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Type: Journal article
Title: Pharmacological treatment of severe hypertension in pregnancy and the role of serotonin2-receptor blockers
Author: Bolte, A.
van Geijn, H.
Dekker, G.
Citation: European Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 2001; 95(1):22-36
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ireland Ltd
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 0301-2115
Statement of
Antoinette C. Bolte, Herman P. van Geijn, and Gustaaf A. Dekker
Abstract: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are the leading cause of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity in developing and developed countries. The etiology of preeclampsia is still unknown. Delivering the baby is the only definite treatment. The benefits of acute pharmacological control of severe hypertension prior to and/or post-delivery are generally accepted. Most drugs commonly used in the management of severe hypertension in pregnancy have significant maternal and/or neonatal adverse side effects. Furthermore, some are not effective to acutely lower the blood pressure in patients with a hypertensive crisis. Until recently not one of the commonly used antihypertensive drugs has been tailored to the pathophysiology of severe preeclampsia, being a clinical syndrome characterized by endothelial cell dysfunction, vasospasm and platelet aggregation. Ketanserin, a serotonin2-receptor blocker, is a drug that appears to be tailored for treating this pregnancy-associated enthothelial cell dysfunction. The results of several prospective trials show that there is a definite place for serotonin2-receptor blockers in the treatment of pregnancy-induced hypertensive disorders. This review provides a summary on the more established drugs as well as on some of the newer antihypertensive drugs used in pregnancy with emphasis on the existing experience with ketanserin.
Keywords: Antihypertensive drugs in pregnancy
Serotonin2-receptor blocker
DOI: 10.1016/S0301-2115(00)00368-7
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Obstetrics and Gynaecology publications

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