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J Natl Med Assoc. 1991 Aug;83(8):721-3.

Captopril in severe preeclampsia.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Chattanooga.


Captopril is an inhibitor of angiotensin I converting enzyme and is used for treating intractable chronic hypertension. However, the use of captopril during pregnancy is limited because of reported fetal and neonatal side effects. This study explored the efficacy of sublingual captopril in postpartum management of severe preeclampsia. Captopril controlled the systolic and diastolic pressures within normal range in two patients. The other three patients responded moderately and were switched to hydralazine, clonidine, or nifedipine after 12 hours. The systolic and diastolic pressures of these three patients remained moderately elevated over the 24-hour duration of the study while their pulse rates increased. Captopril did not significantly increase the pulse rate in any of the patients studied, and no other side effects were noted. All patients had normal pressures at their 2- and 6-week postpartum check-up. We conclude that sublingual captopril may be used safely and effectively in managing postpartum hypertension in patients with severe preeclampsia.

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