Experience with medications for night incontinence?
June 22, 2022 8:46 AM   Subscribe

I have a kiddo in double digits who still struggles with night incontinence.

And that is fine! We are not pushing him when we know it is a brain thing, but he is increasingly doing activities like overnight camp etc, where it might be more comfortable for him to not have to put on pullups/change pullups.

I'm not overly concerned about having him on this medication long term, so I guess my biggest wonder is how full proof it is --80% dry nights, 90%, etc and anything else we might need to know about taking it over just small occasions.

We will of course talk to our doctor, but sometimes personal experiences are helpful.

Yes, we have tried night time alarms and they did not succeed in waking up my kid--just me.
posted by aetg to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Possibly important info: Kiddo is currently waking up wet 100% of the time.
posted by aetg at 8:47 AM on June 22

This was a long time ago, but one of my children took medication for it. To tell you the truth, I actually think they gave them a placebo. My ex would know. I do know that they stopped taking it a month or two after starting and all was well or dry.

We tried all the things like no liquids at least two hours before bedtime, try as part of the bedtime routine, even woke them up after an hour to try. None of it was particularly effective until the little red pills.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:58 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]

I don't know what they're prescribing these days but someone I know took medication to have dry nights at summer camp years ago. It worked but they had bad stomachaches that upset them. Definitely try it out a few nights before camp starts so your kid will know what it feels like and whether there are side effects before they're in a situation far from home and feeling crummy and not sure if they're sick or if their meds are the cause.

Has your kid done a sleep study? Tonsils and adenoids normal sized?
posted by potrzebie at 1:49 PM on June 22

Not an answer to your direct question, but if you’ve only tried auditory alarms, perhaps you could try a vibrating alarm clock or watch. Bonus: it won’t wake you up.
posted by Comet Bug at 3:43 PM on June 22

Get rid of artificial colors in their food; they are irritating to the bladder and contribute to incontinence.
Even mild constipation is a major cause of incontinence in kids and adults. This tracks with my own experience. Add beans, fruit, whole grains and probably Psyllium Husk capsules; I can't drink the liquid forms, some can.
posted by theora55 at 6:12 PM on June 22

Medication worked 100% for my kid but he was wet very rarely at that point. It was more of an insurance policy.

I will say that not long before that he was wet almost 100% of the time at around age 10. I had tried everything, for years, including the alarm, and nothing worked. Then I tried the alarm again as a last ditch effort and it just…worked. It worked exactly like it’s supposed to. It took about two weeks to work fully. So you may want to give the alarm a go to see if it works better for him as an older kid.

After the alarm success my kid would have rare accidents usually associated with a growth spurts. At that point, we used the medication solely when he was at camps or sleepovers mostly to ease his mind.
posted by scantee at 6:59 PM on June 22

Excess histamine (allergies) can cause incontinence, if kid struggles with that an H1 or H2 blocker may help significantly. Being into double digits and having this happen 100% of the time has flags going up for me on several medical fronts, but that’s a big one that even many doctors don’t know about.

In the meantime, have you considered underwear like thinx that look like regular underwear but are designed to be super absorbent? Might be a good stopgap while this gets sorted out.
posted by Bottlecap at 1:34 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]

My kid had this, as well as my spouse as a young person, and honestly though there is medication for it I don't know how well it works. Overnight camp and life in general was a nightmare for spouse because parents punished and the bed was soggy and smelly. Overnight camp was okay for my kid and life was annoying but not cosmically awful for my kid because I did not make a big deal of it. My chief advice is buy lots of waterproof mattress covers and invest in a boatload of nice sheets, and treat night incontinence as something that happens to people. In other words, make an investment in resilience.

The only really bad thing was a 2nd grade teacher who sent my kid to the nurse because they had to go so often. My kid dealt with it by disliking the teacher intensely :) At almost 40, said kid is now a little more tolerant of the teacher, having been a teacher themself.
posted by Peach at 7:36 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]

When my urologist prescribed me medication for nighttime incontinence, he told me it was often prescribed for children, too. It's been a godsend. I've had one accident in the last year, as opposed to one or two a week before I started on this drug.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 11:49 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]

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