Treatment for Eclampsia

Treatment for preeclampsia and Eclampsia may include:

  • Careful monitoring of your blood pressure and other vital signs to prevent the condition from worsening and developing into Eclampsia are necessary in cases of preeclampsia and suspected Eclampsia.
  • In cases of severe preeclampsia, an induced delivery is often recommended to prevent the life-threatening complications associated with Eclampsia. Most experts believe that prolonging a pregnancy in such cases is detrimental to both baby and mother. In such situations, the advantages of an induced birth outweigh the possible complications of a premature delivery. Early delivery could be performed by induction of labor (using Pitocin), vaginal delivery or a cesarean delivery. The earlier the pregnancy, the less likely it is for your doctor to induce labor. Here, cesarean delivery is the only option for an early delivery. A cesarean section will also be performed if the baby shows any signs of distress such as a decrease in the fetal heart rate.
  • The goal for most cases of preeclampsia is to manage symptoms and keep them under control until 32 to 34 weeks of pregnancy. If the symptoms are mild, this can be extended up to 37 weeks as this can reduce the complications associated with premature delivery and birth.
  • In order to keep symptoms under control, anti-convulsants medications to prevent seizures may be prescribed. In most cases, magnesium sulfate is prescribed as it is considered safe for both the mother and baby. Normally given intravenously, magnesium sulfate reduces the chance of recurring seizures and is administered for 24 to 48 hours after the last seizure. This generally takes place in a hospital or an intensive care unit, as the mother has to be carefully monitored during the entire procedure.
  • Additional medications such as diazepam and phenytoin have also been used to treat Eclampsia but are not as effective as magnesium sulfate.
  • Other medications may include drugs to lower blood pressure. If blood pressure continues to rise even after medication, there may be no other option but to deliver the baby. Most doctors insist that blood pressure medication continues after delivery - but for not more than six weeks (unless you have had a prior problem with blood pressure prior to the pregnancy).
  • There are also cases where Eclampsia may set in post delivery. This normally happens within 24 hours after delivery. In such situations there is no cure for Eclampsia.

Frequently asked questions