What are the treatment options for bedwetting?

Medication and bedwetting alarms are the two most common treatments. Medication does not cure bedwetting. Bedwetting alarms offer a permanent solution for most children.

Pharmaceutical treatment with drugs like Desmopressin and Imipramine can provide symptomatic relief. Medication can be useful for short-term, occasional use. There’s no medication that cures bedwetting, and bedwetting will usually return when the drug is stopped.

Bedwetting alarm treatement has been used for decades. It is a behavioural treatment that teaches the child to wake up before wetting occurs. While it takes considerably more effort than medication, it is safe, affordable, and very effective in permanently curing bedwetting. Clinical trials show that bedwetting alarms can cure bedwetting in up to 90% of cases.

Comparison of bedwetting treatments

Bedwetting Alarm Desmopressin (drug) Imipramine (drug)
How does it work? Conditions the child to wake up and/or produce less urine Reduces urine production at night Not clearly understood
Cures the condition? Yes-very effective if used correctly No No
Recommendation in treatment guidelines The specialist recommended first- line treatment Potential role in short-term use Not recommended due to safety concerns
Requires a prescription No Yes Yes
Cost Low-a one-time expense of $ 89 (CAD) High, usually ~$ 3.40 US ($ 4.50 CAD)/day Low, ~$ 0.25 US ($ 0.33 CAD)/ day
Is it safe? Very safe Yes, but do not drink too much fluid with the medication Major concerns
Does it work fast? No Yes, but only a small number of children get completely dry on medication Yes, but only a small number of children get completely dry on medication

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