Alarm Therapy vs Desmopressin for Bedwetting: Which Works Better?

Alarm Therapy vs Desmopressin for Bedwetting

Desmopressin acetate is a synthetic analogue of antidiuretic hormone (ADH). According to sources, it’s ideal for short-term use and has a rapid onset of action. As a pharmacological therapy option, desmopressin can be used on its own or in combination with a bedwetting alarm.

Several studies have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of desmopressin against alarm therapy. Here, we present the summarized findings of these studies and answer the question, “Which works better as a bedwetting solution, alarm therapy or desmopressin?”

Alarm vs Alarm + Desmopressin

A study by Bradbury (1995) compared the effectiveness of enuresis alarms with instranasal desmopressin. In the study, 16 out of 27 children (or 59.3%) achieved 4 consecutive dry weeks with enuresis alarm alone. In comparison 27 out of 44 (or 81.8%) achieved dryness throughout the same 4-week duration with alarm plus desmopressin.

Alarm + placebo vs Alarm + desmopressin

In a randomized controlled trial performed by Sukhai (1989), the researcher found that there is no difference in the outcome. The mean number of wet nights per week at the end of treatment is the same between the two controls.

Alarm vs Desmopressin

Randomized control trials done by Ng (2005) and Wille (1986) compared alarm therapy with any form of desmopressin. The studies showed that the usage of desmopressin yielded better results than desmopressin. The number of children who achieved 14 consecutive dry nights was 22.9% for alarm and 42.1% for desmopressin.

These results are opposite those from two other studies, from Longstaffe (2000) and Tuygun (2007). In these studies, the researchers found that the number of children who achieved 14 consecutive dry nights was 57.3% for alarm and 49.5% for desmopressin.

When it comes to the incidence of a relapse at 3 months was better for alarm, the above-stated studies have similar results. In comparison, alarm yielded a better relapse rate than what’s registered for desmopressin.


Alarm therapy is better than desmopressin when it comes to long-term results. Even though there are conflicting findings on the “alarm therapy vs desmopressin” debate, it should be noted that alarm therapy’s relapse rate is significantly lower.

Read more studies here…

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