Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered a combination of two drugs that can relax the ureter, making it easier to remove stones, Daily Mail reported.
Large stones are removed surgically today, but when it comes to small ones, the patient is always prescribed painkillers, and he has to wait until the stones pass through the urethra. This is a painful process that can take up to 10 days.
The pain provokes inflammation in the ureter due to the passage of a rather large object through a narrow channel of the urethra. The combination of drugs, however, can relax the ureter, which will facilitate the removal of stones.
Experts tested 18 drugs used to treat high blood pressure, glaucoma, and various inflammatory conditions. With these drugs, they treated human ureteral cell cultures in order to achieve a relaxing effect. Particularly effective were nifedipine, a calcium channel blocker that treats high blood pressure, and a ROCK (rho kinase) inhibitor, which treats glaucoma.
The scientists tested the drugs on pigs. It turned out that after the administration of drugs directly to the ureter, pigs had practically no contractions of the urethra. Moreover, the drugs were not detected in the blood, which means that they remained locally in the ureter leading to fewer side effects.