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Magnesium sulphate therapy in eclampsia: the Sokoto (ultra short) regimen

Bissallah A Ekele1*, Danjuma Muhammed2, Lawal N Bello2 and Ibrahim M Namadina2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Specialist Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

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BMC Research Notes 2009, 2:165  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-2-165

Published: 19 August 2009



Continuing the administration of magnesium sulphate for 24 hours after the last fit in patients with eclampsia is at best empirical. The challenge of such a regimen is enormous in low-resource countries. The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of an ultra-short regimen of magnesium sulphate in eclamptics.


This was a prospective, cohort study of eclamptic patients admitted between July 2007 and June 2008 that were given 4 grams magnesium sulphate intravenously and 10 grams intramuscularly (5 grams in each buttock) as the sole anticonvulsant agent. Main outcome measure was the absence of a repeat fit. Other aspects of eclampsia management were as in standard practice. One hundred and twenty one (121) patients were managed with this regimen. There were 29 ante partum, 76 intrapartum and 16 post partum cases of eclampsia. Most of the patients were primigravidae (100; 83%) with an average age of 18.7 years. There were nine cases (7.4%) of recurrent fits that occurred within four hours of the loading dose. One recurrent fit occurred in the ante partum group, seven in the intra partum and one in the post partum group. There were 12 maternal deaths giving a case fatality rate of 9.9%.


Limiting the dosage of magnesium sulphate to 14 grams loading dose (4 grams intravenous and 10 grams intramuscular) was effective in controlling fits in 92.6% of cases in the study group. A properly conducted, randomized controlled trial is needed to test our proposed regimen.