USA – US approves first treatment for post-partum depression

Sage Therapeutics' Zulresso (brexanolone) has become first treatment to be approved for post-partum depression in the US.

PPD is a major depressive episode that occurs following childbirth, although symptoms can start during pregnancy, thought to affect around one in nine women who have given birth in the US.

The condition is characterised by sadness and/or loss of interest in activities and a decreased ability to feel pleasure (anhedonia), and may present with symptoms such as cognitive impairment, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, or suicidal ideation.

The drug’s approval “represents a game-changing approach to treating PPD,” said Samantha Meltzer Brody, Ray M Hayworth Distinguished Professorship of Mood and Anxiety Disorders and director of the Perinatal Psychiatry Program, UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders and primary investigator of the Zulresso clinical trials. “The potential to rapidly reduce symptoms in this critical disorder is an exciting milestone in women’s mental health.”

The efficacy of Zulresso was shown in two clinical studies in participants who received a 60-hour continuous intravenous infusion of the drug or placebo, and were then followed for four weeks…