Breaking News: Fast-Acting Postpartum Depression Drug Approved in the US – Is Canada Next?

2023-08-17 13:30:51

Maternal health experts and an advocate for women with postpartum depression hope a fast-acting drug that has been approved in the United States will soon be available in Canada.

The antidepressant zuranolone is the first drug specifically designed for severe postpartum depression, with relief beginning on day three of a two-week regimen, according to results from two clinical trials.

Drugmakers Biogen and Sage Therapeutics received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval earlier this month for the new drug, marketed under the brand name Zurzuvae.

A Biogen spokeswoman said the companies are focused on bringing the pill to market in the United States later this year and have not filed for approval with Health Canada, but are exploring possibilities. to make the drug available outside the United States.

So far only one drug, launched in 2019 by Sage, targets postpartum depression, but it is administered intravenously in US medical facilities for 60 hours at a cost of US$34,000.

Dr. Diane Francoeur of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada says the new drug’s rapid response will reassure women who may fear prolonged use of systemic antidepressants.

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