What are the treatments for preeclampsia, eclampsia, & HELLP syndrome?

Delivering the fetus can help resolve preeclampsia and eclampsia, but symptoms can continue even after delivery, and some of them can be serious.

Treatment decisions for preeclampsia, eclampsia, and HELLP syndrome need to take into account how severe the condition is, the potential for maternal complications, how far along the pregnancy is, and the potential risks to the fetus. Ideally, the healthcare provider will minimize risks to the mother while giving the fetus as much time as possible to mature before delivery.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women at high risk for preeclampsia take low-dose aspirin starting after 12 weeks of pregnancy to prevent the condition from occurring.1


  1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. (2015). Low-dose aspirin use for the prevention of morbidity and mortality from preeclampsia: Recommendation statement. American Family Physician, 91(5). Retrieved August 8, 2016, from http://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/0301/od1.html external link
  2. March of Dimes. (2013). Premature babies. Retrieved June 6, 2016, from http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/premature-babies.aspx external link
  3. Sibai, B. M. (2012). Hypertension. In S. G. Gabbe, J. R. Niebyl, J. L. Simpson, M. B. Landon, H. L. Galan, E. R. M. Jauniaux, & D. A. Driscoll (Eds.), Obstetrics: Normal and problem pregnancies (6th ed., pp. 631–666). Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders.
  4. Haram, K., Svendsen, E., & Abildgaard, U. (2009). The HELLP syndrome: Clinical issues and management. A review. BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth, 9, 8. Retrieved June 6, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2654858/
  5. Leeman, L., Dresang, L. T., & Fontaine, P. (2016). Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. American Family Physician, 93(2), 121–127. Retrieved November 15, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26926408
  6. Yancey, L. M., Withers, E., Bakes, K., & Abbott, J. (2011). Postpartum preeclampsia: Emergency department presentation and management. Journal of Emergency Medicine, 40(4), 380–384. Retrieved November 14, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18814997
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