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A recent study confirms that zuranolone, a pill designed to treat postpartum depression, is both safe and effective. This medication represents a significant advancement in addressing the distressing condition that can negatively impact the mental health and lives of new mothers and their babies in the first year after childbirth.

FDA granted Zuranolone priority review for postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is a severe mental disorder that impacts both a woman’s emotional and physical well-being. While it’s normal to experience feelings of sadness or emptiness shortly after giving birth, these typically subside within a few days. However, in cases of postpartum depression, these emotions persist and disrupt daily functioning.

The woman could experience detachment from her baby and a lack of maternal connection, leading to potential feelings of not loving the baby, thoughts of harm, or difficulty in caring for the child. These emotions can vary in intensity, with accompanying shame and efforts to conceal the symptoms, making identification and treatment challenging.

The US FDA has granted Zuranolone, a drug designed to treat postpartum depression, priority review. The Sage Therapeutics and Biogen drug is admnsitered daily over two weeks. The priority designation means the FDA will focus its attention in evaluating the drug due to its potential to significantly improve the treatment of serious conditions compared to standard options.

Zuranolone effective within three days

In a study involving 196 women with chronic postpartum depression, researchers administered a daily 50mg dose of Zuranolone for two weeks. This led to significant improvements in depressive symptoms compared to a placebo group. Dr. Kristina Deligiannidis from the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in New York led the study. Positive responses to zuranolone were observed as early as day three, in contrast to traditional antidepressants which take weeks to show effects. These improvements persisted at 28 and 45-day follow-ups.

Delugiannidis said that Zuranolone, a short-term 14-day treatment, is not used on a chronic basis, limiting potential side effects to the brief treatment period. However considering the short tiral period more studies are needed to establish Zuranolone’s long-term effects and safety during breastfeeding.