Desmopressin Intravenous for Adults

Who can administer

May be administered by registered competent doctor or nurse/midwife

Available preparations

DDAVP Desmopressin 4 microgram per 1ml ampoule


Already in solution

Draw up using a 5 micron filter needle

Infusion fluids

Sodium chloride 0.9%

Methods of intravenous administration

Intermittent intravenous infusion (preferred) (ref 1)

  • Add required dose to 50ml infusion fluid and administer over 20 minutes
  • The residual volume in the infusion line must be flushed through at the same rate to avoid significant underdosing

Bolus intravenous injection 

  • For the treatment of cranial diabetes insipidus only, but can also be given by subcutaneous or intramuscular injection
  • Administer slowly over 3 to 5 minutes for intravenous injection (ref 1)


Dose in adults

Mild to moderate haemophilia and Von Willebrands disease

  • Give 0.4 micrograms per kg (by intravenous infusion) as a single dose immediately before surgery or after trauma
  • May be repeated at intervals of twelve hours

Treatment of cranial diabetes insipidus

  • Give 1 to 4 micrograms once daily (by subcutaneous, intramuscular or as a bolus intravenous injection)

Fibrinolytic response testing (ref 2)

  • Give 0.3 micrograms per kg (by subcutaneous injection or intravenous infusion)
  • Blood sample to be taken after twenty minutes for fibrinolytic activity


  • As some patients have shown a diminishing response to successive doses, it is recommended that monitoring of Factor VIII levels should continue
  • During infusion for haemostatic use, it is recommended that the patient's blood pressure is monitored continuously

Precautions to prevent fluid overload must be taken in:

  • Conditions characterised by fluid and/or electrolyte imbalance
  • Patients at risk of increased intracranial pressure


Store between 2 to 8°C 


SPC July 2018(1) Injectable Medicines Guide Medusa, accessed online 22/1/19

(2) BNF 76 September 2018 - March 2019

Therapeutic classification

Posterior pituitary hormones- antidiuretic