Which medications are used in the treatment of eclampsia?

Updated: Apr 18, 2019
  • Author: Michael G Ross, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Ronald M Ramus, MD  more...
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IV magnesium sulfate is the initial drug administered to terminate seizures. Seizures usually terminate after the loading dose of magnesium. A loading dose of 4-6 g (15-20 min) and a maintenance dose of 1-2 g per hour as a continuous IV solution should be administered. Alternatively, lorazepam (Ativan; 4 mg IV over 2-5 minutes) or diazepam (Valium; 5-10 mg IV slowly) can be used to terminate the seizure, after which magnesium sulfate is administered. While benzodiazepines can be used to treat the seizures due to eclampsia magnesium remains the preferred choice. There exist over 50 years of data and experience using magnesium for this purpose with excellent safety and efficacy. Once the seizures terminate, 85% of patients note improved BP control. [18, 21] Note: Magnesium toxicity can cause coma, and, if mental status changes with these infusion rates, this should be considered. [2]

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