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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Pitressin

In Canada—

  • Pitressin
  • Pressyn

Generic name product may be available in the U.S.


  • Antidiuretic, central diabetes insipidus
  • Diagnostic aid, diabetes insipidus
  • Pituitary, posterior, hormone


Vasopressin (vay-soe-PRESS-in) is a hormone naturally produced by your body. It is necessary to maintain good health. Lack of vasopressin causes your body to lose too much water.

Vasopressin is used to control the frequent urination, increased thirst, and loss of water associated with diabetes insipidus (water diabetes).

Vasopressin also may be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

This medicine is available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage form:

  • Parenteral
  • Injection (U.S. and Canada)

Before Receiving This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For vasopressin, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to vasopressin. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Vasopressin has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in humans.

Breast-feeding—Vasopressin has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Children—Children may be especially sensitive to the effects of vasopressin. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. Although there is no specific information comparing the use of vasopressin in the elderly with use in other age groups, the elderly may be more sensitive to its effects.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of vasopressin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Asthma or
  • Epilepsy or
  • Heart disease or
  • Kidney disease or
  • Migraine headaches—If fluid retention (keeping more body water) caused by vasopressin occurs too fast, these conditions may be worsened
  • Heart or blood vessel disease—Vasopressin can cause chest pain or a heart attack; it can also increase blood pressure

Proper Use of This Medicine

Use this medicine only as directed . Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

Dosing—The dose of vasopressin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of vasopressin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For controlling water loss when urinating too often (diabetes insipidus):
      • Adults and teenagers—5 to 10 Units injected into a muscle or under the skin two or three times a day as needed.
      • Children—2.5 to 10 Units injected into a muscle or under the skin three or four times a day.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, use it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Keep from freezing.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur since they may be signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction or overdose:


Chest pain; coma; confusion; convulsions (seizures); drowsiness; fever; headache (continuing); problems with urination; redness of skin; skin rash, hives, or itching; swelling of face, feet, hands, or mouth; weight gain; wheezing or troubled breathing

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

Less common

Abdominal or stomach cramps; belching; diarrhea; dizziness or lightheadedness; increased sweating; increased urge for bowel movement; nausea or vomiting; pale skin; passage of gas; ``pounding"" in head; trembling; white-colored area around mouth

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Revised: 02/28/2000

The information contained in the Thomson Healthcare (Micromedex) products as delivered by is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

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Typical mistypes for Pressyn
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