Experience Of Medical Treatment With Desmopressin And Imipramine In Children With Severe Primary Nocturnal Enuresis In Taiwan

Res Rep Urol. 2019 Oct 31:11:283-289. doi: 10.2147/RRU.S221443. eCollection 2019.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of desmopressin and imipramine in the treatment of severe primary nocturnal enuresis (NE) in Taiwan.

Patients and methods: This study was a retrospective chart review study conducted on children with primary monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis (PMNE) or non-monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis (PNMNE), referred to and treated by senior physicians in a Changhua medical center in Taiwan. After being screened, these children were treated with either desmopressin (n = 125) or imipramine (n = 71). All participants were treated for at least 3 months and followed afterward for at least 3 more months. The response and relapse rates were measured. Side effects were monitored. Age, gender, and severity of NE were recorded.

Results: After 3 months of treatment, 97 children treated with desmopressin were responsive (77.6%) while 58 children treated with imipramine were responsive (81.7%). Sixty-one children treated with desmopressin (48.8%) and 26 treated with imipramine (36.6%) relapsed during the 3-month post-treatment monitoring. The differences in responsive and relapse rates were not statistically significant. Four children treated with imipramine (5.6%) reported side effects while none was reported for children treated with desmopressin (P < 0.05). Age, gender, and the presence or absence of daytime enuresis did not influence the response rate to either drug (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Currently, desmopressin is preferred over imipramine for treating NE due to the latter's side effects. Our results demonstrated similar response rates for both drugs, with imipramine demonstrating minimal side effects. While health practitioners should pay attention to its side effects, concerns regarding imipramine toxicity in NE treatment are often overblown. Since imipramine is much cheaper than desmopressin, using imipramine to manage NE can allow health practitioners, especially in Taiwan, to treat the greatest number of children with NE.

Keywords: Taiwan; adverse effects; cost-effective; retrospective analysis; severe nocturnal enuresis; side effects.