Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a condition in pregnant women marked by an increase in blood pressure and protein in the urine after 20 weeks gestation. Eclampsia is a life-threatening condition characterized by convulsions in women with PE. PE/E and other hypertensive disorders in pregnancy increase risk of preterm births. Providing high-quality and regular antenatal care improves the prevention and early detection of PE and can prevent its progression to eclampsia. Prescribing low-dose aspirin and calcium to at-risk women can prevent PE and eclampsia. PE and eclampsia can be managed by administering antihypertensive drugs and magnesium sulphate (MgSO4). MgSO4 is the safest and most effective treatment for severe PE/E, and is one of 13 UN Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children. This brief provides information on how improved prevention, increased detection, and effective treatment of PE/E can prevent unnecessary maternal and newborn deaths.
"Antihypertensive drugs," Ending Eclampsia brief. Washington, DC: Population Council, 2019.