There exist many comparative studies on the nocturnal enuresis, which is a very frequent children illness. Every year about 70'000 children and teenagers are concerned by this in Switzerland.
To sum up
research findings show that the treatment with the alarm-system (behavioural therapy) is definitely more effective than the anti-diuretic hormone (desmopressine). It is also safer (no side effects), with much less relapses after the treatment and much cheaper.
Swiss working groups of pediatric nephrology: E. Girardin, G. Laube, T.J. Neuhaus, P. Parvex, C. Rudin, G.D. Simonetti, R. von Vigier, A. Wilhelm-Bals and J. Birraux
French expert team: Dr D. Aubert, Dr E. Berard, Dr J.-P. Blanc, Dr G. Lenoir, Dr F. Liard et Dr H. Lottmann
ANAES, France (Agence Nationale d’Accréditation et d’Evaluation en Santé)
Upon the request of the Society of pediatric nephrology, a working group evaluated the efficiency, the security and the economic consequences of the use of alarm-systems in the treatment of children's primary monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis, and also the access to this technology in comparison with the treatment by desmopressine.
Access to the comparative board of anti-enuresis treatments (in French)
Access to the full research (in French): Evaluation des systèmes d’alarme dans le traitement de l’énurésie nocturne primaire monosymptomatique
Cochrane Review, Oxford
Ruth Aebersold-Krebs, psychologist for psychotherapy FSP and psychology for children and teenagers FSP, Bern
Retaining the urine when the bladder is full allows to increase the bladder capacity and supports the secretion of the naturel antidiuretic hormone (ADH). It is exactly what the child does when he learns to retain his urine with the Pipi-Stop alarm.
Extract of the article of Dr Gérard Lenoir, University Professor, Head of Pediatry, Hospital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, which was published in the book Énurésie et troubles mictionnels de l’enfant, a work coordinated by Prof. Pierre Cochat, Éditions scientifiques et médicales Elsevier, Paris, 1997:
Translation: It seems […], with a normal child, that the stretching of the bladder during the night stimulates the secretion of ADH, which has the result to diminish in an appropriate way the diuresis at the end of the night. With the enuretic child, because of the early and involuntary emptying of the bladder, this stimulation of ADH secretion seems not to take place.