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Desmopressin (Nasal route)

Desmopressin nasal spray is used to treat central cranial diabetes insipidus. This is a condition that causes the body to lose too much fluid and become dehydrated. It is also used to control frequent urination and increased thirst caused by certain types of brain injury or brain surgery. The Stimate® nasal spray is used to treat bleeding in patients with hemophilia A or von Willebrand disease (Type I).

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Desmopressin is similar to a hormone that is produced in the body. It acts on the kidneys to reduce the flow of urine… Read more
Brand names include
DDAVP, DDAVP Rhinal Tube, Minirin, Stimate
Other forms
By mouth, Injection, Into the nose
Drug classes About this
Endocrine-Metabolic Agent, Vasopressin (class)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Nocturnal Enuresis: The Management of Bedwetting in Children and Young People

This guideline aims to provide advice on the assessment and management of children and young people with bedwetting. The guidance is applicable to children and young people up to 19 years with the symptom of bedwetting. It has been common practice to define enuresis as abnormal from 5 years and only to consider children for treatment when they are 7 years. While the prevalence of symptoms decreases with age the guideline scope did not specify a younger age limit in order to consider whether there were useful interventions that might be of benefit to children previously excluded from advice and services.

Efficacy and safety of desmopressin for treatment of nocturia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of double-blinded trials

PURPOSE: The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of desmopressin for the treatment of nocturia.

A systematic review: the use of desmopressin for treatment and prophylaxis of bleeding disorders in pregnancy

Desmopressin (DDAVP) is commonly used for treatment and prevention of bleeding complications in patients with bleeding disorders including haemophilia A, von Willebrand's disease (VWD) and other less common disorders. This article reviews the current evidence for the use of DDAVP in pregnancy to clarify its efficacy and safety with regard to maternal and foetal outcome. A search of the literature found 30 studies that reported DDAVP use in pregnancy for prophylaxis or treatment of bleeding complications with 216 pregnancies reported in total. The most common indication was prophylaxis for prevention of bleeding during pregnancy and postpartum haemorrhage. DDAVP was used successfully in the first and early second trimester for bleeding prophylaxis in 50 pregnancies. No postpartum bleeding complications were reported in 167 out of 172 pregnancies when DDAVP was used for peripartum haemostatic cover. Twenty-nine studies reported no significant adverse events as a result of treatment with DDAVP. One case of water intoxication seizure and one case of premature labour following the use of DDAVP was reported in a single study. Other maternal side effects included facial flushing and headache and were reported by one study. These side effects were generally well tolerated by patients. There were no other significant adverse events reported in any of the studies as a result of DDAVP use. Foetal outcome was recorded in ten studies with no adverse foetal outcomes. In conclusion, this review shows that DDAVP in selected cases is effective in reducing bleeding complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth with a good safety record. Further research is needed to confirm these findings as they are based on the currently available evidence from small studies and case series only.

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Summaries for consumers

Desmopressin acetate (DDAVP) for preventing and treating acute bleeds during pregnancy in women with congenital bleeding disorders

Congenital bleeding disorders cause problems with bleeding during pregnancy, labour and delivery. Bleeding complications in women with congenital bleeding disorders are an important cause of disease and death linked to childbirth. Agents to stop the flow of blood are used for women with these bleeding disorders during pregnancy. Desmopressin acetate is a drug used to effectively increase the concentration of factor VIII in the blood and to increase the clumping together of platelets to stop bleeding. It does not come from human plasma and it carries no risk of infection. It might be a precious resource in patients with von Willebrand disease, haemophilia A or congenital platelet disorders to prevent and treat bleeding episodes related to pregnancy. We did not find any randomised controlled trials assessing desmopressin acetate in this group of patients. Given the ethical considerations, future randomised controlled trials are unlikely. Evidence is needed to show the risks and benefits of desmopressin acetate when used to prevent and treat bleeding during pregnancy in women with congenital bleeding disorders. While there is evidence from observational trials that shows the drug is effective in stopping and preventing bleeding, we conclude that there is still a need to generate other high quality controlled evidence.

Use of desmopressin to reduce the need for blood transfusions in patients who do not suffer from congenital bleeding disorders.

Risks of infection from transfused blood given by an unrelated donor are minimal when blood is screened by a competent transfusion service but concerns still remain. Techniques are available to reduce the need for a transfusion. The review of trials found that there is no convincing evidence that desmopressin reduces the need for blood transfusion in patients who do not have congenital bleeding disorders and are undergoing non‐urgent or elective surgery. Other strategies, such as the use of anti‐fibrinolytic drugs, may be more effective but are not included in this review.

Desmopressin for bedwetting in children

Bedwetting is a distressing and stressful condition for children and their families. Some children take longer than others to stop bedwetting. Up to 20% still wet at the age of five years, but by the age of 16 only 2% or less do so. Desmopressin is a drug which reduces bedwetting by reducing the amount of urine produced at night. It is taken before bedtime, and the children are also advised not to drink more than 240 ml (8 ounces) of fluid in the evening. However, it only works on the nights when it is used, so does not cure the problem in the long term.

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