Article date: January 2008
Desmopressin is a synthetic analogue of vasopressin. It is indicated for:
- the treatment of primary nocturnal enuresis (PNE)
- nocturia associated with multiple sclerosis when other treatments have failed
- diagnosis and treatment of vasopressin-sensitive cranial diabetes insipidus
- establishment of renal concentration capacity; to increase Factor VIII:C and Factor VIII:Ag in patients with mild to moderate haemophilia or von Willebrand’s disease who are undergoing surgery or after trauma; to test for fibrinolytic response.
Desmopressin is available in nasal, oral (tablet or melt), and injection formulations. The PNE indication has been removed from all desmopressin nasal spray products because of an increased risk of hyponatraemia compared with the oral formulation (which remains available for treatment of PNE, along with the melt formulation).
Healthcare professionals should remain vigilant for signs and symptoms of hyponatraemia associated with use of desmopressin, particularly the melt formulation. In mild cases these may include:
- or (in more severe cases) muscle cramps and weakness, confusion, convulsions, or coma.
Reminder advice for healthcare professionals includes:
- nasal formulations of desmopressin should not be used for treatment of PNE
- healthcare professionals and patients should closely follow the advice on fluid intake in the summary of product characteristics and patient information leaflet to avoid hyponatraemia
Healthcare professionals are encouraged to report all suspected adverse reactions to melt formulations of desmopressin.
See desmopressin nasal spray and removal of PNE indication in the drug safety update Sept 2007; Vol 1, Issue 2: 7
Report suspected adverse reactions to a medicine or vaccine by completing a Yellow Card
Article citation: Drug Safety Update Jan 2008; Vol 1, Issue 6: 6