Water intoxication is a serious condition which may be caused by desmopressin overdose, with reversible or irreversible neurological complications. In the past, desmopressin was used in endocrinological centers for the treatment of antidiuretic hormone deficiency (central diabetes insipidus). Indications for hormone treatment have since widened, especially as an effective solution for nocturnal enuresis. It is now often prescribed in community clinics, and its use has been encouraged by extensive promotion. We describe a 15-year-old boy with primary nocturnal enuresis who started treatment with desmopressin 1 year prior to admission. He was allowed to use the drug without supervision, and drank excessively. The result was water intoxication which required admission for intensive care because of loss of consciousness and convulsions for 36 hours.
|Published - 1 Apr 1997