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Avoid Diuretic Pills During Pregnancy

According to a recent review of studies, diuretic drugs should not be recommended as a way to prevent preeclampsia.//

Preeclampsia is a rapidly progressive condition caused during pregnancy. It is characterized by high blood pressure, swelling in the limbs or face, and protein in the urine. The high blood pressure can affect the brain, kidneys, liver, and lungs.

Diuretic drugs were prescribed widely in the 1960s to women in order to avoid dangerously high blood pressure during pregnancy.

Women who took diuretics -- commonly known as "water pills" -- during pregnancy were not any less likely to develop preeclampsia, to deliver prematurely or to lose their babies than those who did not take the pills, said obstetrician David Churchill of New Cross Hospital in West Midlands, England, and colleagues.

However, women who took diuretics were significantly more likely to have nausea and vomiting.

"From this review, no clear benefits have been found from the use of diuretics to prevent preeclampsia," Churchill said.

The review included five studies and 1,836 women.

The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

Women with preeclampsia, usually diagnosed after 20 weeks of pregnancy, have high blood pressure and protein in their urine. The condition can be dangerous for both mother and fetus, causing pregnancy complications, early delivery and even death.

"Currently, the only cure for the disease is delivery of the baby and the placenta, but this leads to many babies being born prematurely and vulnerable," Churchill said.

For this reason, doctors have focused on diet changes, suc
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