Guanfacine in the treatment of hypertension due to pre-eclamptic toxaemia in thirty women

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1980;10 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):137S-140S. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.1980.tb04921.x.


1. Thirty pregnant women aged 22-34 yr presenting with pre-eclampsia were treated with guanfacine for periods of 16-68 days. 2. Elevated blood pressure was lowered to a statistically and clinically significantly extent in the first week of treatment, falling almost to normal levels before parturition in 24 cases. Four days after delivery all the patients had normal blood pressures. 3. Oedema (localized or generalized) was not reduced to any extent by guanfacine and additional treatment was necessary in 17 cases. There was little effect on proteinuria. 4. Twenty-five patients reported side-effects attributable to the treatment (sedation in 25 cases, dryness of the mouth in 15, and feelings of dizziness in 6 cases). 5. No notable changes were observed in either foetal or maternal heart rate during the period of treatment. Of the 30 deliveries, 19 were spontaneous, 5 by vacuum extraction, and 6 were by Caesarean section because of suspected placental insufficiency. Six of the infants were 'small-for-date babies', but all developed normally later.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Guanfacine
  • Guanidines / therapeutic use*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Phenylacetates / therapeutic use*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / complications
  • Pre-Eclampsia / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Guanidines
  • Phenylacetates
  • Guanfacine