Treatment of this pathophysiologically poorly understood disease is controversial. Despite this uncertainty, the goals of management of the patient with preeclampsia and eclampsia are diagnosis, stabilization, and delivery of the baby. Stabilization refers to both mother and fetus and should include the prevention of eclampsia or the recurrence of eclamptic seizures. There are empiric data supporting the use of magnesium sulfate for the management of preeclampsia and eclampsia in North America, but there are few data to support its efficacy as a classic anticonvulsant. Until controlled trials are completed, we suggest that magnesium sulfate continue to be used in preeclampsia, with the addition of established anticonvulsant medications when eclampsia occurs. Data on established antiepileptic drugs such as diazepam and phenytoin support their use in treating patients with eclamptic seizures. As stated in an earlier review, 'in treating preeclampsia, magnesium sulfate therapy may have a role and may moderate factors leading to eclampsia. Whether magnesium sulfate therapy may have some as yet unproved effect on epileptogenic foci or seizure propagation is not the important issue for the physician caring for the eclamptic patient. Until adequately designed therapeutic trials are available, it is our opinion that treatment should be based on the use of anticonvulsant drugs of established efficacy in seizure control and prophylaxis (p. 1363).'
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Obstetrics and Gynecology