The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first drug specifically designed to treat postpartum depression. Marketed as Zulresso, it is administered intravenously and reports results within 48 hours.
Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates one in nine mothers experience some symptoms of postpartum depression after childbirth. Past treatments have mirrored traditional remedies for depression: psychotherapy and antidepressants. Available medication can take up to one month to work if the patient responds at all, and during that time, new mothers can lose important bonding time with their newborns. While Zulresso offers a quicker solution, the process takes 60 hours to administer, requires medical supervision, and is expected to cost $34,000. Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody is the academic principal investigator on the clinical trials for Zulresso. She joins host Frank Stasio to share this proprietary formula that offers new hope to mothers and may challenge the way the psychiatric community approaches depression as a whole. Meltzer-Brody is the Ray M. Hayworth and Family Distinguished Professor of Mood and Anxiety Disorders at the UNC School of Medicine. She is also the director of the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders Perinatal Psychiatry Program.