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All about: DDAVP

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Generic Name: desmopressin oral and injectable (DEZ mo press in)
Brand Names: DDAVP

What is desmopressin?

Desmopressin is a synthetic (man-made) form of the natural hormone arginine vasopressin. Arginine vasopressin is important in the regulation of blood, blood pressure, stomach and intestinal movement, uterine function, and kidney function.

Desmopressin is used to treat hemophilia A, von Willebrand's disease (Type I), and cranial diabetes insipidus.

Desmopressin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about desmopressin?

Do not inject any medication that is cloudy or discolored, or that has particles in it.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking desmopressin?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • Type II von Willebrand's disease,

  • heart disease,

  • high blood pressure, or

  • cystic fibrosis.

You may not be able to take desmopressin, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Desmopressin is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Do not take desmopressin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. It is not known whether desmopressin passes into breast milk. Do not take desmopressin without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Children may be more likely to develop water intoxication during treatment with desmopressin. To reduce the chance of water intoxication, fluid intake should be restricted, and children should drink only enough to satisfy thirst. Desmopressin should not be used to treat von Willebrand's disease or hemophilia A in children younger than 3 months of age. For children younger than 12 years of age, the safety and effectiveness of desmopressin in the treatment of diabetes insipidus is not known. Elderly patients may also be more likely to develop water intoxication during treatment with desmopressin. To reduce the chance of water intoxication, elderly patients should restrict fluid intake and drink only enough to satisfy thirst.

How should I take desmopressin?

Take desmopressin exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain them to you.

Take each oral dose with a full glass of water.

The injectable forms of desmopressin are only for subcutaneous injection (under the skin) or intravenous injection (into the vein). If you are administering this medication at home, your doctor will give you detailed instructions on how to give yourself the injection. Do not inject this medication if you are not sure how.

Do not inject any medication that is cloudy or discolored, or that has particles in it.

Never reuse a needle or syringe. Dispose of all needles and syringes in an appropriate puncture-resistant disposal container.

Store the tablets at room temperature away from light and heat. Store the injections in the refrigerator. Do not let them freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a desmopressin overdose include headache, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, flushing, and seizures.

What should I avoid while taking desmopressin?

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activities while you are taking desmopressin unless your doctor directs otherwise.

Desmopressin side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking desmopressin and seek emergency medical attention or notify your doctor immediately:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • seizures;

  • headache;

  • nausea or abdominal cramps;

  • shortness of breath;

  • heartburn; or

  • pain in the vaginal area.

Other side effects may also occur. Notify your doctor if you experience

  • water retention;

  • flushing;

  • chills;

  • increased heart rate;

  • weakness;

  • dizziness;

  • red or watery eyes; or

  • redness, pain, or swelling at the injection site.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect desmopressin?

There are no known interactions between desmopressin and other medications. However, interactions are possible. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about desmopressin written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Desmopressin is available with a prescription generically and under the brand name DDAVP in tablets and an injection. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • DDAVP 0.1 mg--oval, white tablets

  • DDAVP 0.2 mg--round, white tablets

  • DDAVP Injection--4 micrograms per mL

  • DDAVP Injection--15 micrograms per mL

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.07. Revision Date: 7/30/04 11:02:14 AM.

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