Desmopressin (Oral Route)

1 Desmopressin (Oral Route): A Summary

Brand Name:


Desmopressin, a synthetic analogue of ADH, is used to treat central cranial diabetes insipidus. This medical condition causes excessive fluid loss, which can then result in dehydration. Other indications include management of nocturnal enuresis, frequent urination and increased thirst due to brain injury or surgery. 

You can only buy this medication with a doctor’s prescription. It is marketed as a tablet. It works by influencing the kidneys to decrease urine flow.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before you agree to treatment, you and your physician need to talk about the associated risks and benefits. There are other factors you need to consider as well. Do not take oral desmopressin if you’ve had hypersensitivity reactions to it. 

Also, you need to inform your doctor if you have allergies to food, preservatives, dyes, animals, or other medications. Adequate studies have shown that oral desmopressin is safe to use in pediatric patients older than 4 years with diabetes insipidus and pediatric patients older than 6 years with bedwetting problems. 

Although studies have found that oral desmopressin is safe to use in elderly patients, it should still be used with caution since these patients are more at risk of age-related kidney issues. Oral desmopressin has been found to have no effects on the fetus.  It is a pregnancy category B. This medicine also presents minimal risk to breastfeeding babies. 

Do not take OTC drugs or supplements without consulting your healthcare provider first. Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions: coronary artery disease, cystic fibrosis, polydipsia, hypertension, hyponatremia, or moderate to severe kidney disease.

3 Proper Usage

Take oral desmopressin as directed by your healthcare provider. Do not change the dose, timing, or duration of treatment without consulting him/her first. Doing may lead to complications. Also, your doctor may limit the amount of fluid you consume. 

The dose or oral desmopressin depends on the condition. But usually for adults and children older than 6 years with bedwetting issues, the dose is 0.2 mg. This can be adjusted by your doctor as needed. For adults and children older than 4 years with diabetes insipidus, the dose is usually 0.05 mg twice a day. 

Take a missed dose as soon as you remember. However, skip it if it’s almost time for the next one. Keep your tablets in a sealed container and away from children’s reach. Discard outdated medications.

4 Precautions to Take

It is imperative that you go to your follow-up appointments diligently so that your doctor can monitor the effects of the medication. Regular blood work and lab exams are also important. Oral desmopressin can decrease sodium levels, which can lead to vomiting, confusion, nausea, unusual tiredness, or muscle cramps

Consult your physician if you have any of those. You should also check with your doctor immediately if you have a fever with severe diarrhea or vomiting. Increasing your fluid intake during those instances while on oral desmopressin can cause unwanted effects. As previously mentioned, do not take OTC medicines or supplements without consulting your doctor first.

5 Potential Side Effects

Oral desmopressin has many side effects but you may only experience a few. Rare side effects that may need treatment include: 

Other possible side effects that may occur include delusions, diarrhea, or dementia although incidents of these are not known. You may also experience side effects that are not listed here. When you do, check with your doctor right away.

6 Related Clinical Trials