Why is this medication prescribed?
Desmopressin is a chemical that is similar to a hormone found naturally in your body. It increases urine concentration and decreases urine production. Desmopressin is used to prevent and control excessive thirst, urination, and dehydration caused by injury, surgery, and certain medical conditions, allowing you to sleep through the night without awakening to urinate. It is also used to treat specific types of diabetes insipidus and conditions after head injury or pituitary surgery.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Desmopressin comes in a liquid that is administered into the nose and as a nasal spray. It usually is used twice a day (every morning and evening). For bed wetting, it is used every evening at bedtime. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use desmopressin exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Do not take the liquid by mouth. With the nasal liquid, you will receive a soft, flexible plastic tube with special markings for measuring the dose and instructions on how to measure and administer it. After drawing the dose into the tube, insert one end of the tube into your nose and the other end into your mouth. Blow on the tube to force the liquid high into your nose. Do not allow the liquid to run into your mouth. Follow the directions carefully; if you have difficulty using the drug or giving it to a child, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
To use the nasal spray, first clear your nasal passages by gently blowing your nose. Insert the sprayer into a nostril. Sniff as you squeeze the sprayer once. To prevent mucus from entering the sprayer, release your grip after you remove the sprayer from your nose. Gently sniff two or three more times.
Other uses for this medicine
Desmopressin nasal spray may be used to treat a condition called chronic autonomic failure (when the body is not able to control urine production).
Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using desmopressin,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to desmopressin or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially carbamazepine (Tegretol), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), clofibrate (Atromid-S), demeclocycline (Declomycin), epinephrine, lithium, and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart disease, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, nose or sinus problems or surgery, or cystic fibrosis.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using desmopressin, call your doctor.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Your doctor may tell you to limit your intake of fluids. Follow your doctor's directions. Drinking too much causes water retention (bloating and swelling of the feet, ankles, and lower legs).
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from desmopressin are not common, they can occur. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- upset stomach
- stuffy or runny nose
- reddening of the skin
- stomach cramps
- pain in the external genital area (in women)
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it in the refrigerator; do not freeze. The nasal bottle contains 25 or 50 doses. Throw away any medication after that. Do not put any leftover medication into another bottle. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison controlcenter at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsedor is not breathing, call local emergency services at911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to desmopressin.
If desmopressin loses its effectiveness (if urination increases or you wake up earlier than usual to urinate), call your doctor. Your dose may need to be changed.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.