US Approves the First-Ever Pill for Postpartum Depression!


by Omama Anwar

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a pill designed to address postpartum depression (PPD), a condition estimated to impact roughly one in eight women globally. 

The antidepressant, named Zuranolone, marks the "first oral medication indicated to treat postpartum depression (PPD) in adults," as highlighted in a statement by the FDA. 

The existing approach to treating PPD necessitated an intravenous injection, restricted to specific healthcare facilities and administered by medical professionals.


Dr. Asima Ahmad, the Chief Medical Officer at Carrot Fertility located in Menlo Park, California, indicated: “Approximately one out of eight women experience symptoms of PPD following recent childbirth, with an alarming 75 percent of those exhibiting symptoms remaining untreated.”

Unlike conventional antidepressants, this pill is tailored specifically for postpartum depression, boasting quicker efficacy and a concentrated administration period lasting only two weeks. 

Clinical trials of this pill revealed milder side effects compared to other antidepressants presently in use, which can trigger sudden unconsciousness, weight gain, or sexual dysfunction. Dr. Ahmad noted that the combination of fewer side effects and a shorter regimen could encourage better compliance among patients.

Tiffany Farchione, the head of psychiatry in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, underscored the gravity of postpartum depression as a condition capable of being life-threatening, wherein women struggle with emotions such as sadness, guilt, worthlessness, and in severe cases, thoughts of self-harm or harm to their child. 

The new pill will be marketed as Zurzuvae and created by Sage Therapeutics, a Massachusetts-based company. This development marks a significant advancement in the treatment of postpartum depression. 

Until now, the sole alternative approved by the FDA for this condition was Brexanolone, sanctioned in 2019, which necessitates a 60-hour intravenous infusion within a hospital setting. 

While the cost of the new oral pill has not yet been disclosed, its introduction offers hope for a more accessible and convenient treatment option for postpartum depression.