US OKs drug for postpartum depression
Published Apr 18, 2019 • By Lee Ruiz
Prior to the approval of this medication, women diagnosed with postpartum depression were commonly treated with traditional anti-depressants; however, now this marks the first medication designed specifically for postpartum depression.
According to US media, the estimated treatment will cost $34,000 a year for people without health insurance and insured individuals will be able to obtain the treatment at a discounted rate.
Read the article to learn more about this treatment and comment with your opinion!
The US Food and Drug Administration, on Tuesday, approved the first medication designed specifically to treat postpartum depression, an illness that affects about one in nine new American mothers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say 11.5 percent of new mothers suffered from postpartum depression in 2012.
The drug is called brexanolone - the trade name is Zulresso - and was manufactured by Sage Therapeutics. One key advantage is that it works quickly, in two days, whereas traditional anti-depressants can take weeks or months to kick in; however, it needs to be administered intravenously in a hospital over the course of 60 hours because of the risk of fainting that was observed in some women during clinical tests.
The most common secondary effects include drowsiness and dryness of the mouth. The medication is expected to be available in late June in the US. US media say the treatment will cost $34,000 a year for people without health insurance. Insurers get it at a discounted rate. The full rate is without the cost of the hospital stay for administering it.
"Postpartum depression is a serious condition that, when severe, can be life-threatening. Women may experience thoughts about harming themselves or harming their child," said Tiffany Farchione, acting director of the division of psychiatry products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research."
"This approval marks the first time a drug has been specifically approved to treat postpartum depression, providing an important new treatment option," she added.
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