How to treat a renal colic

Renal colic is considered as a medical emergency as the pain is cruciating and agonizing, though some tests should be done to diagnose the cause but management is to be started without delay. The symptoms is to be relieved immediately. To know the symptoms and diagnosis please see Renal colic : An acute pain in lower abdomen.

Management of renal colic

The management of renal colic includ immediate treatment to relief pain and then to cure the cause. As it a medical emergency, following treatment should be started immediately, even the patient is at home.

Immediate management can be started as soon the person suffers from renal colic, he should be kept on bed and a doctor should be called, following steps should be taken to treat a patient with renal colic.

Bed rest

Patient with renal colic should be on bed rest and a warmth over the affected area should be given to relive pain. A hot water bag or even a bottle with warm water can solve the purpose.

Analgesics and antispasmodics

Analgesics may be given in the form of injection diclofenac, but in severe colic patient may require morphine 15 mg or pethidine 100 mg intramuscular injection. Dextropropoxyphene or pentazocine may also be useful if given orally in case above drugs can't be given.

Atropine 0.6 to .12 mg may be given intramuscular which acts to relieve spasm of abdomen. Drotaverine (drotin) now a days or hyoscine (buscopan) can be used orally.

Urinary antiseptic

If there is infection urinary antiseptics are to be given in the form of antibiotics, but this should be started only after the sample for culture and sensitivity of urine is taken, otherwise antibiotics may hamper the result or urine culture. Till the proper sensitive drug is tested by urinary sample one could start norfloxacin 400 mg or ciprofloxacin 500 mg twice daily.


A high fluid intake is advised to achieve a good urinary output. An increased concentration of urine in case of dehydration is also a cause of renal colic and if there is no retention, patient should take adequate fluid. If the urine output is falling then one should go immediately go for investigations like plain x ray urinary tract, pyelography, cystoscopy to detect the cause.

Management of the cause of Renal colic

The cause may be a urinary tract infection, or prostate enlargement of any obstruction due to stone, tumor etc.

After getting the basic idea of sensitive antiboitic by culture and sensitivity test which comes after 72 hours, one should administer the antiboitic accordingly. The detail management of urinary tract infection can be seen at Treatment of urinary tract infection.

If th urinary obstruction is present due to a treatable cause like stone, it should be removed surgically. Only medical treatment is unlikely to cure this problem.

Obstruction due to enlarged prostate if it is benign should be treated accordingly, details of treatment is given here. Treatment of enlarged prostate.


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