Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Desmopressin


Last updated on 08/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Desmopressin


BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Minirin, Nocdurna, Octostim 

DRUG CLASS: Antidiuretics

SUB CLASS: Hormones

USED FOR: Hemophilia A, Diabetes insipidus, Nocturia, Nocturnal enuresis in children, Uremic bleeding

– 0.1mg, 0.2mg (tablets)
– 4mcg/mL, 15mcg/mL (injections)
– 25mcg, 50mcg, 60mcg, 120mcg, 240mcg (orodispersible tablets)
– 0.1mg/mL (nasal spray)

What is Desmopressin for?

Desmopressin is a synthetics analogue of the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin. Different formulations or different brands may have different indications which would be described below. In general, it can be used to treat Hemophilia A, central diabetes insipidus, von Willebrand disease, nocturia, uremic bleeding, and primary nocturnal enuresis.

How to use it?

Desmopressin can be administered intranasally, and orally as conventional tablets or sublingually as orodispersible tablets. It can also be injected intravenously or subcutaneously. Listed below are the brands, the indications and the dosages.

Central diabetes insipidus:
Nasal spray: 10 mcg in 1 nostril daily, up to 40 mcg daily either as a single dose or divided into 2 or 3 daily doses
Injection (Minirin® 4 mcg/ml solution only): 1-2 mcg twice daily administered intravenously or subcutaneously
Conventional tablets:
Initial: 0.05 mg twice daily
Maintenance: 0.1-0.8 mg daily divided into 2 or 3 doses

Hemophilia A and von Willebrand disease:
Injection (Minirin® 4 mcg/ml solution only): 0.3 mcg/kg once

Refractory nocturia:
Orodispersible tablets (Nocdurna® 25/50 mcg only)
Female: 25 mcg once daily 1 hour before bedtime
Male: 50 mcg once daily 1 hour before bedtime

Uremic bleeding:
Injection (Octostim® 15 mcg/ml solution only): 0.3-0.4 mcg/kg subcutaneously once at the onset of bleeding

Nocturnal enuresis:
Children ≥ 6 years and Adolescents
Conventional tablets: Initiate 0.2 mg at bedtime, may increase up to 0.6 mg if necessary
Children ≥ 5 years and Adolescents
Orodispersible tablets (Minirin MELT® 60/120/240 mcg only): Initiate 120 mcg once daily 1 hour before bedtime, may increase up to 360 mcg/day

What are the side effects of Desmopressin?

Common side effects of Desmopressin include facial flushing, dry mouth, nausea, abdominal cramps, headaches, hypertension, dizziness, or back pain.

Who should not take Desmopressin?

– People who are allergic to Desmopressin or any component of the formulation
– Patients with hyponatremia or a history of hyponatremia
– Patients with moderate to severe renal impairment

Pharmacist Tips:

Fluid restriction is important in some of the indications. Follow the instructions from your doctor or pharmacist based on indications and products. 

Common dosing schedule:
For conventional tablets, it can be administered with or without food. If indicated for nocturnal enuresis, fluid intake should be limited a minimum of 1 hour prior to dose until at least 8 hours after administration.

For orodispersible tablets, it should be administered 1 hour before bedtime. Besides, fluid intake should be limited a minimum of 1 hour prior to dose until at least 8 hours after administration.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Desmopressin may interact with:
– Opioid analgesics, e.g. Tramadol
– Antidepressants, e.g. Fluoxetine, Paroxetine
– Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs, e.g. Ibuprofen, Naproxen
– Tricyclic antidepressants, e.g. Amitriptyline, Doxepin

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Desmopressin in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Desmopressin is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Desmopressin in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.