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desmopressin (injection)

Pronunciation: DEZ mo press in

Brand: DDAVP

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

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It is very important to reduce your intake of water and other fluids while you are using desmopressin. Drinking too much water can cause your body to lose sodium, which may lead to a serious, life-threatening electrolyte imbalance.

Fluid restriction is especially important in children and older adults using desmopressin. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink.

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You should not use this medication if you have severe kidney disease or if you have ever had hyponatremia (low sodium levels in your body).

Before using desmopressin, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, high or low blood pressure, an electrolyte imbalance, or a psychological disorder that causes extreme or unusual thirst.

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Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used in giving the medicine.

To be sure desmopressin is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested often. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with this medication. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

What is desmopressin?

Desmopressin is a man-made form of a hormone that occurs naturally in the pituitary gland. This hormone is important for many functions including blood flow, blood pressure, kidney function, and regulating how the body uses water.

Desmopressin injection is used to treat hemophilia A or von Willebrand's disease Type I.

Desmopressin injection is also used to treat central cranial diabetes insipidus, and increased thirst and urination caused by head surgery or head trauma.

Desmopressin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using injectable desmopressin?

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You should not use this medication if you are allergic to desmopressin, or if you have:

  • severe kidney disease; or
  • if you have ever had hyponatremia (low sodium levels in your body).

Before using desmopressin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications, or if you have:

  • heart disease, coronary artery disease;
  • congestive heart failure;
  • kidney disease;
  • cystic fibrosis;
  • high or low blood pressure;
  • an electrolyte imbalance; or
  • a psychologic disorder that causes extreme or unusual thirst.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use desmopressin.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Do not use desmopressin without telling your doctor if you are pregnant.

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It is not known whether desmopressin passes into breast milk, or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use desmopressin without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is injectable desmopressin given?

Desmopressin is given as an injection under your skin or through a needle placed into a vein. In some cases, a healthcare provider will give you this injection. In other cases, you may be shown how to use your medicine at home.

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Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used in giving the medicine.

Use each disposable needle only one time. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has any particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

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It is very important to reduce your intake of water and other fluids while you are using desmopressin. Drinking too much water can cause your body to lose sodium, which may lead to a serious, life-threatening electrolyte imbalance.

Fluid restriction is especially important in children and older adults using desmopressin. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested often. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with desmopressin. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

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If you are treating hemophilia or von Willebrand's disease, call your doctor if your bleeding is not controlled during treatment with desmopressin.

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Store this medicine in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include headache, confusion, drowsiness, rapid weight gain, or urination problems.

What should I avoid while using desmopressin?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using desmopressin.

What are the possible side effects of desmopressin?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Stop using desmopressin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • 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;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, headache, confusion, or problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • vaginal pain; or
  • 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; or
  • pain, redness, or swelling where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect desmopressin?

Many drugs can interact with desmopressin. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol);
  • chlorpromazine (Thorazine);
  • lamotrigine (Lamictal);
  • oxybutynin (Ditropan, Urotrol, Oxytrol);
  • vasopressin (Pitressin);
  • a narcotic pain medicine such as fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic), hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), oxycodone (Oxycontin), and others;
  • an "SSRI" antidepressant such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft);
  • a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), and others;
  • medicine to treat erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra);
  • drugs to treat high blood pressure or a prostate disorder, such as alfuzosin (Uroxatral), doxazosin (Cardura), prazosin (Minipress), terazosin (Hytrin), tamsulosin (Flomax);
  • a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin), bisoprolol (Zebeta, Ziac), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), or timolol (Blocadren); or
  • an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with desmopressin. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about desmopressin.


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.

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