Intended for healthcare professionals


More studies are needed before giving magnesium sulphate for pre-eclampsia

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 20 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:809
  1. Lelia Duley, Obstetric epidemiologist.,
  2. James Neilson, Professor of obstetrics and gynaecology.,
  3. Karen Watkins, Clinical research fellow.
  1. Institute of Health Sciences, Oxford OX3 7LF
  2. University of Liverpool, Liverpool
  3. Magpie Trial, Institute of Health Sciences, Oxford

    EDITOR—Clark et al argue that magnesium sulphate reduces the risk of eclampsia and should therefore be given to all women with severe pre-eclampsia.1 The study they refer to in support of this view has reported outcome for 685 women out of 822 randomised. A more reliable guide to clinical practice is a systematic review of all relevant trials. Four trials have now compared magnesium sulphate with placebo or no anticonvulsant,2 and the relative …

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