Last update Aug. 3, 2022

Desmopressin Acetate (DDAVP)


Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.

Desmopressin is a synthetic octapeptide analog of the natural antidiuretic hormone vasopressin. It has potent antidiuretic action and stimulates the activity of factor VIII and plasminogen activator. It is used in cranial diabetes insipidus, nocturnal enuresis, in renal function tests, in post-dural puncture headache, and in hemophilia and type I von Willebrand disease. Oral, sublingual, intranasal, or injectable administration.

It is excreted in negligible amounts into breast milk. (Burrow 1981). Its pharmacokinetic data (very high molecular weight and moderately large volume of distribution) hinder excretion in breast milk.

Its low oral bioavailability makes it difficult for it to pass to the infant’s plasma via ingested breast milk as, due to its protein nature, it degrades in the gastrointestinal tract and is not absorbed.

No problems have been reported in breastfeeding or in infants of mothers treated with desmopressin. (Wallia 2013, Hadi 1985, Hime 1978)

Diabetes insipidus worsens during pregnancy and improves with breastfeeding, decreasing desmopressin requirements. (Hime 1978). Nipple suckling doubles maternal plasma vasopressin levels. (Hawker 1957)

Expert authors consider the use of this medication compatible with breastfeeding (Hale, LactMed, Briggs 2015). Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs: compatible with breastfeeding. (WHO-UNICEF 2002)


We do not have alternatives for Desmopressin Acetate (DDAVP) since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Desmopressin Acetate (DDAVP) in other languages or writings:


Desmopressin Acetate (DDAVP) belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Desmopressin Acetate (DDAVP) in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. oral: 0; intranasal: 3 - 4 %
Molecular weight 1.183 daltons
Protein Binding 17.3 ± 1 17.3 ± 1.5 %
VD 0.2 - 0.3 l/Kg
pKa 9.5 -
Tmax 0.25 - 0.75 hours
1.3 - 3.1 hours
Theoretical Dose 0.000000225 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose 0.007 %


  1. LactMed. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). Internet. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-. Available from: 2006 - Consulted on April 16, 2024 Full text (link to original source)
  2. Hale TW. Medications & Mothers' Milk. 1991- . Springer Publishing Company. Available from Consulted on April 10, 2024 Full text (link to original source)
  3. Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Towers CV, Forinash AB. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk. Wolters Kluwer Health. Tenth edition (acces on line) 2015
  4. Wallia A, Bizhanova A, Huang W, Goldsmith SL, Gossett DR, Kopp P. Acute diabetes insipidus mediated by vasopressinase after placental abruption. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Mar;98(3):881-6. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  5. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Hadi HA, Mashini IS, Devoe LD. Diabetes insipidus during pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia. A case report. J Reprod Med. 1985 Mar;30(3):206-8. Abstract
  7. Burrow GN, Wassenaar W, Robertson GL, Sehl H. DDAVP treatment of diabetes insipidus during pregnancy and the post-partum period. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1981 May;97(1):23-5. Abstract
  8. Hime MC, Richardson JA. Diabetes insipidus and pregnancy. Case report, incidence and review of literature. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 1978 Jun;33(6):375-9. Abstract
  9. HAWKER RW, ROBERTSON PA, ROBINSON KW. Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) in the human female. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1957 Feb;17(2):320-2. No abstract available. Abstract Full text (link to original source)

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