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Desmotabs (desmopressin)

Desmotabs are a pill-based prescription medication containing the active ingredient desmopressin, which is a form of vasopressin analogue, similar to the vasopressin naturally produced by the body. Antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which is another name for vasopressin, is produced by the brain’s pituitary gland. The ADH in your body is responsible for controlling the natural balance of water levels. Normally, the substance acts on the receptors in the kidneys to prevent large amounts of water being passed out of the blood and into the urine. Desmopressin and ADH both help to prevent excessive amounts of urine. Desmotabs are a type of medication containing the active ingredient desmopressin – a form of vasopressin analogue, meaning that it is similar to a hormone that occurs naturally in the body called vasopressin (or ADH).

  • Used to treat bedwetting
  • Not suitable for adults over 65
  • Tablets for oral use
  • Avoid drinking large amounts of fluid

About Desmotabs

Desmotabs tablets contain desmopressin acetate, an antidiuretic. This medicine reduces urine production. Desmotabs are used to treat primary nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) in children from 5 years of age and adults up to 65 years of age.

How to use Desmotabs

Desmotabs tablets should be taken at bedtime. You should avoid drinking large amounts of fluid while you are being treated with Desmotabs. Fluid intake must be limited to a minimum from one hour before taking the dose at bedtime until the following morning (and, in any case, for at least eight hours). Drinking too much could lead to a buildup of water which dilutes the salt in the body. This is a serious problem and may lead to convulsions.


Dosage varies per person and is determined by a doctor depending on the symptoms. The general recommended dose is:

  • Adults and adolescents aged five and above: one 0.2mg tablet taken at bedtime.

Your doctor may increase the dose to two 0.2-mg tablets at bedtime depending on how well the bedwetting is controlled. The need for continued treatment is normally checked every three months.

This medicine is not recommended in adults over 65 years of age.


This medicine does not interact with alcohol. This medicine does not affect your ability to drive safely.

If you use more than you should/forget to use Desmotabs

If you take more tablets than you were told to, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

If you forget to take a dose of Desmotabs, do not take a double dose to make up for the forgotten one. Skip the missed dose and take the next tablet at the usual time.

When not to use Desmotabs

Desmotabs tablets are not suitable for everyone. Do not use this medicine if:

  • You have a serious heart or kidney disease.
  • You are taking diuretics (water tablets).
  • You are allergic to any of the ingredients in this medicine (see section ‘What Desmotabs contains').
  • You drink unusually large quantities of fluids, including alcohol.
  • You are under 5 or over 65 years old.
  • You are taking medication for high blood pressure or have been told that your blood pressure is abnormal.

When should this medicine be used with caution?

Talk to your doctor before you start taking Desmotabs if:

  • You have an illness causing fluid and/or salt imbalance (e.g., vomiting, diarrhoea, systemic infections, fever or gastroenteritis).
  • You have a medical condition that could be made worse by fluid and/or electrolyte disturbance. For example, a condition where your blood sodium levels are too low or you are likely to build up too much water in your body.
  • You have cystic fibrosis.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please inform up your doctor before using this medicine as blood pressure monitoring is recommended due to the increased risk of pre-eclampsia (a condition in pregnant women that can cause serious complications). Your doctor will decide whether or not you should be given this medicine.

Other medicines and Desmotabs

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines. This includes medicines obtained without a prescription, herbal medicines or other natural products. In particular, please inform your doctor if you are using any of the following medicines:

  • Medicines for the treatment of depression epilepsy.
  • Antiinflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac, indomethacin or ibuprofen.
  • A medicine containing loperamide for diarrhoea.

Side effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although some people may not experience any.

Stop using Desmotabs and consult a doctor or pharmacist if you experience:

  • Unusually bad or prolonged headache, confusion, unexplained weight gain, ankle swelling, nausea or vomiting.
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as itching, skin rash, swelling of the face, throat or lips, breathing difficulties, chest tightness or coughing.

Other side effects that are known to be associated with Desmotabs include:

  • Headache.
  • Stomach pain.

Very rare cases of emotional disorders including aggression in children have also been reported.

Consult a doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet.

What Desmotabs contains

The active substance is desmopressin acetate. Each tablet contains 0.2 mg desmopressin acetate. Other ingredients in Desmotabs are lactose monohydrate, potato starch, povidone and magnesium stearate.

Patient Leaflet(s)

Reviewed by:

Dr Imran Malik, General practitioner Registrationnumber: GMC: 4741365 Last checked: 04-09-2023 | Still valid

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