiments proving or disproving the link.