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Emergency Medical Minute


Dec 30, 2019

Contributor: Charleen Melton, PharmD

Educational Pearls:

  • Desmopressin (DDAVP) is an analogue of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) that has been used for the treatment of intracranial hemorrhage. It works by increasing the release of Von Willebrand factor, helping to stabilize clots. 
  • The use of DDAVP for intracranial hemorrhage in patients on antiplatelet agents (mainly Aspirin and Plavix) was recently reviewed
  • In this retrospective review, they found an 88% decreased likelihood of hemorrhage expansion, in those who received DDAVP, compared to those who did not. Furthermore, they found no significant increase in adverse effects like hyponatremia or thrombosis 
  • However, no difference in mortality or neurological status was found
  • DDAVP for intracranial hemorrhage in the setting of antiplatelet agents may be safe and reduce the expansion of intracranial bleeds but not change important patient outcomes


Feldman EA et al. Retrospective assessment of desmopressin effectiveness and safety in patients with antiplatelet-associated intracranial hemorrhage. Crit Care Med 2019 Sep 24; [e-pub]

Summarized by Will Dewispelaere, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD