A new drug to treat postnatal depression has just completed clinical trials, giving hope to millions of women suffering from this debilitating condition. Sage Therapeutics has been trialing brexanolone and the medicine has now been shown to have positive effects on new mothers with depression.
The first approved drug for postnatal depression
Sage Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company which has been investigating the condition. Before this new drug, there has been no medicine approved by the FDA for the use of treating postpartum depression, so this new drug could be ground-breaking.
Postnatal depression can be devastating to many new mothers. In the last few months of pregnancy and shortly after having a baby, many new chemicals are coursing through the body. The trauma of birth can also add to the risk of depression in new mothers.
20% of new mothers have postpartum depression
Up to 20% of all new mothers in the USA get postpartum depression. Many of the cases go unreported, which could be one of the reasons why the main cause of death among new mothers is suicide.
In the UK, one in ten women experience postpartum depression within a year of giving birth. It is also possible for the condition to affect fathers and partners. Without the right help, the depression can get worse, so it is vital sufferers are treated as soon as possible.
Sage Therapeutics trial for brexanolone
In the new trials, new mothers were given the drug intravenously over the course of 60 hours. During the time, the women’s depression eased significantly. The FDA now need to review the data from the research and it will take another 6 months to determine if the drug is approved.
Getting involved in clinical trials
Clinical trials always need participants for paid research studies and people can take part in clinical trials at Trials4us or another clinic, in order to help medical research. There are many trials taking place and it is easy to find one suitable for any participant.
This new brexanolone drug could be a lifeline for the many new mothers who experience postpartum depression each year. This condition has never had a drug specifically approved for use against it, so the new medicine from Sage Therapeutics could prove to be revolutionary. All eyes are on the next stage in the clinical trials process.a