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May 2013

Low Dose Magnesium Sulfate Studied For Eclampsia

A low dose of magnesium sulfate may be both safe and effective for managing eclampsia, according to a study.

Pre-eclampsia is a condition characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy along with protein in the urine. It can cause serious complications for the mother and baby. Pre-eclampsia can decrease the supply of blood and oxygen available to the mother and developing child. This may result in conditions such as a lower birth weight and nervous system damage. The mother is at risk for kidney problems, seizures, strokes, breathing problems, and even death, in rare instances. The cause of pre-eclampsia is not known. Pre-eclampsia usually occurs during the second half of the pregnancy, and affects about 5% of pregnant women. Eclampisa occurs when a woman who has pre-eclampsia develops seizures.

The human body contains large amounts of the element magnesium. Magnesium is involved in more than 300 chemical reactions. Magnesium sulfate has a long history of use for the treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia in pregnant women.

In the current study, researchers evaluated the safety and effectiveness of a low-dose magnesium sulfate regimen in the treatment of eclampsia in Indian women of low weight. This dose consisted of 3 grams of magnesium sulfate injected into the vein along with 2.5 grams injected into the muscles in each buttock, followed by 2.5 grams injected into the muscle every four hours for 24 hours beyond the most recent seizure. The research team studied this dose between 2001 and 2002 in 554 women who had eclampsia. In the second phase of the study, which continued for nine years, the researchers analyzed mortality in a population of 2,929 women treated with the same regimen at the same hospital.

The results suggested that this dose of magnesium sulfate may be associated with a lower seizure recurrence. The treatment also appeared to reduce the risk of mortality in the women.

The research team concluded that a low-dose regimen of magnesium sulfate may be both safe and effective in treating women who have eclampsia.

Alongside magnesium, integrative therapies including garlic, omega-3 fatty acids, and yoga have been studied for the treatment of pre-eclampsia, with strong scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness.

For more information about pre-eclampsia, please visit Natural Standard's Medical Conditions Database.


  1. Jana N, Dasgupta S, Das AK, et al. Experience of a low-dose magnesium sulfate regimen for the management of eclampsia over a decade. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2013 Apr 12. pii: S0020-7292(13)00145-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2013.01.029. [Epub ahead of print] 
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

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