A case control study, undertaken in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in a tertiary referral centre, was designed to administer standard dose of magnesium sulphate to 50 randomly selected severely preeclamptic women in labor (Group 1). 48 women who formed the control group did not receive the drug (Group 2). The admission – delivery interval, rate of Cesarean section showed no statistically significant difference. Four patients developed convulsions in Group 1 in contrast to twelve patients in Group 2. Efficacy of magnesium sulphate at preventing eclampsia was calculated as 68%. Mild respiratory depression occurred in two cases and oliguria in eight cases in Group 1. Both the conditions improved on suspending further doses of magnesium sulphate. No patient had post partum haemorrhage in Group 1 although 4% patients had it in Group 2. Neonatal outcome was comparable in both the groups. Hence magnesium sulphate may be regarded as a fairly safe and effective prophylactic agent for eclampsia when used in severe preeclampsia in labor.