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In the US, approved the drug for the treatment of postpartum depression

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In the US approved the drug for the treatment of

© Syda Productions / Photobank Lori

The US Food and Drug Administration for the first time approved an agent for treating postpartum depression, according to an organization press release. The drug Zulresso begins to act within a few days, after a 60-hour dropper. Due to the duration of intravenous infusion, as well as due to side effects, the drug will be used for the treatment of a limited number of patients in certified clinics.

Postpartum (or postnatal) depression develops within a month after giving birth in approximately 10–15 percent of mothers and 1–26 percent of fathers. Among the symptoms of the disease are disorders of sleep and appetite, depression, irritability, fatigue, suicidal thoughts. The causes of postpartum depression are not precisely known. Risk factors include depression or bipolar disorder in a family history of the disease, stress, psychological or physical trauma during pregnancy. At the moment, psychotherapy and antidepressants are used to combat postpartum depression.

The FDA has approved a new drug, zulresso, which is manufactured by Sage Therapeutics to treat this disease. This is a synthetic analogue of the neurosteroid allopregnanolone. It affects the activity of the GABA-A receptor, which, in turn, is controlled by GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid, the main neurotransmitter of the brain) and inhibits the transmission of nervous excitation.

As shown by clinical trials of phase III, Zulresso begins to act within 60 hours. The drug was tested on 375 women with severe and moderate forms of the disease. They were given an intravenous infusion of the drug for 60 or 90 hours or were given a placebo. The drug began to act after the completion of the procedure and its effect lasted for four weeks (for so long, the doctors watched the subjects). Among the side effects were dizziness, headache and drowsiness. One of the subjects was observed altered state of consciousness and fainting.

Due to side effects and complex drug administration: patients will have to stay in the hospital for 60 hours, until it is approved for the treatment of a limited group of people and only in certified clinics. After the dropper, patients are not recommended to get behind the wheel or work with the equipment until the induced sulresso drowsiness passes.

The cost of one dropper (excluding hospital stay) is 34 thousand dollars. Given the high cost of the drug, the manufacturing company expects that insurance companies will cover the treatment. According to doctors, zulresso can help 30 percent of women suffering from postpartum depression. In particular, those who suffer from a severe form of the disease, or who are not helped by conventional antidepressants. Dr. Kimberly Yonkers, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University, said:

This may be a suitable treatment for patients with resistance, or those who cannot wait 2–4 weeks for antidepressants to work.

In early March, the FDA approved the dissociative substance estetamine as an antidepressant. The drug will be used to treat patients with resistant depression.

See also: Who faces prenatal and postpartum depression and how to avoid it.

Chief editor of the blogFelix.

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