Although use of desmopressin for bedwetting is one of the options to overcome the problem, it is not recommended as the first line of treatment. Know more on this subject from the following article.
Bedwetting is a common condition of childhood, and needless to say, everyone goes or has gone through it. Also known as nighttime incontinence, it refers to unintentional loss of urine during sleep, and it is typical for kids below 6 or 7 years of age to experience this problem. And this is simply because of the fact that in such young kids, nighttime bladder control is most unlikely to be established.
However, this condition becomes a concern when it continues after the age of 7, or when it occurs in young adults. Experts say that nearly 15% of children experience this type of incontinence at night. Among children whose one of the parents has also had this problem, about 45% are vulnerable to experience the same. And among those whose both parents have had this condition, 75% are the most susceptible ones.
As far as the treatment is concerned, it is not required as most kids usually outgrow the problem on their own. And even the doctors may not recommend any treatment for the child, if the problem is not much of a trouble for him/her. This is because, treatment do not always work, and it requires a great deal of motivation and commitment from the parents. But, if the condition is showing no signs of clearing up even after the age of 7, or is affecting the child greatly, then a treatment may be recommended. And one of the methods included in the treatment is the use of a prescription drug called desmopressin.
Use of Desmopressin
This prescription drug is meant for short-term use only, and is usually administered orally. The working mechanism of this drug is associated with the natural hormone produced in the body, known Arginine vasopressin (anti-diuretic hormone, or ADH). This hormone helps the body to make less urine when the person is sleeping at night.
So when desmopressin goes into the system, it stimulates this hormone, which results in reduced flow of urine. When taken at night before bed time, most children respond well and have fewer bedwetting episodes. Unfortunately, this bedwetting medication neither has a long-term impact on this condition nor cures the condition permanently.
Potential Side Effects
It is not common for desmopressin to trigger any side effects in the body. However, in some cases, side effects that do occur, may include:
- Pain in the abdominal region
- Low-grade rise in blood pressure
- Face going red
Side effects that are very rare and may require medical attention, include:
- Severe water retention
- Rapid pulse
- Breathing problem
- Allergies such as hives, rash or itching
- Rapid weight gain
It is important to know that before administering desmopressin to treat bedwetting, ensure that the child hasn’t had more than 8 fl oz of liquids, 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. If it is otherwise, then it may cause a rare but serious side effect known as seizure. The same may also cause severe water retention, which in turn may outbalance the levels of sodium and water in the body. In extreme cases, death may also be an outcome. Also, if the child is complaining of headache, vomiting or being nauseous, it is better to stop use of this drug and get a medical advice.
Desmopressin is not recommended for children:
- Who are younger than 4 years of age
- Who are considered increasingly susceptible to hyponatremia – a condition marked by dangerously low sodium in blood
- Who are diagnosed with heart diseases, have hypertension or other conditions that interfere with the release of urine from the kidneys
As mentioned already, desmopressin is not regarded as the first line of treatment to manage the condition of bedwetting. The drug is only recommended when other drug-free methods fail to show any positive results in treating bedwetting.