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Widely Used Drug Successful in Long Term for Bed-Wetting

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Husmann found that after six months, 56% of patients remained dry after use of the alarm was stopped.

According to Shelly Morris, director of the Enuresis Treatment Centers in Farmingham, Mich., sleep disorders can often be an underlying cause of nighttime incontinence.

"People sleep so deeply the brain and the bladder don't communicate," she says. "People can outgrow bed-wetting, but they can't outgrow a sleep disorder. It's important to determine if that [or anything else] is the cause before simple drug therapy is undertaken."

Husmann cautions that definitive enuresis should not be diagnosed until a child is between four and five years old. He says by age five, 85% of children will have outgrown the problem by achieving voluntary control of the bladder.

The Stockholm study was supported by Ferring Pharmaceuticals.

Vital Information:

  • Desmopressin is the most widely used treatment for nighttime bed-wetting, and the drug maintains its effectiveness over a one-year period, according to a new study.
  • The drug is best used for when children are sleeping away from home or in conjunction with a behavioral treatment that uses alarms, because children do not remain dry once weaned from the drug.
  • By age 5, about 85% of children will outgrow the problem of nighttime bed-wetting.
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