Alarms better than meds in treating bedwetting

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 23, 2005

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Children who have problems with bedwetting and who take drugs that prevent urination achieve a dry night's sleep more quickly than those who use wake-up alarms, but the alarms are more effective over the long term, according to a review published in the Cochrane Library last month.

Researchers pooled data from 55 trials investigating either the use of sound or light to wake up children when they wet the bed or the use of medication. Without treatment, 15% of those who wet the bed stop on their own. For children who are treated with alarms, 67% remain dry in the weeks after therapy. Only 18% of those who took medication did so.

Evidence suggested that an immediate alarm was better than a delayed one or one that woke parents rather than children.

Authors also reviewed alternative treatments such as hypnosis, chiropractic and acupuncture. But those studies were too small and the quality insufficient to draw conclusions.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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