FDA approves new postpartum depression drug

[KARE 11, March 20, 2019] It is the first drug approved by the FDA specifically for postpartum depression.

Dr. Elizabeth LaRusso, the medical director of psychiatry at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, says this new drug could be a game changer. She is also a psychiatrist who specializes in postpartum depression at Allina Health’s Mother Baby Center.

“Postpartum depression is the most common complication of pregnancy and one of the leading causing of death in the first year after delivering a baby is material suicide,” she said. “This new medication is a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone. It interacts with a neurotransmitter in the brain. Works very quickly and in a few days and can really help women with severe depression get well.”

Women who participated in a clinical trial reported results within hours of the treatment. The drug is expected to roll out in June. It is expensive and unclear if healthcare insurers will cover the medication.