FDA For The Baby Blues: First Pill for Postpartum Depression

The first postpartum depression medication was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Friday. This significant development is thought to have the potential to improve postpartum depression therapy and detection.

According to evidence from clinical trials, the medication works far more quickly than traditional antidepressants, which typically take two weeks or longer to take action. It can start to lessen depression in as little as three days. According to experts in maternal mental health, this may persuade more patients to seek treatment because it lasts only two weeks rather than months.

The Approval

The fact that the medicine is specifically approved for postpartum depression may be more important than any of the drug’s other qualities. The existence of an antidepressant that has been specifically demonstrated to treat postpartum depression, according to a number of medical professionals and other experts, may help lessen the stigma associated with the condition by highlighting the fact that it has biological roots and is not something women should blame themselves for.

More obstetricians and family doctors will be prompted to screen for symptoms and recommend counseling or therapy in the hopes that it will motivate more women to seek care.

“This is a patient population that just so often falls through the cracks,” said Dr. Ruta Nonacs, a psychiatrist with the Center for Women’s Mental Health at Massachusetts General Hospital. “When women are told, ‘You have postpartum depression,’ it’s embarrassing, it is demeaning, it makes them feel like a bad mom.”

The Pill

The truth is that our healthcare system is not designed to support new mothers, which means that for some parents, the time following childbirth may be among the most challenging times of their lives. In order to prepare for delivery, expectant moms are seen at least once a month and perhaps even more frequently. The suggested meeting with a doctor, however, isn’t until six weeks after the kid is born.

The Massachusetts-based Sage Therapeutics firm created the zuranolone tablet, which will be sold under the trade name Zurzuvae. Sage Therapeutics collaborates with Biogen to make Zurzuvae. After the Drug Enforcement Administration completes a 90-day review necessary for medications affecting the central nervous system, Sage said, it is anticipated to be made available. The cost of the pill has not yet been disclosed by the firms.

Postpartum Depression in the US

In the United States, depression affects 10 to 15 percent of new mothers during their pregnancies or the first year after giving birth. Intense anxiety, guilt, embarrassment, trouble sleeping, panic attacks, and suicide thoughts or attempts can all be symptoms of the illness. Additionally, it may be challenging for moms to give their children the attention, bonding, and caring that are essential for a child’s healthy growth.

For some parents, those six weeks can seem like an eternity. One in seven women are thought to have postpartum depression, despite the fact that 70% of women may experience the “baby blues,” a brief period of feeling more depressed or worried than usual. Sadly, up to 50% of postpartum depressed women go untreated.

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