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Brexanolone May Outperform SSRIs for Postpartum Depression

October 26, 2018

ORLANDO, Fla.—Infusion with the investigational compound brexanolone outperformed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for the treatment of postpartum depression, according to a matched-adjusted indirect comparison presented during a poster session at Psych Congress 2018.

“In randomized controlled trials in women with postpartum depression, 60 hours of continuous brexanolone infusion (90 mg/kg) was associated with significant reductions in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) [score], which was sustained throughout the study period (30 days),” wrote researchers.

The current investigation aimed to compare brexanolone injection performance with published improvements using SSRI treatment.

Researchers identified randomized controlled trials that assessed SSRI efficacy in women with postpartum depression and used matched-adjusted indirect comparison methods for analyses at day 3, week 4, and last observation following treatment initiation.

Brexanolone infusion was linked with greater reductions than SSRI treatment was at all timepoints on both the clinician-reported HAM-D and the patient-reported Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, researchers reported.

Brexanolone Infusion Rapidly Relieves Postpartum Depression

On the HAM-D, differences between brexanolone and SSRI treatment in change from baseline ranged from 13.5 at day 3 to 2 for last observation following treatment initiation, according to the poster. On the Edinburgh scale, change-from-baseline differences ranged from 8 on day 3 to 3.3 at last observation.

SAGE Therapeutics, the developer of brexanolone, sponsored the study.

—Jolynn Tumolo


Cooper M, Kilvert H, Eldar-Lissai A, Roskell N, Hodgkins P. Evaluating pharmacotherapies for postpartum depression: a comparison of SSRIs to brexanolone injection, a novel investigational compound. Poster presented at Psych Congress 2018: October 25-28, 2018; Orlando, FL. Poster 214.

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