Magnesium Seizure Prophylaxis and Pre-eclampsia

Posted On: February 18, 2016 By Andrei Rebarber, MD

Something that has been addressed many times before, but is very important to remember: pre-eclampsia without severe features can become pre-eclampsia with severe features very, very quickly. No healthcare practice is completely confident in not missing that potentially rapid transition, so most practices utilize a universal magnesium seizure prophylaxis during intra-partum and postpartum care of preeclamptic patients.

Most doctors recommend seizure prophylaxis for pre-eclampsia without severe features, just as a precautionary measure. In a randomized placebo controlled trial including 10,000 women (MAPGIE trial) about 100 women with preeclampsia and 60 women with preeclampsia with severe features would need to be treated to prevent one seizure. Its important to remember that seizure prophylaxis with magnesium sulfate does not prevent the potential for disease progression.

It’s always important to remember that pre-eclampsia is a disease where the etiology remains unknown. Although it can be difficult to diagnose, test, and effectively treat pre-eclampsia, there are precautionary steps that doctors should take to improve the overall outcome of delivery. Every year, more scientific evidence and research will unfold, but the pathways to treating pre-eclampsia will be varied since the disorder itself is more like a syndrome rather than a singular disease.

At this time the management of this disease is to temporize the process until delivery is required, minimize maternal-fetal complications, and optimize the well-being of the mother and baby.

Carnegie Imaging for Women blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!

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