Furosemide in postpartum management of severe preeclampsia: A randomized controlled trial

Hypertens Pregnancy. 2017 Feb;36(1):84-89. doi: 10.1080/10641955.2016.1239735. Epub 2016 Nov 11.


Background: Hypertension in the postpartum period is a common phenomenon and is often a cause for concern. Following delivery, fluid that has been sequestered in the extravascular space is mobilized, producing a large auto-infusion of fluid from the extravascular to the intravascular compartment. As a result of this fluid mobilization process, there is an increase in central venous pressure and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, which might favor the development of pulmonary edema. Thus, diuretics logically might be a better choice as antihypertensive medication in such a scenario.

Methods: A total of 108 antenatal women diagnosed with having severe preeclampsia, with two high blood pressure recordings of ≥150/100 mm of Hg in the postpartum period within the first 24 hours of delivery, were enrolled in the study. These patients were randomly divided into two groups (Group A: furosemide 20 mg OD + nifedipine & Group B: nifedipine alone). Main outcome measures studied were reduction in systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressures, requirement of additional antihypertensive drugs to control blood pressure, duration of hospital stay, and antihypertensive requirement at discharge.

Results: Both groups were comparable for distribution of age and parity and presence of imminent symptoms and eclampsia. There was no significant difference in mean systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressures (MAPs) between both the groups at admission. Mean gestational age at delivery was 36 weeks in both the groups. Requirement of additional antihypertensive was significantly higher in women in group B (26.0% vs. 8.0%, p = 0.017). Duration of hospital and postpartum stay and the use of antihypertensive at discharge were similar in both the groups Conclusion: In conclusion, the use of a short course of furosemide along with nifedipine significantly reduces the need of additional antihypertensive in severe preeclamptic women with postpartum hypertension when compared to women who received nifedipine alone.

Keywords: Furosemide; nifedipine; postpartum hypertension; severe preeclampsia.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Diuretics / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Furosemide / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Nifedipine / therapeutic use
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pre-Eclampsia / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Puerperal Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Diuretics
  • Furosemide
  • Nifedipine