Kidney stonesKidney stone sufferers need a new drug, and drugs used to treat leukemia may help one day.

A class of drugs used to treat leukemia and epilepsy may also be effective against kidney stones, says a researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The drugs are a type of enzyme called HDAC inhibitors.

Two HDAC drugs – Vorinostat and trichostatin A – lowered levels of calcium and magnesium in the urine in a study with mice without significant side effects.

Kidney stones form when urine becomes too concentrated allowing calcium and magnesium to crystallize. One drug used sometimes to treat kidney stones – thiazide – reduces calcium in urine but increases magnesium, countering its effectiveness.