The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug to be used for treatment of postpartum depression, a serious mental illness that impacts 1 in 9 new mothers after birth.
According to clinical trial results, the drug is believed to offer new hope to women as it works within hours. The treatment is to be administered as a single 60 – hour IV drip and the side effects include headache, dizziness or excessive sleepiness.
Dr. Jeff Jonas, CEO of the Massachusetts based biopharmaceutical company that developed the drug said that the medication will be available in June, through a restricted program called the Zulresso Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS).
In a press release by FDA, this program requires the drug to be administered by health care provider in a certified health care facility.
Treatment is likely to cost around 20,000 to 35000 dollars.
In the US, it’s estimated that every year, more than 400,000 infants are born to mothers who are depressed. Previous treatment options for postpartum depression include counselling or therapy with a mental health professional and anti depressant medication. Also some new mothers may face barrier accessing this type of treatment as it requires 60 hours of time.
Studies show that without any treatment, postpartum depression can last for months or even years.