Pediatric Hypernatremia Medication

Updated: Dec 16, 2020
  • Author: Ewa Elenberg, MD, MEd; Chief Editor: Timothy E Corden, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

The medications described below are used in patients with diabetes insipidus who have hypernatremia.


Vasopressin and vasopressin analogs

Class Summary

Desmopressin is a synthetic ADH with actions mimicking vasopressin. These agents are used to treat diabetes insipidus, which deprives the kidney of its capacity to produce concentrated urine. This effect results in large volumes of dilute urine (polyuria) and excessive thirst (polydipsia). Serum sodium concentrations may be elevated, but hypernatremia is most likely to be severe when fluid is restricted.

Desmopressin acetate (DDAVP)

Structural analog of vasopressin (ADH), the endogenous posterior pituitary hormone that maintains serum osmolality in a physiologically acceptable range. Works in neurohypophysial (eg, central) diabetes insipidus. Exerts similar antidiuretic effects. Vasopressin increases resorption of water at level of renal collecting duct, reducing urinary flow and increasing urine osmolality.

Vasopressin (Pitressin)

Exogenous, parenteral form of ADH. Antidiuretic and increases resorption of water at renal collecting ducts.



Class Summary

These drugs promote the excretion of water and electrolytes by the kidneys. They are used in patients with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.

Hydrochlorothiazide (Esidrix, HydroDIURIL)

Works by increasing excretion of sodium, chloride, and water by inhibiting sodium ion transport across renal tubular epithelium. Resulting sodium depletion reduces glomerular filtration rate, enhancing reabsorption of fluid in proximal portion of nephron, decreasing delivery of sodium to ascending limb of loop of Henle and consequently reducing capacity to dilute urine.