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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Ddavp

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An indi vidual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 01/24/2000]
Question: My boyfriend, 25 yr old male, takes a medicine called DDVAP. He occasionally wets the bed and, understandably, is reluctant to talk about it with me. I noticed that a warning sticker saying not to consume alcohol while taking this medicine had been placed on the side of the bottle. I am a little concerned because I know that he has. All information I've been able to find about this medicine has said that it is prescribed in nasal spray form for children with chronic bed wetting, or injectible form for people with some sort of diabetes. His perscription is in the form of pills and says to take one before bed. He does not take the medication consistently. I've noticed him taking it an average of about 4 times per week. He does not wet the bed when he takes it, but does not always wet when he DOES NOT take it. Why can I not find any information about these pills, what might cause him to have to take them and what the side effects could be if he consumes alcohol while taking this medication. Also, all information I can find on bed wetting is geared toward children. What may cause this in an adult?

Answer: DDAVP is the abbreviation for desmopressin acetate. This is a synthetic analogue for the hormone in your pituitary which is responsible for concentrating urine,vasopressin. It is available as a nasal spray and an injection, I am not aware of a pill form. Anyway, it concentrates the urine and patients with a deficiency cannot concentrate urine. Hence, they have large volumes of urine. They can keep up with it by drinking lots of water. It can run in some families as an inherited problem(rare but exists) or after trauma or tumors in the pituitary(common after surgery for other tumors for example). Alcohol is to be avoided since alcohol acts to block the effect in the kidney and lowers the concentration of urine(which is why drinking a couple of beers causes you to urinate and why you get dehydrated after lots of alcohol). There is no direct problem with the alcohol except that it works to counter the effect of the ddavp.

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