Skip to Content

Desmopressin

Generic Name: desmopressin (oral) (DEZ mo press in)
Brand Name: DDAVP

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Dec 15, 2017 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is desmopressin?

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.

Important Information

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.

You should not use this medication 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 have heart disease, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, high or low blood pressure, an electrolyte imbalance, or a psychological disorder that causes extreme or unusual thirst.

To be sure desmopressin is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested often. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with this medication. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Before taking 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 desmopressin?

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 happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of desmopressin.

Overdose symptoms may include headache, confusion, drowsiness, rapid weight gain, or urination problems.

What should I avoid while taking desmopressin?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are taking desmopressin.

Desmopressin side effects

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:

  • headache;

  • nausea, mild stomach pain;

  • diarrhea; or

  • warmth, redness, or tingly feeling in your face.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect desmopressin?

Many drugs can interact with desmopressin. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

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.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Hide