Other name: DDVAP, DesmoMelt
Desmopressin is a drug used in the treatment of bladder problems in MS. It is specifically used if you have nocturia - the need to go to the toilet often during the night. The drug can also be used during the day if regular access to a toilet is not convenient, for instance during long haul travelling. However, you must be aware of the danger of retaining too much water if you take desmopressin more than once in 24 hours.
Who can take desmopressin?
You should not be prescribed desmopressin if you are over 65.
If you have diabetes, heart or kidney problems or dependent oedema (an increase in fluid in the body, which can be caused by inactivity or reduced mobility), you should not use desmopressin.
Desmopressin should not be used if you are also taking diuretic or blood pressure medication
How do I take desmopressin?
Desmopressin is usually taken by mouth (orally) as a tablet. You should only have one dose per day, with no fluid for one hour before and eight hours after use.
A nasal spray (product name Desmospray) is now used less frequently due to concerns about the effect on sodium levels in the blood.
What side effects could I get with desmopressin?
Side effects include headache, stomach pain and nausea. Rarely desmopressin can cause a lowering of sodium levels in the blood (hyponatraemia).
How does desmopressin work?
Desmopressin affects the production of urine by the kidneys. It can reduce urine production for six to eight hours.
Last reviewed: March 2016
This page will be reviewed within three years