Brexanolone For Postpartum Depression: A Novel Approach and a Call for Comprehensive Postpartum Care

Angela F. Jarman, Joanna V. MacLean, Rebecca J. Barron, Rachel S. Wightman, Alyson J. McGregor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Brexanolone recently became the first medication to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration specifically for treating postpartum depression. In contrast to traditional antidepressants, however, brexanolone is a neurosteroid that is believed to mimic allopregnanolone, a product of endogenous progesterone. Although early clinical trials have shown success, the medication remains largely unavailable due to its extremely high cost and formulation (it must be given as a continuous intravenous infusion over 3 days in a monitored, inpatient setting). The efficacy data surrounding brexanolone are encouraging; there is also evidence, however, that postpartum depression may be mitigated by a number of social policies that provide support to new parents. We suggest a comprehensive approach to postpartum wellness that includes investing in evidence-based social interventions that may be much more accessible to the millions of Americans experiencing postpartum mood disturbance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-235
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Brexanolone
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Postpartum depression
  • Social determinants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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