The drug Desmopressin is a man-made form of the hormone vasopressin, which is made naturally in the pituitary gland. This hormone is important to functions such as blood flow, blood pressure, kidney function and regulating how the body uses water. Desmopressin has been used to treat primary nocturnal enuresis (PNE), a bed-wetting disorder, central cranial diabetes insipidus, and increased thirst because of head surgery or trauma. The drug works to decrease frequent urination by acting on the kidneys to reduce urine.

The FDA received reports of 61 seizures and two reports of death from hyponatremia. When investigated further, it was found that 36 of the patients had used Desmopressin, 25 of those cases were children. The agency also indicated that children taking the drug for bedwetting had a higher incident rate of severe hyponatremia (abnormally low concentration of sodium), which can cause seizures.

After the FDA received these reports, it required the manufacturers of Demopressin to add a warning label about the risks of hyponatremia, especially in children. Hyponatremia can cause seizures and even death, along with neurological damage or cerebral edema.

After these reports, the FDA recommended that Desmopressin no longer be prescribed as treatment for PNE.

Serious side effects may include:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Warmth, redness, or tingly feeling in your face
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