The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology

Brief Report

Bupropion SR for the treatment of postpartum depression: a pilot study

Ruta M. Nonacs a1a2c1, Claudio N. Soares a1a2, Adele C. Viguera a1a2, Kimberly Pearson a1, Jennifer R. Poitras a1 and Lee S. Cohen a1a2
a1 Perinatal and Reproductive Psychiatry Clinical Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston, MA, USA
a2 Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Article author query
nonacs rm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
soares cn   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
viguera ac   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
pearson k   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
poitras jr   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
cohen ls   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Despite the prevalence of postpartum depression, few studies have assessed the efficacy of antidepressants for the treatment of this disorder. Failure to treat postpartum depression (PPD) places the woman at risk for chronic depression and may have adverse effects on child wellbeing and development. Eight female outpatients aged 18–45 yr were enrolled in an 8-wk open-label trial of bupropion SR for PPD. All patients met DSM-IV criteria for major depression with onset within 3 months of delivery and scored 17 or greater on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) at baseline. Those with onset of depressive symptoms during pregnancy, psychotic symptoms, or significant medical illness were excluded. Median scores on the HAMD declined from 20.5 (range 15–38) at baseline to 10.0 (range 1–20) at end-point (p<0.05, Wilcoxon signed-ranks test; LOCF). Six out of the eight subjects demonstrated a [gt-or-equal, slanted]50% decrease in HAMD scores from baseline; three subjects achieved remission (HAMD score of [less-than-or-eq, slant]7) at week 8. Median final dosage of bupropion SR was 262.5 (range 37.5–300). Bupropion SR was well tolerated, and no subjects discontinued treatment as a result of medication side-effects. Bupropion SR represents an effective and well-tolerated antidepressant for the treatment of PPD.

(Received April 11 2004)
(Reviewed July 7 2004)
(Revised October 9 2004)
(Accepted October 20 2004)

Key Words: Antidepressant; bupropion; postpartum depression.

c1 Perinatal and Reproductive Psychiatry Clinical Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 15 Parkman Street WACC 815, Boston, MA 02114, USA. Tel.: 617-724-0811 Fax: 617-726-7541 E-mail: RNONACS@PARTNERS.ORG