Postpartum Depression Pill
The Food and Drug Administration approved the world's first pill designed to treat postpartum depression, a development expected to ease treatment for a condition affecting roughly half a million women in the US every year. The drug requires approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration in the US, expected within 90 days.
The pill, which will be marketed as Zurzuvae, consists of a synthetic version of a brain steroid that regulates stress. A recent study showed the treatment—designed to be taken once daily for two weeks—reduced symptoms by 55% (compared to 40% among a placebo group).
Moderate to severe PPD afflicts one in eight pregnant women with symptoms including sustained periods of sadness, insomnia, fatigue, and more; serious cases have resulted in the mother physically harming herself or the newborn. Researchers claim one in four US maternal deaths—a rate that has increased in recent years—result from mental health issues.