Enuresis is a rather embarrassing condition predominantly affecting children, even though it may affect adults as well.In children the problem basically occurs at night and after the child has established control over his/her bladder. If a child occasionally urinates the bed before he/she turns 6 or 7, the condition is not considered serious. However, if the problem tends to linger, parents are due to consult a well experienced pediatrician and get familiar with all available treatment options.
Enuresis and Consequences
This medical condition is more frustrating than actually being a serious problem. There are no health risks associated with enuresis unless it is caused by some serious underlying conditions. The child is usually overwhelmed by guilt and embarrassment which, if strong enough, may severely jeopardize his/her self-esteem and even lead to a rise in the frequency of bed-wetting.
Still, if the child continues to wet him/herself, there is higher risk of rash occurring on the bottom and genital area. Such rash rarely occurs but may be troublesome and pose a risk for secondary infection.
Enuresis Treatments and Drugs
Parents must remain patient, supportive and understanding. The condition can be brought under control with bladder training, moisture alarms and specific drugs. There are even cases when the child simply outgrows the condition within certain period of time. For instance, in case there is a family history of bed-wetting, the affected child usually stops bed-wetting at the same age as other members suffering from the condition did. Nevertheless, if the problem persists, it is best to stay in touch with a well experienced pediatrician and follow all his/her recommendations.
As for medications prescribed for enuresis, doctors most commonly opt for desmopressin acetate. This specific drug increases the level of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). Anti-diuretic hormone does not allow the body to excrete urine i.e. it reduces the amount of excreted urine. The drug may be taken in a form of a pill or nasal spray. Still, because the effects of the drug applied in a form of nasal spray last much longer and can be of great intensity, doctors generally opt for a pill. Among several side effects of desmopressin acetate the most serious one is the onset of seizures.
If irritated, the bladder can be calmed with an anticholinergic drugs like oxybutynin or hyoscyamine. Side effects of these medications are dry mouth and facial blushing.
Finally, there are some drugs that can affect the child's sleeping and waking patterns. For instance, the antidepressant imipramine may sometimes be effective when it comes to bed-wetting in children.