NICE scraps age limit for treatment of bedwetting

Children under the age of seven should now be considered for treatment for bedwetting, according to NICE guidance.

Children under seven can now be offered treatment for bedwetting (Photograph: SPL)
Children under seven can now be offered treatment for bedwetting (Photograph: SPL)

However, in separate advice, the institute rejected the asthma drug omalizumab (Xolair) for children under the age of 12 in the NHS in England.

In its guidance, NICE said more than a fifth of children aged four and five regularly wet the bed, but practices have traditionally only offered treatment from the age of seven. This latest guidance, the first to address nocturnal enuresis, removes the minimum age for management of the condition.

NICE deputy chairman Dr Gillian Leng said: 'Our clinical guideline does not specify a minimum age limit. This means that for the first time advice or treatments will be available to children under seven years, who may have previously been excluded from these services.'

NICE said GPs and practice nurses should inform children and parents that positive rewards for agreed behaviour, like going to the toilet before bed, rather than dry nights, should be used either alone or in conjunction with other treatments for bedwetting.

The use of an alarm is suggested as a first-line treatment, unless an alarm is considered undesirable to the child or parents, or if the child has infrequent bedwetting.

NICE has said the asthma drug omalizumab should be used for some over-12s, but that evidence for use in younger children suggested it offered limited benefits over other treatments. But the guidance states that children currently receiving omalizumab should be able to continue with it until it is considered appropriate to stop.

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