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Which drugs are best for treating severe hypertension in pregnancy?

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Review of: Sridharan K and Sequeira RP. Drugs for treating severe hypertension in pregnancy: a network analysis and trial sequential analysis of randomized clinical trials. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2018; 84:1906–16.

Key learning points

  • There is a lack of head-to-head trials of drugs to treat severe hypertension in pregnancy.

  • This is the first network meta-analysis of anti-hypertensive treatments for this indication.

  • The authors concluded that labetalol, hydralazine and nifedipine have similar efficacy.

  • There were no major differences in safety between treatments.


A network meta-analysis of drugs to treat severe hypertension in pregnancy found moderate quality evidence of similar efficacy between nifedipine, hydralazine and labetalol with subtle differences in safety.1


This network analysis of randomised controlled trials compared drugs for severe hypertension in pregnancy.1 The primary outcome was the number of patients achieving target blood pressure (BP). The …

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  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Contributors DTB Team.