Desmopressin is a chemical that is similar to Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH) which is found naturally in the body. It increases urine concentration and decreases urine production. Desmopressin is used to prevent and control excessive thirst, urination, and dehydration caused by injury, surgery, and certain medical conditions, allowing you to sleep through the night without awakening to urinate. It is also used to treat specific types of diabetes insipidus and conditions after head injury or pituitary surgery.
Desmopressin is a widely used hemostatic drug. It is a synthetic analogue of the natural hormone vasopressin, but, in contrast to vasopressin, it has no pressor activity. The effect is immediate, with two- to sixfold increases in the plasma concentrations of coagulation factor VIII, on Willebrand factor, and tissue plasminogen activator, and increases in platelet adhesiveness of comparable magnitude. Desmopressin is used in patients with mild hemophilia A, von Willebrand's disease, congenital platelet dysfunction, or acquired platelet dysfunction due to uremia or intake of such drugs as aspirin. It may also be used to reduce surgical blood loss in patients without known bleeding diathesis. Optimal hemostatic effect is achieved with a dosage of 0.3 micrograms/kg given intravenously. Other routes of administration are subcutaneous injection or intranasal spray. The latter proved to be efficient for home treatment of patients with bleeding disorders.
Lethagen, S. (1994). Desmopressin (DDAVP) and hemostasis. Annals of hematology, 69(4), 173-180.
The synthetic vasopressin analogue (1-deamino-8-D-arginine-vasopressin) increases plasma concentration of factor VIII and von Willebrand factor in normal subjects and patients with mild haemophilia A and von Willebrand disease. Since its first clinical use in 1977, desmopressin has become the treatment of choice for patients with haemophilia A and factor VIII coagulant activity (FVIII:C) > 5% and has spared several patients the risk of acquiring blood-borne viral infections due to the use of non-virally inactivated plasma-derived FVIII concentrates. An average two to sixfolds FVIII:C increase is typically observed in most patients and return to baseline occurs usually within 8 hours. Several clinical studies have demonstrated the clinical efficacy and safety of desmopressin and the availability of concentrated formulation for subcutaneous injection and of a nasal spray has paved the way to home-treatment. However, overall it appears that haemophilic children may have a lower rate of biologic response compared to adults and a minority of adult patients are not able to attain clinically useful FVIII:C levels post-desmopressin administration. Thus, in every patient with haemophilia A likely to be treated or candidate to an elective invasive procedure, a test-infusion/injection should be carried out to assess the future usefulness of the compound.
Castaman, G. (2008). Desmopressin for the treatment of haemophilia. Haemophilia, 14(s1), 15-20.