FDA Approves First Postpartum Depression Drug

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug to treat postpartum depression but it could cost up to $35,000, The Washington Post reports. The new drug, brexanolone, would also reportedly require new mothers to be linked to an IV for “60 continuous hours” and under the supervision of a health care professional because the FDA found some women lost consciousness if they received too high of a dose. Manufacturer Sage Therapeutics estimated that the drug, marketed as Zulresso, could cost between $20,000 and $35,000 for one course of treatment. Despite the steep price and the intensive administration of the drug, Zulresso is said to relieve women of postpartum depression quickly, with effects lasting at least a month. According to the Post, postpartum depression affects about 400,000 women in the U.S. every year and could make new mothers feel worthless, guilty, or have thoughts of suicide—all of which prevent bonding with the newborn child. Sage is also reportedly developing another drug to treat postpartum depression through a once-daily pill, which could be a “blockbuster” if approved by the FDA.