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Treatments > Medications Used In MS

Brand Name Chemical Name

DDAVP Tablets
(U.S. and Canada)

(des-moe-press-in) acetate

Primary Usage in MS

Generic Available
Urination frequency No

Desmopressin is a synthetic analogue of the natural pituitary hormone 8-arginine vasopression (ADH), that works on the kidneys to control urination. It is used in MS to block the kidney's production of urine for brief periods of time, e.g., to treat nocturia by reducinge nighttime awakening to urinate.

Proper Usage
Keep this medication in the refrigerator but do not allow it to freeze.

Let your physician know if you have heart disease, blood vessel disease, or high blood pressure. Desmopressin can cause an increase in blood pressure.

Studies have not been done in pregnant women. It has been used before and during pregnancy to treat diabetes mellitus and has not been shown to cause birth defects.

It is not known whether desmopressin passes into breast milk and should therefore be used with caution by women who are breatfeeding.

Possible Side Effects
Side effects that typically go away as your body adjusts to the medication and do not require medical attention unless they continue for several weeks or are bothersome: runny or stuffy nose; abdominal or stomach cramps; flushing of the skin; headache; nausea; pain in the vulva.

Unusual side effects that require immediate medical attention: confusion; convulsions; unusual drowsiness*; continuing headache; rapid weight gain; markedly decreased urination.

*Since it may be difficult to distinguish between certain common symptoms of MS and some side effects of desmopressin, be sure to consult your health care professional if an abrupt change of this type occurs.

Medication Index

Other Medications Used to Treat Bladder Dysfunction

For Urination Frequency

Read more on bladder dysfunction and learn management strategies to help live comfortably.

Reprinted with permission from Rosalind C. Kalb (ed.), Multiple Sclerosis: The Questions You Have—The Answers You Need (4th ed.). New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 2007.

Last updated September 19, 2007