Did you know that postpartum depression is the most common complication associated with pregnancy, and it affects as many as one in seven American women? According to a recent article from The New York Times, the FDA just approved the first drug to treat the maternal form of depression. The new drug, brexanolone, is delivered by infusion over 60 hours while the new mother stays under supervision in a certified medical center. It begins working within 48 hours, much quicker than antidepressants that can take up two to four weeks to have an effect.
The drug will be marketed as Zulresso, and it comes with a hefty price tag: $34,000 per patient before discounts, and not including the cost of two and a half days in a medical center. The manufacturer, Sage Therapeutics, is working on a pill with a similar molecule that will be much more accessible for patients. It is currently in clinical trials and will likely be submitted for approval in a couple years.