What is the role of sodium nitroprusside in the treatment of preeclampsia?

Updated: Nov 29, 2018
  • Author: Kee-Hak Lim, MD; Chief Editor: Ronald M Ramus, MD  more...
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In a severe hypertensive emergency, when the above-mentioned medications have failed to lower BP, sodium nitroprusside may be given. Nitroprusside results in the release of nitric oxide, which in turn causes significant vasodilation. Preload and afterload are then greatly decreased. The onset of action is rapid, and severe rebound hypertension may result. Cyanide poisoning may occur subsequent to its use in the fetus. Therefore, sodium nitroprusside should be reserved for use in postpartum care or for administration just before the delivery of the fetus. [13]

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