Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2009 Nov;10(16):2593-607. doi: 10.1517/14656560903277202.

Pharmacotherapy of postpartum depression.

Author information

  • 1Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 3811 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



The prevalence and recurrence rates of postpartum depression (PPD) are 13 and 25%, respectively. Despite its detrimental impact on the health of the mother-infant dyad, there is a paucity of data in the literature regarding the efficacy of pharmacological treatment of PPD.


i) To review the literature on the use of antidepressants and hormonal supplements for the prevention and the treatment of PPD; ii) to give the authors' opinion on the current status of the pharmacological treatment of PPD; and iii) to discuss developments that are likely to be important in the future.


An electronic search was performed by using PubMed, Medline, and PsychINFO. Inclusion criteria were: i) empirical articles in peer-reviewed English-language journals; ii) well-validated measures of depression; and iii) a uniform scoring system for depression among the sample.


The electronic search yielded a total of 19 articles (12 on treatment and 7 on prevention of PPD) with the following study designs: eight randomized clinical trials (six using placebo control and two using active control groups), and 11 open-label studies. The selection of the specific antidepressant for a woman with PPD should derive from a personalized risk-benefit analysis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk