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Bedwetting treatments: Choosing the medication

Dr. D. Preston Smith
Author Dr. D. Preston Smith
Submitted 16-10-2007

The Potty Trainer

You and your child’s doctor will determine which bedwetting medication is best for your child. As a “team”, you and your child’s doctor should discuss the pros and cons of the various medications being considered.


Side effects are rare and usually not life threatening. More caution is advised when using imipramine, but with the appropriate instruction and precautions, it is a safe option. Generics are available for oxybutynin and imipramine. Desmopressin is not yet available as a generic in the United States. If you should have any questions about your child’s medication ask your doctor or a pharmacist.


Oxybutynin’s actions are quick, and if the bedwetting does not improve quickly while taking this medication then it should be stopped after a few weeks. Opinion differs on how long one should take imipramine or desmopressin. If the bedwetting is not significantly better (twice as many dry nights) within a month, the medication should be stopped or the dose slightly increased. Since the medications all have different methods of correcting the bedwetting, if one does not work, then another can be tried. Most pediatric urologists do not recommend using a combination of these drugs together. Remember there is not a “magic pill” for bedwetting, and you should be prepared to try alternate treatments if the bedwetting continues to be a problem.


– Dr. D. Preston Smith


Dr. Smith is board certified and he has authored or co-authored many articles, papers, chapters, and books in Urology and Pediatric Urology. His research has been presented throughout the world. Dr. Smith’s dedication to helping children with urologic problems inspired him to establish PottyMD.