Doctors still don't have an answer to nighttime bedwetting, according to a recent analysis.
In a review of several types of bedwetting treatments, Jonathan Evans, of the Children and Young People's Kidney Unit in Nottingham, found that drugs such as the antidiuretic desmopressin or the antidepressant imipramine can improve symptoms, but there is no evidence of long-term benefit.
Imipramine, in particular, also has a high frequency of serious adverse effects involving the central nervous system and should therefore be used with caution.
Enuresis alarms, which wake the child at the first sign of wetting, can be effective as behavioural conditioning. But, he notes, they require several months of continuous use, and many parents find them arduous and impractical. Furthermore, like the drug treatments, a large number of children relapse once the alarm use is stopped (BMJ, 2001; 323: 1167-9).