When should antihypertensive therapy be considered in pregnant women?

Updated: Feb 22, 2019
  • Author: Matthew R Alexander, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Antihypertensive therapy should be started in pregnant women if the systolic BP is greater than 160 mm Hg or the diastolic BP is greater than 100-105 mm Hg. The goal of pharmacologic treatment should be a diastolic BP of less than 100-105 mm Hg and a systolic BP of less than 160 mm Hg.

Women who have preexisting end-organ damage from chronic hypertension or who have previously required multidrug therapy for BP control should have a lower threshold for starting antihypertensive medication (ie, >139/89 mm Hg) and a lower target BP (< 140/90 mm Hg). The JNC 7 recommendations are to continue antihypertensive medication as needed to control BP and to reinstate antihypertensive therapy when the SBP is 150-160 mm Hg or the DBP is 100-110 mm Hg.

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