Bedwetting is a challenging and distressing problem in children, teenagers, and some adults.
Causes can be varying, but in most cases it is not caused by a medical condition. Still, seeking medical advice is the first step to take when bedwetting becomes a problem.
Kids aged 5 and over are normally toilet trained and able to get through the night without wetting the bed.
But if your child starts waking in the morning with soaked sheets, then there are steps to take to get back to permanent dry nights.
1. Outgrow the Bedwetting
Some young children will naturally outgrow a bedwetting problem. It might occur for a matter of weeks and then stop, never to return again. Or the frequency of bedwetting can decrease gradually, and eventually going away completely.
But in cases where this doesn’t happen quickly, distress kicks in and the older your child is, the more stressful and negatively impacting a bedwetting problem is. Without some sort of intervention, the majority of child bedwetting will continue to happen.
Children who continue to wet the bed aged 10 and into their teenage years can carry this problem into adulthood. Needless to say, the impacts on the life of a bedwetting teen and adult is substantial.
Small children are also severely affected, with alterations to social life being one of the foremost problems as a result of embarrassing bedwetting.
Waiting for a child to outgrow bedwetting is a passive approach. It’s a hopeful strategy that, unfortunately, usually ends in disappointment.
Taking a proactive approach to bedwetting by actually doing something about it gives a child or teen hope that this problem can and will be eliminated soon.
If your doctor has evaluated and determined a medical intervention should be attempted to halt the bedwetting issue, follow this advice.
A common prescription medicine for bedwetting patients is DDAVP which mimics the hormone vasopressin that helps regulate night time urine production. Many children do see improvements and elimination of bedwetting with this approach. Those who have been diagnosed with an active bladder will sometimes be prescribed Ditropan.
Sufferers of day time enuresis as a result of overactive bladder can benefit from this medication. However, most kids and teens with nocturnal enuresis do not suffer from daytime wetting.
A downside of medication approaches is that bedwetting is known to re-emerge once the medication is stopped. Consulting closely with your doctor to determine if a medication strategy is appropriate for your child is essential.
If you have not seen results with the home remedies you have tried in an attempt to stop your child’s bedwetting, and if you are concerned they are not growing out of it as they get older, you might be considering taking the next step by asking a doctor about bedwetting medicine for kids.
Prescriping medication for a bedwetting problem in children is generally a last resort for a doctor, unless an underlying physical problem has been diagnosed.
Which medications are used for bedwetting?
Your doctor will provide you with specific advice about which types of medicines are advised. This can vary depending on where you live, your child’s age, and medical history.
This medication has shown success with children who bed wet. Up to half of all children who have used Imipramine have gone on to experience total dryness, and those who did not achieve complete dryness did show remarkable improvement. It should be noted however, that depending upon the studies, the success rate can be as low as 10%.
Imipramine was traditionally used as an anti-depressant, so just how it works to help stop bedwetting is still something that is not totally understood. The possible effects are believed to relate to a number of potential factors: by altering the pattern of sleep in a child, by helping them hold urine in the bladder for longer, or by reducing the volume of urine being produced. Any or all of these effects can significantly help a child with their bedwetting problem.
If a child is under 7 years old, he or she is very unlikely to be prescribed Imipramine. And like most medications, it is only effective while it is being taken, with bedwetting likely to occur again after stopping Imipramine. For that reason, using the medication alongside other forms of therapy is essential for long term success.
What about side effects?
Imipramine has shown to come with only minor possible side effects such as reduced appetite, irritbaility and insomnia, which are not experienced by the majority of children who use the drug for bedwetting and at the prescribed dosage.
Desmopressin Acetate (DDAVP)
DDAVP aims to treat the symptoms bedwetting. Studies show that older children see the best results with DDAVP, while it has not been as effective in young children.
THe goal of this medicine is to slow down the production of urine during the night.
DDAVP works by essentially acting as a copy of a natural chemical in the body which controls the production of urine. DDAVP is believed to help with bedwetting by helping to reduce how much urine is produced during the night.
DDAVP can be taken in either of two forms: as a tablet, or as a nasal spray. The FDA no longer recommends that the nasal spray formula be used to treat bedwetting because of the higher risk of side effects. While some children can struggle with swallowing tablet, they are not only the safer method, but are also said to be the more effective option with studies showing a better response rate compared to those who used the nasal spray.
What about side effects?
If taking the nasal spray version of DDAVP, side effects can include discomfort in the, nosebleeds, and headaches. As mentioned above, the FDA does not recommend using the spray verison of DDAVP to treat a bed wetting problem due to potential side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
One rare but serious side effect noted is seizure which can result from using the medication along with intaking too much fluids on the same night. Care should be taken to keep fluid intake at normal levels when using DDAVP. This effect is known as water intoxication and can start as mild symptoms such as a headache and vomiting. If your child experiences these symptoms after taking DDAVP, notify your doctor right away.
Special care should be taken when giving DDAVP to children with ADHD. Due to the impulsive behavior of these children, their fluid intake needs to be monitored even closer when they are taking this medicaion to ensure that water intoxication does not occur.
DDAVP vs Imipramine For Bedwetting – Pros and Cons
Neither of these medications will cure bedwetting, but they can still provide considerable benefits to children who are not making progress with other treatments.
The reported positive response rates for both imipramine and DDAVP are similar. This means that they have both shown to be similarly effective in reducing the incidence of bedwetting.
DDAVP costs more than imipramine.
Bedwetting medications for children are rarely, if ever, a cure. They are prescribed to reduce severe symptoms when other methods have failed, but should not be thought of as a standalone cure. It can help to bring a severe bedwetting problem under control so that other remedies can be implemented; such as behavioral and device based training.
3. Bedwetting Alarms
The most accessible and “ready to start right now” strategy is a bedwetting alarm.
We can think of these alarms as an aid of behavioral therapy. Bedwetting alarms train a child or teen (or adult) to eventually wake up on their own with a full bladder rather than wetting the bed.
This can take several weeks or up to three months, but the elimination of bedwetting is usually permanent.