National Stroke Foundation

Desmopressin Acetate (DDAVP)

The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.

Approval Status:

Approved February 1996

Specific Treatments:

central diabetes insipidus

Therapeutic Areas

General Information

The tablet formulation of DDAVP was approved for treatment of central diabetes insipidus (CDI). DDAVP is a synthetic analog of vasopressin, an antidiuretic hormone affecting renal water conservation.

Currently, CDI can be treated with DDAVP in liquid form, delivered through a rhinal tube. Although the rhinal tube is a clinically effective treatment mode, DDAVP tablets offer a more convenient method of administration for those who must take the medication frequently.

DDAVP tablets are absorbed from the intestine and circulated in an intact form, making it possible to achieve the desired antidiuretic effect.

The onset of antidiuretic effect occurs at around one hour with DDAVP Tablets, and optimal antidiuretic effects last up to eight hours with doses of 0.1 mg to 0.2 mg, and up to 12 hours with a 0.4 mg dose. DDAVP tablets are supplied in 0.1 mg and 0.2 mg dosage strengths.

Additional Information

Diabetes insipidus is a rare metabolic disorder in which patients produce large quantities of dilute urine and are constantly thirsty. CDI is caused by a deficiency in the amounts of the hormone vasopressin secreted from the pituitary gland, and can be caused by disease of the gland, or by injury to the gland such as head trauma, surgery, or tumors. The condition can be acute and short in duration or it can be a chronic, life-long problem.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there were 11,000 hospital discharges in the United States in 1992. The number of CDI subjects on therapy outside of the hospital setting is more difficult to measure.