Effect of food intake on the pharmacokinetics and antidiuretic activity of oral desmopressin (DDAVP) in hydrated normal subjects

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1998 Feb;48(2):235-41.


Objective: The effect of food ingestion on the gastrointestinal absorption and antidiuretic action of oral desmopressin. An oral preparation of desmopressin, a synthetic analogue of vasopressin, has recently become available for clinical use.

Design: A randomized, single-blind, crossover study with four treatment arms. Day A, no meal + placebo; B, no meal + 400 micrograms oral desmopressin; C, standard meal + 400 micrograms oral desmopressin; D, standard meal + 400 micrograms oral desmopressin after 1.5 hours. Plasma desmopressin was measured every 15-30 minutes for 6 hours after drug intake. An intravenous hydration regimen was employed on each study day.

Subjects: Sixteen healthy, non-smoking, mean aged 20-35 years (mean 27.8 years).

Measurements: Plasma desmopressin concentrations were measured throughout each study day to calculate the area under the desmopressin plasma-concentration-time curve to infinity (AUCinf), the maximum plasma desmopressin concentration (Cmax), the time at which Cmax was reached (Tmax) and the time at which plasma desmopressin was first detected (Tlag). Urine volume, urine osmolality and plasma sodium concentrations were also measured at specified times on each study day.

Results: The total absorption of oral desmopressin, reflected by the AUCinf, was significantly higher when taken during the fasting state (day B) compared with its administration with or 1.5 hours after a standard meal (days C and D). In addition, Cmax was higher and both Tmax and Tlag were shorter on day B compared with days C and D. No effect of food ingestion was observed on the pharmacodynamics of oral desmopressin: urine volume was decreased and urine osmolality was increased to similar extents on all active treatment days (B, C and D). No significant reductions in plasma sodium concentrations (a safety parameter) was observed during the trial.

Conclusions: The gastrointestinal absorption of desmopressin is reduced and delayed if administered with or 1.5 hours after a meal. This decreased absorption of desmopressin did not have an impact on the antidiuretic action of the drug since all treatment regimens elicted a maximal response. It is possible that administration of desmopressin in the fasting state may prolong its duration of action.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin / blood
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Eating*
  • Food-Drug Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption*
  • Male
  • Renal Agents / blood
  • Renal Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sodium / blood
  • Time Factors


  • Renal Agents
  • Sodium
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin