The use of magnesium sulphate for the treatment of severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia

Ann Afr Med. 2009 Apr-Jun;8(2):76-80. doi: 10.4103/1596-3519.56232.


Background: Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are important causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality in the developing countries. There is need to provide the most effective management to pre-eclamptic and eclamptic patients. There is now evidence that magnesium sulphate is the most effective anticonvulsant.

Method: In this article , a literature review was made on the contribution of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia to maternal mortality and how it can be curtailed by the use of magnesium sulphate.

Results: The drug is administered by the Pritchard or Zuspan regimen, although modifications in the two protocols have been reported.

Conclusion: A Nigerian national protocol has been developed on its use. There is need for further training of health workers on how to use this important drug.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Eclampsia / drug therapy*
  • Eclampsia / mortality
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Magnesium Sulfate / adverse effects
  • Magnesium Sulfate / therapeutic use*
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / drug therapy*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / mortality
  • Pregnancy


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Magnesium Sulfate