For the first time in history, the FDA has approved a treatment specifically for adult women experiencing postpartum depression (PPD).
Up until now, postpartum treatments have only consisted of mental health counseling, therapy, and standard antidepressants, many of which can take weeks – even months – to take effect.
Now, this newly-approved drug, which is being sold by Sage Therapeutics under the brand name Zulresso, was shown to relieve depressive symptoms within hours of being administered in three different clinical trials – and it continued to show success throughout their 30-day followups.
Though the treatment can only be administered via a 60-hour long IV drip session in a clinical setting, researchers are saying that the historic new treatment promises to help thousands of mothers.
Dr. Samantha Meltzer Brody, director of the Perinatal Psychiatry Program at the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders and primary investigator of the Zulresso clinical trials, hailed the drug as “a game-changing approach to treating PPD.”
“The potential to rapidly reduce symptoms in this critical disorder is an exciting milestone in women’s mental health,” said Brody. “PPD is recognized to have a significant and long-term impact on women and their families, but with Zulresso we may finally have the opportunity to change that.”
Postpartum depression is the most common medical complication of childbirth, affecting approximately one in nine women who have given birth in the U.S. and 400,000 women annually. Though the condition is a distinct and readily identified major depressive disorder that can occur during pregnancy and after giving birth, more than half of these cases can go undiagnosed without proper screening.
Symptoms can last for months, sometimes even years after pregnancy, which can have devastating consequences for a woman and for her family, some of which may include significant functional impairment, depressed mood, loss…
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