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).
What are Desmotabs?
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.
If the kidneys fail to concentrate the amount of urine in the body at night, this can cause bedwetting, or an increased need to go to the toilet frequently. Desmotabs use the active ingredient of desmopressin to bind to the ADH receptors in the kidneys, mimicking the effects of natural ADH. This helps to reduce the urine production in the body. Desmotabs can be used to treat bedwetting during the night if it is found to be caused by a deficiency of natural hormones. A doctor will determine whether to continue taking this medication after a period of three months. A trial period of at least one week without Desmotabs is required to see if patients can stop taking the medication.
When are Desmotabs used?
Desmotabs are most commonly prescribed to address conditions of diabetes insipidus – a condition when the body and kidneys are unable to control the balance of water in your body. Your kidneys may not be able to regulate how much water is passing out of your urine as well as they should. If you have cranial diabetes inspidus, this may occur because your brain is releasing a reduced amount of ADH.
Desmotabs work by having the same impact on your body and kidneys as ADH. Desmotabs contain desmopressin which replaces the ADH that your body is lacking and helps to control the amount of urine that you have to manage at any given time. Sometimes this medication will be given to children who suffer regularly from bedwetting.
In certain cases, your doctor or a consultant can prescribe Desmotabs when you have had surgery on the pituitary gland, as this can lead to an over-production of urine. Desmopressin medications are usually given for a short period of time after this surgery. Desmotabs can also be given to people with clotting deficiencies to help blood clot more effectively. Usually in these cases, desmopressin will only be given for a very short period of time.
If you suffer from diabetes insipidus, it is very important that you be monitored regularly. Stopping the medication suddenly can be extremely dangerous.
How to use Desmotabs
Before you begin treatment with any new medication, it is important to make sure that you understand the advice that has been provided to you by your consultant or doctor. You will also need to read the manufacturer information that is provided within the printed patient leaflet with your medication. This leaflet is designed to give you more information about the substances that you have been given, and it will provide you with a full list of side effects that you may experience.
Not all brands of Desmotabs are the same, so it is important to follow the instructions that are provided with your supply of medication. Take this substance according to your consultant’s instructions. Usually, you will be given normal tablets that you can take at the same time each day with a glass of water. If you have been given tablets that melt in your mouth, you will need to place the Desmotab under your tongue and allow it to dissolve completely.
If you are using the desmopressin nasal solution, you will need to measure out the correct dose. If you are unsure, you can ask a nurse or pharmacist to show you how to measure the medication correctly. If you get the desmopressin spray, make sure that you prime the spray before use.
If you miss a dose of desmopressin or forget to take one, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose.
What dosages are there?
Desmotabs come in the form of a 0.2 mg tablet, usually in a package containing 30 tablets. The typical dose for most adults and children is one desmopressin tablet every 24 hours. You should not exceed the prescribed dose, as this can increase your chances of serious side effects.
Additionally, it is important to avoid excessive liquid intake when you are using this medication, as it can lead up to a build- up of internal fluid. Make sure that you know how much water you should be drinking each day before you begin using Desmotabs.
You can take desmopressin consistently for a period of up to three months, at which point your medication will need to be reviewed. You may need to increase your dose or try a different drug if the bedwetting has not been rectified.
If you experience any vomiting or diarrhoea when taking desmopressin, you should stop taking it until you feel better. If you experience any symptoms or signs of water retention or a lower concentration of sodium in your blood stream, you should see your doctor immediately. You may notice this issue because of a prolonged headache or feelings of nausea.
What are the side effects of Desmotabs?
Desmotabs are a relatively well-tolerated medication and unlikely to cause any severe side effects. However, all medications can affect people in different ways. It is worth reading through the side effects listed here and in your patient leaflet to ensure that you are aware of the different ways that this medication might affect you. Remember that just because a side effect is listed does not mean that you will experience this issue.
The most common side effects of Desmotabs will reduce naturally on their own as your body gets used to the medication. These include headaches; stomach-ache; vomiting and nausea, and emotional imbalance. Desmotabs need to be taken with a restricted fluid intake. If you do not restrict your water intake when you are using this medication, then you might encounter side effects that include increased fluid retention and low blood sodium levels. A rare side effect of Desmotabs is seizures.
An allergic reaction to desmopressin is rare, but you should monitor for any potential signs that you are responding poorly to this medication. Allergic reactions can cause symptoms such as swelling around the face and throat, trouble breathing and dizziness.
When should you not use Desmotabs?
Your consultant will have evaluated your symptoms and problems and may have carried out blood tests to exclude other causes of excess urination such as diabetes mellitus and other conditions. The consultant may advise desmopressin after considering if you:
- Have ever had a disease of the heart or blood vessels;
- Have any problems with kidney function;
- Have ever had high blood pressure, epilepsy, asthma, cystic fibrosis, or migraines;
- Have ever had an addiction to alcohol or an alcohol problem;
- Have ever had an allergic reaction to medicines;
- Are breastfeeding or pregnant;
- Are using other medications that may interact with this medicine.
Desmotabs includes inactive ingredients that may cause allergic reactions. Make sure that your consultant is aware of any allergies that you have before you begin using this medication.
Do Desmotabs interact with other medications?
It is important to tell your consultant which medicines you are already using before you begin taking Desmotabs, as this substance could interact negatively with certain substances. Ensure that your consultant is aware of all the medications that you are using, including over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications and herbal supplements. Similarly, check with a pharmacist or doctor before you begin using any new medications when you are taking Desmotabs as this will ensure that the combinations are safe.
Some medications can increase the release of hormones inside of the body, which could therefore increase the effects of Desmotabs. For instance, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can have this effect, as can antidepressants with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine. Avoid using Desmotabs with antidepressants that are tricylic such as amityptline. Your doctor will check to make sure your medication is safe and does not interact with desmopressin before prescribing it.
If you are taking Desmotabs with any medications that can increase the release of natural hormones in your body, this could increase your risk of dangerous side effects such as fluid retention.
Where can you buy Desmotabs?
Desmotabs are available to buy safely online and offline after either a doctor’s appointment or a consultation with a professional. We can give you a consultation and send a prescription if necessary to a collaborating pharmacy on your behalf, which you will be able to collect from your pharmacy within three working days.
Can I get Desmotabs without a prescription?
Desmotabs are unsafe to take without a prescription. You should not use this medication until you have had a consultation to ensure that it is the right treatment for you.
Medicines.org.uk, online, 2019, “Desmotabs 0.2mg” [Accessed 18 December 2019], Available on: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/5450/smpc
NICE, online, 2019, “Desmotabs 0.2mg – Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) – (eMC)”, [Accessed 18 December 2019], Available on: https://www.evidence.nhs.uk/search?ps=20&q=desmotabs