Potassium-magnesium citrate is an effective prophylaxis against recurrent calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis

Bruce Ettinger, Charles Y C Pak, John T. Citron, Carl Thomas, Beverley Adams-Huet, Arline Vangessel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

310 Scopus citations


Purpose: We examined the efficacy of potassium-magnesium citrate in preventing recurrent calcium oxalate kidney calculi. Materials and Methods: We conducted a prospective double-blind study of 64 patients who were randomly assigned to receive placebo or potassium-magnesium citrate (42 mEq. potassium, 21 mEq. magnesium, and 63 mEq. citrate) daily for up to 3 years. Results: New calculi formed in 63.6% of subjects receiving placebo and in 12.9% of subjects receiving potassium-magnesium citrate. When compared with placebo, the relative risk of treatment failure for potassium-magnesium citrate was 0.16 (95% confidence interval 0.05 to 0.46) potassium-magnesium citrate had a statistically significant effect (relative risk 0.10, 95% confidence interval 0.03 to 0.36) even after adjustment for possible confounders, including age, pretreatment calculous event rate and urinary biochemical abnormalities. Conclusions: Potassium-magnesium citrate effectively prevents recurrent calcium oxalate stones, and this treatment given for up to 3 years reduces risk of recurrence by 85%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2069-2073
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1997


  • Calcium oxalate
  • Citrates
  • Kidney calculi
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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