The First Drug To Treat Postpartum Depression Has Received FDA Approval

Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

According to the American Psychological Association, as many as one in seven women experience some level of postpartum depression following childbirth. Symptoms of the mood disorder include feelings of extreme sadness, exhaustion, and anxiety. When symptoms are extreme, they can disrupt a new mom's child-rearing abilities.

Relief for women with postpartum depression just got a lot closer, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved the first drug that specifically treats the condition. The F.D.A.'s acting director of the Division of Psychiatry Products, Dr. Tiffany Farchione, said, "Postpartum depression is a serious condition that, when severe, can be life-threatening."

In the past, postpartum depression has been typically treated with a combination of therapy and general antidepressants. Unfortunately, these drugs can take several weeks to kick in and don't work for everyone. The newly approved treatment, which will be marketed as Zulresso, is given to patients via an IV drip. It is said to begin working within 48 hours, a huge improvement for women suffering from postpartum depression. A pill version is still in development.

Zulresso is expected to be an expensive drug, but a spokesperson for its manufacturer said it expects that the treatment will be covered by insurance.