Oral nifedipine & parenteral labetalol are most commonly recommended for treating hypertension disorders in pregnancy. The aim of the study was to compare the effectiveness & safety of both the drugs.
Methods: Every pregnant woman with severe gestational hypertension >160/110 mmHg who came to our university hospital at Chidambaram were taken for the study. They received acute treatment by either nifedipine (10 mg tablet, orally, up to five doses) or intravenous labetalol injection (in an escalating dose regimen of 20, 40, 80, 80 and 80 mg) and a placebo tablet or 0.9% saline every 15 minutes until the target blood pressure of <150/100 mmHg was reached.
Results: All the patients recruited in the study achieved blood pressure control. Most patients in both groups achieved the target blood pressure within 45 minutes or less (36.8 ± 15.3 minutes and 38.1 ± 12.2 minutes respectively in the labetalol and nifedipine) and received 3 or lesser number of doses (averaged 2.4 and 2.5 times in the labetalol and nifedipine). No crossover & not statistically significant adverse maternal or fetal outcomes were noted in both groups.
Conclusions: Oral nifedipine and intravenous labetalol are similarly effective & safe in the acute control of severe hypertension in pregnancy.