Committee Opinion No. 573: Magnesium sulfate use in obstetrics

Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Sep;122(3):727-8. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000433994.46087.85.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises against the use of magnesium sulfate injections for more than 5-7 days to stop preterm labor in pregnant women. Based on this, the drug classification was changed from Category A to Category D, and the labeling was changed to include this new warning information. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's change in classification addresses an unindicated and nonstandard use of magnesium sulfate in obstetric care. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine continue to support the short-term (usually less than 48 hours) use of magnesium sulfate in obstetric care for appropriate conditions and for appropriate durations of treatment, which includes the prevention and treatment of seizures in women with preeclampsia or eclampsia, fetal neuroprotection before anticipated early preterm (less than 32 weeks of gestation) delivery, and short-term prolongation of pregnancy (up to 48 hours) to allow for the administration of antenatal corticosteroids in pregnant women between 24 weeks of gestation and 34 weeks of gestation who are at risk of preterm delivery within 7 days.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnesium Sulfate / administration & dosage*
  • Obstetrics / standards
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*
  • Seizures / drug therapy*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Magnesium Sulfate