World's first ever postnatal depression treatment drug is approved

James Morris

The world's first ever drug for postnatal depression has been approved.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rubberstamped the Zulresso injection for adult women.

Patients will be required to enroll on a special programme before the drug is administered through an intravenous drip over a 60-hour period.

Tiffany Farchione, a leader at the FDA, said: “Postpartum [postnatal] depression is a serious condition that, when severe, can be life-threatening.

“Women may experience thoughts about harming themselves or harming their child. Postpartum depression can also interfere with the maternal-infant bond.

“This approval marks the first time a drug has been specifically approved to treat postpartum depression, providing an important new treatment option.”

Because of risks associated with the drug, including excessive sedation or sudden loss of consciousness, patients will be subject to strict monitoring from healthcare professionals.

Studies found patients’ depression improved after 30 days following trials of the drug.

Postnatal depression can happen after childbirth, though the symptoms can start during pregnancy. It is characterised by sadness and loss of interest in activities the parent used to enjoy.