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New Federal Approval for Postpartum Depression Pill

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

postpartum depression pills

Story at-a-glance -

  • The first drug to treat postpartum depression has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but there are serious questions about whether this medication will truly help new moms in need
  • The drug, Zulresso (brexanolone), is administered as an IV infusion over 60 hours (2.5 days) and costs $7,450 per vial, or from $20,000 to $34,000 per treatment
  • Zulresso can cause a sudden loss of consciousness and can only be administered by a health care provider in a certified health care facility
  • Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is considered the first-line treatment option for women with mild to moderate postpartum depression; another alternative therapy is transcranial magnetic stimulation, which involves using magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain
  • Exercise, mindfulness, nutritional strategies and practicing self-compassion can also reduce PPD symptoms, but if you’re having thoughts of harming yourself or your infant, you should seek emergency medical help

The first drug to treat postpartum depression has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but there are serious questions about whether this medication will truly help new moms in need. Postpartum depression (PPD) affects about 1 in 9 women in the days and weeks following childbirth, although for some the symptoms begin during pregnancy.

By some estimates, the prevalence of depression among women during their first year postpartum may be close to 22 percent, but rates of diagnosis and treatment are low — even more so in pregnant and postpartum women than in the general population.


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