Seven paediatric patients with central diabetes insipidus were studied in an open dose ranging study in hospital followed by a six month study on an outpatient basis to assess the efficacy and safety of peroral administration of DDAVP (desmopressin) tablets. In the dose ranging study a dose dependent antidiuretic response was observed. The response to 12.5-50 mcg was, however, less effective in correcting baseline polyuria than were doses of 100 mcg and above. Patients were discharged from hospital on a preliminary dosage regimen ranging from 100 to 400 mcg three times daily. After an initial adjustment in dosage in three patients at one week follow up, all patients were stabilised on treatment with tablets and reported an adequate water turnover at six months. As with the intranasal route of administration dosage requirements varied from patient to patient, and a dose range rather than standard doses were required. A significant correlation, however, was found for the relation between previous intranasal and present oral daily dosage. No adverse reactions were reported. No clinically significant changes were noted in blood chemistry and urinalysis. All patients expressed a preference for the oral over existing intranasal treatment. Treatment with tablets offers a beneficial alternative to the intranasal route, particularly in patients with chronic rhinitis or impaired vision.
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