Table 14.3-9. Drugs for the treatment of hypertensive emergencies in pregnancy

Drug

Dose

Onset/duration of action

Adverse effects

Special indication

Labetalol

20‑40 mg IV bolus every 20+ min

10‑20 min/3‑6 h

Vomiting, scalp tingling, burning sensation in the throat, dizziness, AV block

In most hypertensive emergencies except for acute heart failure

Nifedipine (short acting)

10 mg PO every 20+ min

10‑20 min/3‑6 h

Headache, facial flushing

 

Nitroglycerin

5‑100 microg/min as IV infusion

2‑5 min/5-10 min

Headache, vomiting, methemoglobinemia, developing tolerance with prolonged use

Myocardial ischemia or pulmonary edema

Hydralazine

10 mg IV bolus every 20+ min

10‑20 min/1‑4 h

Tachycardia, flushing, headache, vomiting, worsening of angina pectoris

Eclampsia

AV, atrioventricular; IV, intravenous; PO, oral.