FDA approves drug to combat postpartum depression

By | March 20, 2019

The Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug designed specifically for postpartum depression treatment Tuesday.

Zulresso, Sage Therapeutics’ first product, is administered as an IV infusion by a professional in a certified healthcare facility. While the treatment lasts more than 60 hours, it reportedly starts working within days. Patients must be monitored during the treatment because of the risk of sedation or loss of consciousness.

Jeff Jonas, Chief Executive of Sage Therapeutics said this medication is a breakthrough in postpartum treatment and approval of it will spur development of more treatments for the disorder.

Postpartum depression occurs following childbirth. In addition to causing symptoms including cognitive impairment, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness or suicidal ideation, the episode may cause women to think about harming themselves or their child.

Up to 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression episodes. They can appear within days or months of giving birth and can last for months if left untreated. Postpartum depression may be treated with behavioral therapy in conjunction with a traditional antidepressant, which takes about 30 days to come into full effect.