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Vasopressin Review – 8 Things You Should Consider

By Sasha de Beausset Aparicio, MSc

Reviewed by Rebecca Williams, MD, MA, MB, BChir

Last Updated:

Evidence Based | Synopsis | Formula | Claims | Cautions | Price | How To Take | Does it Work

Vasopressin is a hormone responsible for regulating the retention of water and for balancing the glucose and salts levels in the body, also known as the anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). Vasopressin controls blood pressure, raising it by narrowing (constricting) the blood vessels.

It is naturally synthesized in the brain (the hypothalamus) and stored in the pituitary gland, from where it is released into the bloodstream when needed.

The hormone can also be artificially synthesized in which case it is known as 8-Arginine Vasopressin. It is available as a generic product in the form of aqueous solutions or in the form of synthetic analogues (Desmopressin, Terlipressin). The synthetic analogues are commercialized under different trade names, like Minirin by Ferring, Stimate by CSL Behring or Variquel by IS Pharmaceuticals.

Vasopressin Injection USP is produced by Sandoz International, a worldwide renowned manufacturer, with a history of more than 120 years in the market for pharmaceutical drugs.


1) Vasopressin at a Glance

Vasopressin is a prescription drug and is usually administrated as an injection under the skin or into a muscle in a clinic or hospital setting. It has two main roles: it helps the kidney to conserve water and, in high concentrations, constricts the arterial blood vessels (increasing blood pressure).

Medical council is always required before administrating Vasopressin. This is a prescription drug and should be taken under strict doctor’s order.

The list of counter indications is rather extended and includes chronic kidney conditions, asthma, congestive heart failure or a history of seizures. Precautions refer to pregnant or breast-feeding women or women who plan on becoming pregnant.

Side effects reported include, but are not limited to: cardiovascular side effects (cardiac arrest, angina, increased blood pressure), dermatological side effects (sweating, cutaneous necrosis, especially at the site of administration), gastrointestinal side effects (vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea), renal side effects (such as acute renal failure); nervous system related side effects (headache, tremor) and respiratory side effects (pulmonary edema, bronchial constriction).


2) What Are Vasopressin Ingredients?

Vasopressin Injection USP includes the following active ingredient: Vasopressin (8-L-Arginine).

3) Does Vasopressin Work?

As stated above, Vasopressin is a type of substance naturally produced in the body and is referred to as an anti-diuretic hormone. The hormone is secreted by the pituitary glands in the body, and it helps with the overall functions of the kidneys and the blood vessels. Some studies also indicate that the use of it will help prevent the body from losing too much water and to help keep blood pressure levels regulated. Vasopressin-based drugs are commonly prescribed in those who have diabetes.

Synthetic Vasopressin is an ingredient in prescription drugs. Individuals who have kidney problems shouldn’t use Vasopressin. People who have a history of migraine headaches, seizures, heart problems or other conditions should avoid this form of medication too.

There have been noted side effects associated with the use of Vasopressin. They include nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, and fatigue. For most people, these side effects are very mild and will subside within a few days of use. Anyone that experiences trouble with breathing, a rash, high fever, or a rapid heart rate needs to consult his or her doctor immediately.


4) Vasopressin Claims

  • Good reputation of the manufacturer
  • Proven effectiveness

5) What You Need to Know Before Taking Vasopressin

  • Long list of side effects, precautions an warnings
  • Relatively high cost of treatment

6) Vasopressin Price

The cost of Vasopressin can be expensive but most prescription plans, and health insurance programs will cover it. There could be a copay or a deductible that applies each time that the prescription is filled.

How To Take

7) How to Take Vasopressin

Vasopressin is usually given as needed every 3 to 4 hours.

Does it Work

8) Bottom Line – Does It Really Work?

Using Vasopressin requires a doctor’s prescription and the drug can be administrated only by specialized personnel in a clinic or hospital setting.

Clinical studies have shown Vasopressin to be effective in cardiac arrests, septic shocks, diabetes insipidus or hypotension. Even so, the product is known to have a wide range of adverse effects. Therefore electrocardiograms and other tests are recommended periodically during therapy.

Vasopressin is a prescription drug, so you must inform your doctor of any health conditions, potential drug allergies or drugs you are already using, before you are prescribed the right dosages for your treatment with Vasopressin or analogues.

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