Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are two hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, considered major causes of maternal and perinatal death worldwide. Pre-eclampsia is a multisystemic disease characterized by the development of hypertension after 20 weeks of gestation, with the presence of proteinuria or, in its absence, of signs or symptoms indicative of target organ injury. Eclampsia represents the consequence of brain injuries caused by pre-eclampsia. The correct diagnosis and classification of the disease are essential, since the therapies for the mild and severe forms of pre-eclampsia are different. Thus, this review aims to describe the most advisable antepartum pharmacotherapy for pre-eclampsia and eclampsia applied in Portugal and based on several national and international available guidelines. Slow-release nifedipine is the most recommended drug for mild pre-eclampsia, and labetalol is the drug of choice for the severe form of the disease. Magnesium sulfate is used to prevent seizures caused by eclampsia. Corticosteroids are used for fetal lung maturation. Overall, the pharmacological prevention of these diseases is limited to low-dose aspirin, so it is important to establish the safest and most effective available treatment.
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