Allopregnanolone Injection Eliminated Post-Partum Depression in Four Women

November 21, 2016 · Posted in Potential Treatments · Comment 

post partum depression

In a small proof-of-concept study, researcher Stephen J. Kanes and colleagues showed that injections of allopregnanolone could nearly eliminate symptoms of post-partum depression.

Allopregnanolone is the main metabolite of the hormone progesterone. Rapid changes in hormone levels following delivery are thought to cause post-partum depression.

In the study, four women with post-partum depression were given injections of SAGE-547, a proprietary solution of allopregnanolone. The dose was adjusted over 12 hours until it approximated prenatal levels of allopregnanolone. This level was maintained for 36 hours, and then the women were weaned off the SAGE-547 over another 12 hours. As soon as the women began injections of SAGE-547, their depression began to improve, and this lasted after they stopped receiving the injections. By 84 hours after beginning treatment, depression scores had improved by 81%.

Kanes and colleagues, who presented this research at the 2016 meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, will follow up this study with placebo-controlled trials of SAGE-547.