Brexanolone Demonstrates More Change from Baseline Compared with SSRIs

Pharmacy Times, February 2020, Volume 87, Issue 2

The results of a systematic literature review published in CNS Drugs suggested that brexanolone injection, the first therapy approved by the FDA for the treatment of postpartum depression, is more effective than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the treatment of women suffering from postpartum depression.

The results of a systematic literature review published in CNS Drugs suggested that brexanolone injection, the first therapy approved by the FDA for the treatment of postpartum depression, is more effective than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the treatment of women suffering from postpartum depression (PPD).1

PPD is a severe condition that affects between 10% and 20% of women worldwide. It presents as depressive symptoms following delivery and often coexists with anxiety.2 Brexanolone was originally approved in March 2019.2

The researchers compared the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) outcomes between brexanolone and SSRIs using 6 studies identified in a literature review of pharmacological and pharmacological/nonpharmacological therapies in PPD.1

Using these data, the researchers performed indirect treatment comparisons of brexanolone and SSRIs at 3 separate time points: day 3, week 4, and last observation.1

For all 3 time points, the comparisons showed larger differences in the change from baseline for brexanolone compared with SSRIs. The differences between brexanolone and SSRIs at each time point was 12.79 at day 3, 5.87 at week 4, and 0.97 at last observation for HAM-D.1

For the EPDS, the differences in change from baseline were 7.98 at day 3, 6.35 at week 4, and 4.05 at last observation.1

Although the researchers acknowledged the limitations that come with comparing different studies, including differing study designs, the evidence suggested that brexanolone is more effective than SSRIs in reducing PPD symptoms.1

REFERENCES

  • Cooper MC, Kilvert HS, Hodgkins P, Roskell NS, Eldar-Lissai A. Using matching-adjusted indirect comparisons and network meta-analyses to compare efficacy of brexanolone injection with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for treating postpartum depression. CNS Drugs. 2019;33(10):1039-1052. doi: 10.1007/s40263-019-00672-w.
  • Azhar Y, Din AU. Brexanolone. StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019.