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Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed®) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; 2006-.


Last Revision: March 17, 2021.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

CASRN: 16679-58-6

image 134992007 in the ncbi pubchem database

Drug Levels and Effects

Summary of Use during Lactation

Desmopressin from a nasal spray is excreted in negligible amounts into milk and is poorly absorbed orally by the infant, so it appears acceptable to use during breastfeeding. There is no published experience with sublingual desmopressin during breastfeeding. Until more data become available, sublingual desmopressin should be used with caution during breastfeeding, especially while nursing a newborn or preterm infant.

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. In a patient who was using intranasal desmopressin 10 mcg twice daily for diabetes insipidus, serum and milk levels of arginine vasopressin were measured after a dose.[1] Milk levels gradually increased from the background level of 1 ng/L to about 1.5 ng/L over the 4-hour observation period.

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Several cases have been reported of mothers with diabetes insipidus using desmopressin and breastfeeding their infants.[2-4] In one case, the mother discontinued nursing after 2 weeks because of a low milk supply, but this was not clearly drug related.[3] Lactation sometimes improves diabetes insipidus and reduces desmopressin requirements.[2,3]


Burrow GN, Wassenaar W, Robertson GL, et al. DDAVP treatment of diabetes insipidus during pregnacy and the post-partum period. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1981;97:23–5. [PubMed: 7223315]
Hadi HA, Mashini IS, Devoe LD. Diabetes insipidus during pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia. A case report. J Reprod Med. 1985;30:206–8. [PubMed: 3999072]
Hime MC, Richardson JA. Diabetes insipidus and pregnancy. Case report, incidence and review of literature. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 1978;33:375–9. [PubMed: 652196]
Wallia A, Bizhanova A, Huang W, et al. Acute diabetes insipidus mediated by vasopressinase after placental abruption. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013;98:881–6. [PubMed: 23393172]

Substance Identification

Substance Name


CAS Registry Number


Drug Class

Breast Feeding




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Bookshelf ID: NBK501313PMID: 30000372