Treatment of Hypertension During Pregnancy: Drugs to be Avoided and Drugs to be Used

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on hypertension during pregnancy, a common clinical problem and one of the main causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Drug treatment of hypertension during pregnancy is controversial not only because of our lack of understanding of cardiovascular physiology in normal pregnancy, but also because there is a clinical spectrum of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy making an aetiologic diagnosis difficult by clinical criteria alone. Therefore, before considering drugs to be avoided and drugs to be used, it is essential to briefly review the course of normal blood pressure during pregnancy, the classification of hypertensive disorders which complicate pregnancy and the pathophysiology of these disorders in pregnancy, focusing on preeclampsia.