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Reducing nocturia in the elderly: a randomized placebo-controlled trial of staggered furosemide and desmopressin

Fu FG, Lavery HJ, Wu DL.

Department of Urology, TongJi Hospital, TongJi University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.



The purpose of this study was to investigate efficacy, safety, and impact on quality of sleep of staggered furosemide and desmopressin in the treatment of nocturia in the elderly.


Patients aged >60 years with nocturia at least two voids per night were screened for enrollment into the study. A 3-week dose-titration phase established the optimum desmopressin dose (0.1, 0.2, or 0.4 mg). After a 1-week "washout" period, patients who showed sufficient response during the dose-titration period were randomized to receive staggered furosemide and the optimal dose of desmopressin or placebo in a double-blind design for 3 weeks. Voiding diaries were assessed before and after the treatment.


In all, 82 patients were randomized to either staggered furosemide and desmopressin (n=41) or placebo (n=41). In the study group, most patients reported a good response with both reduced nocturnal voids (3.5 vs. 2.0, P<0.01) and urine volume (919.6 ml vs. 584.2 ml, P<0.01). The mean duration of the first sleep period was improved by 70 min (133.6 vs. 203.2, P<0.01). Compared to placebo, staggered furosemide and desmopressin resulted in a significant reduction in the mean number of nocturnal voids (43% vs. 9%; P<0.01), nocturnal urine volume (37% vs. 5%; P<0.01), and increase in the mean duration of the first sleep period (52% vs. 19%, P<0.01). Adverse events were mild.


Staggered furosemide and desmopressin provide an effective and well-tolerated treatment for nocturia in the elderly.