Population Pharmacokinetic Modeling to Evaluate Standard Magnesium Sulfate Treatments and Alternative Dosing Regimens for Women With Preeclampsia

Lihong Du, Larissa Wenning, Elizabeth Migoya, Yan Xu, Brendan Carvalho, Kathleen Brookfield, Han Witjes, Rik de Greef, Pisake Lumbiganon, Ussanee Sangkomkamhang, Vitaya Titapant, Lelia Duley, Qian Long, Olufemi T. Oladapo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Magnesium sulfate is the standard therapy for prevention and treatment of eclampsia. Two standard dosing regimens require either continuous intravenous infusion or frequent, large-volume intramuscular injections, which may preclude patients from receiving optimal care. This project sought to identify alternative, potentially more convenient, but similarly effective dosing regimens that could be used in restrictive clinical settings. A 2-compartment population pharmacokinetic (PK) model was developed to characterize serial PK data from 92 pregnant women with preeclampsia who received magnesium sulfate. Body weight and serum creatinine concentration had a significant impact on magnesium PK. The final PK model was used to simulate magnesium concentration profiles for the 2 standard regimens and several simplified alternative dosing regimens. The simulations suggest that intravenous regimens with loading doses of 8 g over 60 minutes followed by 2 g/h for 10 hours and 12 g over 120 minutes followed by 2 g/h for 8 hours (same total dose as the standard intravenous regimen but shorter treatment duration) would result in magnesium concentrations below the toxic range. For the intramuscular regimens, higher maintenance doses given less frequently (4 g intravenously + 10-g intramuscular loading doses with maintenance doses of 8 g every 6 hours or 10 g every 8 hours for 24 hours) or removal of the intravenous loading dose (eg, 10 g intramusculary every 8 hours for 24 hours) may be reasonable alternatives. In addition, individualized dose adjustments based on body weight and serum creatinine were proposed for the standard regimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-385
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • alternative dosing regimens
  • magnesium sulfate
  • modeling and simulation
  • population pharmacokinetics
  • preeclampsia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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