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Pharmacological Treatments for Nocturnal Enuresis

Bedwetting, sleep enuresis, and nocturnal enuresis are all terms used in referring to urinating or voiding during sleep. Nocturnal enuresis is very common in children, especially younger children. However, nocturnal enuresis can also affect adults. Commonly, children can outgrow nocturnal enuresis, but there are some children who can’t outgrow the problem. And there are also some people who are not normally suffering from nocturnal enuresis, but when they become adults, there will be an onset of nocturnal enuresis, given the term adult onset nocturnal enuresis.

Pharmacological Treatment for Nocturnal Enuresis

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Pharmacological Treatments for Nocturnal Enuresis

There are several different treatments or remedies for nocturnal enuresis, greatly depending on the patient’s status in terms of age, current physical condition, overall health, and the exact cause/s of the nocturnal enuresis. One treatment modality for nocturnal enuresis is pharmacological treatments. There are several different types of medications that can be given alone or used in combination with some behavioral treatments that can be more effective. Studies reveal that medications for nocturnal enuresis can help in lowering number of wet nights as long as the medication is taken. Usually, once taking of medications for nocturnal enuresis is stopped, relapse of the bedwetting will most likely occur.

Medications for Nocturnal Enuresis

Before starting or taking any medications for nocturnal enuresis, consulting medical advice from your health care provider should be done. Here are some medications commonly used in treating or addressing nocturnal enuresis or bedwetting:

  • Desmopressin or DDAVP – This type of medication tries to mimic the anti-diuretic hormone or vasopressin, making the production of urine lesser during the night. The desmopressin is one of the most commonly used medications for nocturnal enuresis. This medication is taken just before bedtime. Desmopressin comes in either a pill form or in nasal spray form.
  • Imipramine – This medication is not like desmopressine that mimics the actions of anti-diuretic hormone. Imipramine is a kind of tricyclic antidepressant or TCA, which is proven to decrease wet nights in people suffering from nocturnal enuresis. Most of the time, imipramine is given to patients who do not respond well with desmopressin and other behavioral treatments for nocturnal enuresis. Imipramine should be taken only if with your doctor’s consent.
  • Anticholinergic Medications – this medication is effective in treating nocturnal enuresis if the cause of a person’s wet nights is detrusor overactivity. Detrusor overactivity is the term used when referring to the involuntary contractions of the bladder muscle (detrusor) during bladder filling.

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