One of the most effective treatment options for those suffering from diabetes insipidus is a synthetic hormone called Desmopressin, or DDAVP. DDAVP is used for a number of different health issues, but for diabetes insipidus, it is primarily used as a urine concentrator. When there isn’t enough anti-diuretic hormone produced by the body, the Desmopressin can help to supplement what has been lost so that life can get back on track.
DDAVP Is Not For All Forms of Diabetes Insipidus
There are three ways that diabetes insipidus may affect the body and cause bothersome signs and symptoms that must be managed.
1. There may not be enough ADH produced by the body to regulate fluid management.
2. The kidneys may stop responding to the ADH that is produced by the body and fail to regulate fluids.
3. There may be too many fluids consumed chronically that cause the kidneys to fail in their job of fluid regulation.
The administration of DDAVP will only be effective to resolve the signs and symptoms of diabetes insipidus in relation to the first method. When Desmopressin is introduced to people who have had their kidneys stop communicating with this hormone, the improvement of urine concentration is less than 10%. For those without enough ADH in their bodies, DDAVP increases urine concentration by over 50%.
How Is DDAVP Given?
Desmopressin is typically given to people through the use of a nose spray. It is administered in the same way an allergy spray or a vaccine spray is given. Although this synthetic hormone should be administered at regular times, the dosage is considered to be as needed because hormone levels shift throughout the day. Too much ADH in the body can be harmful and is considered a medical emergency when it occurs.
DDAVP may also be given by mouth through tablets or powders, through a nose tube, or directly into the vein through the use of an IV. For children who struggle to take the Desmopressin tablets, crushing them into a small amount of ice cream, apple sauce, or yogurt can be effective. Two doses of DDAVP should never be given.
What Are the Side Effects of DDAVP?
The two most common side effects of taking this synthetic hormone are fluid retention and a flushing of the face. Some individuals may look like they are blushing after the DDAVP begins to take effect within the body.
Desmopressin may also cause some occasional and minor side effects as well.
- A runny nose or sinus congestion, especially when the nasal spray method is being used.
- A headache that may be accompanied by dizziness or nausea.
- If an IV or injection is used, pain and redness at the injection site may occur. Swelling may also occur on occasion.
- An increased heart rate may also occur.
There are also some rare side effects of DDAVP that may occur. If they do, immediate medical care may be necessary to resolve the situation. This includes the formation of blood clots, seizures, and changes to blood pressure that are either high or low. Contact a doctor for these symptoms, if there is a headache that does not go away, or if there is rapid weight gain accompanied by vision problems.
Some people may also be allergic to this synthetic hormone. This signs and symptoms of an allergy may include chills, a fever, a rash that may or may not have hives, wheezing, and swelling around the throat that makes it difficult to breathe.
What You Need To Know About Desmopressin
Even if it would be beneficial to treat diabetes insipidus, DDAVP should not be taken by anyone who has experienced a blot clot in the past or has heart disease.
It is also important to always have medication on hand. It takes 48-72 business hours to renew a prescription in some communities, so always know how many DDAVP refills are remaining for however the synthetic hormone is administered.
Desmopressin should be stored in the refrigerator and away from children. It should not be allowed to freeze, which may happen at the back of a refrigerator. Closed bottles of DDAVP remain viable for up to 3 weeks at room temperature, but once opened, they must be refrigerated.
If the wrong dose is administered for any reason, do not wait to see if negative side effects occur. Contact a doctor immediately or stop by the emergency room.
Desmopressin (DDAVP) for diabetes insipidus can be an effective treatment option. Speak with your doctor about this synthetic hormone to see if it may be right for you.