Adjustment of magnesium sulfate infusion rate in patients with preterm labor

M. J. Simchen*, M. Dulitzky, S. Mashiach, S. A. Friedman, E. Schiff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to investigate factors that might influence serum magnesium levels during intravenous magnesium sulfate tocolytic therapy. STUDY DESIGN: Thirty-three women receiving magnesium sulfate for preterm labor participated in this prospective, observational study. Gestational ages were 24 to 34 weeks. Four groups of women were identified according to the maintenance magnesium infusion rate required for arresting preterm labor after 5 g of therapy induction: 1.5, 2, 2.5, and 3 g/h. Serum magnesium samples were drawn after a predefined period of at least 18 hours of arrested preterm labor, at a minimum of every 6 hours. Variables examined included serum albumin; serum protein; serum ionized calcium; serum creatinine; creatinine clearance; 24-hour urine output; maternal height, weight, body surface area; and body mass index. RESULTS: By use of a multivariate stepwise regression model we identified four variables that independently and significantly contributed to the model: magnesium infusion rate (P < .001); total serum protein level (P < .001); serum creatinine level (P = .009); and maternal weight squared (P = .026). Seventy-two percent of the variance was accounted for by use of these parameters. A predictive linear model, developed to relate these factors, produced the following formula: Suggested magnesium infusion rate = 0.89 x Serum magnesium concentration (mg/dL) - 3.16 x Serum creatinine (mg/dL) - 0.66 x Serum total proteins (g/dL) + 0.0001 x (maternal weight)2 (kg) + 2.30. CONCLUSIONS: Serum creatinine, serum protein, and maternal weight can be used to adjust the dose of magnesium sulfate in patients with premature labor to achieve therapeutic serum levels of magnesium more rapidly and safely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)994-998
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Preterm labor
  • Tocolysis


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