FDA approves new intravenous drug to treat postpartum

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug to treat postpartum depression.

The drug, called Zulresso, is an IV that is given over 60 hours. Research shows it begins working within hours.

“This approval marks the first time a drug has been specifically approved to treat postpartum depression, providing an important new treatment option," Tiffany Farchione, M.D., acting director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said in an FDA report

Zulresso will be available only through a restricted program that requires the drug be administered by a health care provider in a certified health care facility. Patients must be monitored because of the risk of serious harm due to the sudden loss of consciousness,

The program does come with a hefty price tag of up to $34,000. It will become available starting June.

Postpartum depression is a major depressive episode that occurs following childbirth, although symptoms can start during pregnancy.

It affects around 400,000 American women every year. Affected women experience sadness and loss of interest in activities, a decreased ability to feel pleasure and may present with symptoms such as cognitive impairment, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, or suicidal ideation.