Objective: In this flexible-dose, open-label trial, we examined the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids for the treatment of depression during pregnancy.

Methods: Fifteen pregnant women with major depressive episodes participated. Subjects initially received two capsules per day [0.93 g of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)]; the dose could be increased by one capsule per day every 2 weeks to a maximal dose of 2.8 g.
Subjects were assessed with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD).

Results: Average duration of participation in this treatment trial was 8.3 weeks (SD +/- 7.1). Average final dose of EPA + DHA in this flexible dose trial was 1.9 g per day (+/-0.5). The mean reduction in EPDS scores was 40.9% (SD +/- 21.9); the mean decrease in HRSD score was 34.1% (SD +/- 27.1).

Conclusions: This open trial provides data to support the need for randomized controlled dose-finding trials of omega-3 fatty acids in major depressive episodes during pregnancy.