Treatment of hypertension in pregnancy with methyldopa: A randomized double blind study

Claire Weitz, Victor Khouzami, Keith Maxwell, John W.C. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Twenty-five patients whose pregnancies were complicated by chronic hypertension were entered in a double-blind study and randomly allocated to treatment with methyldopa (Aldomet) or placebo. Thirteen patients were in the treatment group and 12 in the placebo group. The two groups showed no significant difference in demographic and pretreatment laboratory profiles. Methyldopa-treated patients registering in the first trimester had a significant reduction in the mean arterial pressure (MAP) during the second and third trimesters (P < 0.025). No significant differences in birth weight (BW), ponderal index (PI) were found when results were corrected for gestational age (GA), race, and sex. The mean GA was significantly prolonged in the methyldopa-treated group by 10.3 days (P < 0.05). The frequency of superimposed pre-eclampsia was similar in both groups (33.3% vs. 38.4%). However, 75% of the superimposed pre-eclampsia occurred antepartum in the placebo group, while 80% of the methyldopa-treated group developed superimposed pre-eclampsia intrapartum. The results of this small study suggest that the treatment of hypertension in pregnancy may reduce MAP and possibly delay the occurrence of superimposed pre-eclampsia and thus afford a prolongation of the pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Hypertension
  • Methyldopa
  • Pre-eclampsia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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