Drugs for nocturnal enuresis in children (other than desmopressin and tricyclics).Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000CD
Enuresis (bedwetting) is a socially unacceptable and stressful condition which affects around 15-20% of five year olds, and up to 2% of young adults. Although there is a high rate of spontaneous remission, the social, emotional and psychological costs to the children can be great.
To assess the effects of drugs other than desmopressin and tricyclics on nocturnal enuresis in children, and to compare them with other interventions.
The following electronic databases were searched: MEDLINE to June 1997; AMED; ASSIA; BIDS; BIOSIS Previews (1985-1996); CINAHL; DHSS Data; EMBASE (1974 to June 1997); PsycLIT and SIGLE. Organisations, manufacturers, researchers and health professionals concerned with enuresis were contacted for information. The reference sections of obtained studies were also checked for further trials. Date of the most recent search: July 1997.
All randomised trials of drugs (excluding desmopressin or tricyclics) for nocturnal enuresis in children were included in the review. Trials were eligible for inclusion if: children were randomised to receive drugs compared with placebo, other drugs or other conservative interventions for nocturnal bedwetting; participants with organic causes for their bedwetting were excluded; and baseline assessments of the level of bedwetting were provided. Trials focused solely on daytime wetting were excluded.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Two reviewers independently assessed the quality of the eligible trials, and extracted data.
None of the drugs (phenmetrazine, amphetamine sulphate/ephedrine + atropine, furosemide (sic) or chlorprotixine) were better than placebo during treatment. The numbers were too small to draw reliable conclusions, and none are used in current practice in the UK. Imipramine (a tricyclic) was better than each of the three drugs with which it was compared (meprobamate, ephedrine sulphate and furosemide) even though the numbers were small. Alarm treatment was better than drugs in one small trial.
There was not enough evidence to suggest that the included drugs reduced bedwetting. There was limited evidence to suggest that imipramine and alarms were better, and in other reviews, desmopressin, tricyclics and alarm interventions have tentatively been shown to be effective.