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, such as prescribing more calcium-rich foods and other treatments that may prevent the condition before it appears, rather than searching for ways to lessen its effects, said Lisa Bodnar, Ph.D., a maternal nutrition specialist at the University of Pittsburgh.
"There are no changes that a woman can make that will lessen symptoms or 'cure' her disease once she has overt preeclampsia. The dietary modifications that women should make are in early pregnancy, or even before a woman gets pregnant," Bodnar said.
Researchers and doctors originally prescribed diuretics to prevent preeclampsia because they thought the condition was caused by excess salt and water retained by pregnant women. Diuretics increase urination and remove water and salt from the body that can cause serious symptoms in liver, kidney and heart disease, including high blood pressure.
However, doctors stopped recommending diuretics as a regular preventive measure in the 1980s when studies began to link the pills with a decrease in pregnant women's plasma levels, the liquid part of blood that carries blood cells. Plasma levels normally increase as part of a healthy pregnancy.
Diuretics are still prescribed to pregnant women, although less than they used to be.
Lisa Esposito | EurekAlert!
'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton
A new approach to high insulin levels
18.09.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...
Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.
Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
19.09.2017 | Event News
19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering