Nocturnal enuresis

BMJ Clin Evid. 2011 Jan 31:2011:0305.


Introduction: Nocturnal enuresis affects 15% to 20% of 5-year-old children, 5% of 10-year-old children, and 1% to 2% of people aged 15 years and over. Without treatment, 15% of affected children will become dry each year. Nocturnal enuresis is not diagnosed in children younger than 5 years, and treatment may be inappropriate for children younger than 7 years.

Methods and outcomes: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of interventions for relief of symptoms? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to February 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Results: We found 19 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.

Conclusions: In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: acupuncture, anticholinergics (oxybutynin, tolterodine, hyoscyamine), desmopressin, dry bed training, enuresis alarm, hypnotherapy, standard home alarm clock, and tricyclics (imipramine, desipramine).

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidiuretic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Nocturnal Enuresis* / drug therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Antidiuretic Agents