The FDA approved a drug for postpartum depression for the first time in history.
Zulresso is an antidepressant containing the drug brexanolone that is administered through a 60-hour continuous IV drip. The FDA says the medication has been shown in clinical trials to treat symptoms of postpartum depression within hours.
The condition affects approximately one in nine women in the U.S. and causes symptoms like sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion. Patients treated with Zulresso experienced positive effects in the first 24 hours of use and 30 days after the initial IV injection.
The drug is novel because it contains a synthetic hormone that increases in woman’s body during pregnancy, that increases in a woman’s body during pregnancy, then drops after she gives birth.
However, advocates have criticized the drug’s prohibitive pricing. Zulresso is reportedly projected to cost approximately $34,000 per patient. For an average course of therapy and a vial of it will reportedly cost $7,450 before insurance discounts.
The drug will be available through a restricted program and can only be administered by a health care provider in a certified health care facility.