Seizures in pregnancy/eclampsia

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2011 Feb;29(1):109-16. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2010.09.005.


The physical and emotional stress of pregnancy can precipitate new-onset seizures in a woman. In these cases, emergency department evaluations must rule out underlying pathology. Careful consideration of antiepileptic drug use must be considered in the first trimester as all antiepileptic drugs have been linked to some teratogenic effect. Eclampsia must always be considered in the pregnant woman who is more than 20 weeks gestation; 25% of eclamptic seizures occur in the postpartum period. Magnesium is the recommended treatment for eclamptic seizures when delivery is not possible.

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Eclampsia / drug therapy*
  • Eclampsia / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnesium Sulfate / therapeutic use
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy
  • Phenytoin / therapeutic use
  • Pre-Eclampsia / drug therapy
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Phenytoin
  • Magnesium Sulfate