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Vasopressin is used to treat diabetes insipidus (rare disease that causes frequent urination due to deficiency of pituitary hormone vasopressin). It also used to prevent and treat bleeding from oesophageal varices and abdominal distention after surgery or during abdominal x-rays.

How it works

Vasopressin belongs to a class of medications called anti-diuretic hormone. Vasopressin helps to prevent loss of water from the body by reducing urine output and helping the kidneys to reabsorb water into the body.

Common side effects

Pale colored skin, Palpitations, Abdominal cramp, Allergy, Bronchoconstriction (constriction of air passages), Chest pain, Diarrhoea, Increased sweating, Nausea, Tremor, Uterine contractions, Vertigo


Expert advice

• Do not consume alcohol while taking vasopressin as it may worsen the side effects.
• Take precautions if you have certain with heart disorders as taking vasopressin may worsen the condition.  
• Inform your doctor if you have seizure, migraine, asthma, heart failure, vascular disease, angina pectoris, coronary thrombosis, renal disease.
• Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
• Should not be given to patients allergic to vasopressin or any of its ingredients.
• Should not be given to patient with vascular diseases especially coronary artery disorders.
• Should not be given to patient with chronic nephritis (inflammation of the kidney leading to kidney function impairment) if reasonable nitrogen concentrations are not attained.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Does vasopressin cause vasoconstriction? 
Yes. Vasopressin has action on certain blood vessels and causes vasoconstriction, which results in increase in blood pressure.  
Q. Is vasopressin a peptide/ ADH?
Vasopressin is also known as antidiuretic hormone (ADH) which is a peptide hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. 
Q. Does vasopressin increase urine output?
No, vasopressin decreases urine output by acting on certain receptors in the kidney.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)