What is this medicine?
DESMOPRESSIN is a man-made form of a hormone that occurs naturally in the pituitary gland. This hormone is important for many functions including blood flow, blood pressure, kidney function, and regulating how the body uses water.
Desmopressin is used to treat bed-wetting, central cranial diabetes insipidus, and increased thirst and urination caused by head surgery or head trauma.
Desmopressin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should my health care professional know before I take this medicine?
You should not take this medication if you are allergic to desmopressin, or if you have:
- severe kidney disease; or
- if you have ever had hyponatremia (low sodium levels in your body).
Before taking desmopressin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications, or if you have:
- heart disease, coronary artery disease;
- congestive heart failure;
- kidney disease;
- cystic fibrosis;
- high or low blood pressure;
- an electrolyte imbalance; or
- a psychologic disorder that causes extreme or unusual thirst.
- If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take desmopressin.
FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Do not use desmopressin without telling your doctor if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether desmopressin passes into breast milk, or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use desmopressin without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take this medicine?
Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
It is very important to reduce your intake of water and other fluids while you are taking desmopressin. Drinking too much water can cause your body to lose sodium, which may lead to a serious, life-threatening electrolyte imbalance.
Fluid restriction is especially important in children and older adults taking desmopressin. Follow your doctor’s instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink.
If you are switching from desmopressin nasal spray to desmopressin tablets, wait at least 24 hours after your last nasal dose before you take your first tablet.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested often. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with desmopressin. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
Store the tablets at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Many drugs can interact with desmopressin. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:
- carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol);
- chlorpromazine (Thorazine);
- lamotrigine (Lamictal);
- oxybutynin (Ditropan, Urotrol, Oxytrol);
- vasopressin (Pitressin);
- a narcotic pain medicine such as fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic), hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), oxycodone (Oxycontin), and others;
- an “SSRI” antidepressant such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft);
- a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), and others;
- medicine to treat erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra);
- drugs to treat high blood pressure or a prostate disorder, such as alfuzosin (Uroxatral), doxazosin (Cardura), prazosin (Minipress), terazosin (Hytrin), tamsulosin (Flomax);
- a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin), bisoprolol (Zebeta, Ziac), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), or timolol (Blocadren); or
- an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), and others.
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with desmopressin. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
What should I watch for while taking this medicine?
Follow your doctor’s instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are taking desmopressin.
What side effects may I notice from taking this medicine?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking desmopressin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- nausea, vomiting, weakness, loss of appetite, headache, feeling restless or irritable, confusion, hallucinations, muscle pain or weakness, and/or seizure;
- feeling like you might pass out;
- swelling, weight gain; or
- dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).
Less serious side effects may include:
- nausea, mild stomach pain;
- diarrhea; or
- warmth, redness, or tingly feeling in your face.