IF MEDICATION IS A MUST, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
Most children will naturally grow out of their bedwetting stage, but rare cases can be extreme and some families decide to treat bedwetting with prescription medication. This option should only be at the recommendation of your child’s doctor and after all other bedwetting treatments and bedwetting management strategies have been exhausted.
Some children may find relief in medication if they have a big event, such as school camp or a weekend away, but you should only go down this path if your GP advises that it’s safe.
Bedwetting medication treats the problem while in use, with only around 30% of children achieving total success after its use. Many children return to wetting the bed once medication is removed, however studies assessing its effectiveness show tapering off the dose rather than sudden withdrawal does increase rates of success.
Will medication end bedwetting?
Medications are generally seen as a way to help manage your bedwetting rather than as a cure.
Medications work by mimicking the action of the hormone ADH, reducing the amount of urine produced by the kidneys overnight.
When considering the use of the medication for treating bedwetting, the question you should ask yourself is “What am I hoping to achieve?”
If you’re looking for a permanent solution to your child’s bedwetting, then this is probably not the way to go as many children do experience a relapse when they stop taking the medication.
Sometimes using medication in conjunction with a bedwetting alarm helps do the trick.
Medication may also be useful for the treatment of bedwetting among children with particular developmental, attentional, behavioural or emotional difficulties.
WHAT IS ANTI-DIURETIC HORMONE?
Anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) is a hormone produced in the body, which controls urine production while we sleep. The existence of ADH is the reason why most of us can sleep through the night without requiring visits to the bathroom. Without ADH we would need to urinate as frequently as we do during waking hours.
Children who wet the bed may not be producing enough ADH, which is why they need to urinate frequently during the night.
Desmopressin acetate is the most common bedwetting medication. It works by imitating anti-diuretic hormone and reduces urine production at night.
This drug is available by prescription only and is usually taken in the form of a pill or nasal spray. Side effects are uncommon, but users may experience headaches, a runny nose, or nosebleeds (if using the nasal spray).
OTHER BEDWETTING TREATMENT OPTIONS
Before turning to medication, trying a combination of non-medical treatment and management strategies is highly recommended. Your child may respond well to a bedwetting alarm, which has high success rates.
For sleepovers and school camps, DryNites Pyjama Pants are a great alternative to medication and can be worn discreetly under pyjamas like underwear.