Postpartum depression or PPD is a serious condition where women go through feelings, such as sadness and guilt, after childbirth or during the final stages of pregnancy. It often disrupts the maternal-infant bond, and at times, PPD might turn into a life-threatening condition. So, it might have a negative impact on the physical as well as emotional development of the child. There can be a loss of interest in activities a woman used to enjoy previously (before delivery). Lack of energy, suicidal thoughts, and cognitive impairment are also associated with PPD. There are already some medicines available to treat PPD, but this is the first time the FDA (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has approved an oral pill for postpartum depression. It is known as Zuranolone, which is sold under the brand name, Zurzuvae. In this blog, let’s find out how Zurzuvae for postpartum depression works for women.

It’s still a mystery how some women experience postpartum depression, while others don’t. However, there are several factors that cause PPD in women. Some of them are given here.

  • Changes in the levels of hormones during postpartum
  • Lifestyle and emotional factors
  • Stressful events
  • History of depression

Emotional young woman

Zurzuvae’s Role in Postpartum Depression

Before the FDA approved the use of Zurzuvae, treatment for postpartum depression was available only in the form of intravenous injections. Now that fast-acting oral treatment is made available, women with symptoms of PPD can get quicker relief right from their homes. 

The approval of Zurzuvae happened at the end of a clinical development program that involved two different studies with women having postpartum depression. The results of this program indicated that Zurzuvae caused a significant reduction in women’s depressive symptoms. 

Fast-Acting Pill Zurzuvae: Benefits & Side Effects

Unlike many of the anti-depressants that must be taken for months together, Zurzuvae needs to be taken only for a short time. Usually, women experience relief from symptoms when they consume Zurzuvae for 14 days. The oral pill must be taken only once a day in the evenings along with a fatty diet for two weeks. And, the recommended dose for Zurzuvae is 50 mg per day.   

Fda Approves First Fast Acting Pill Zurzuvae For Postpartum Depression

The most common side effects of using Zurzuvae are diarrhea, dizziness, urinary tract infection, and fatigue. The pill can also affect a person’s ability to drive. So, doctors usually advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machines for at least 12 hours after the consumption of Zurzuvae. Using Zurzuvae can also trigger suicidal thoughts. 

Zurzuvae: A Game-Changer

Many women facing postpartum depression suffer in silence. Some of them feel ashamed to talk about their feelings with others, and others assume that taking medication for these issues is dangerous. But Zurzuvae acts as a boon to such women. They can conveniently take the pill at home, unlike some other PPD medications that can be administered only at the hospital. The approval of Zurzuvae by the FDA is also a sign of ending the stigma that surrounds postpartum depression. 

Several clinical trials on the efficacy of Zurzuvae have taken place in the U.S. An article about such a clinical trial has been published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The trial consisted of 196 women who were suffering from severe postpartum depression. Some of them were given 50 mg of Zurzuvae and the others in the trial were given a placebo. At the end of the trial, which lasted 14 days, the women who took Zurzuvae were found to have significant improvements in their depressive symptoms. When researchers involved in the trial tested the women after 28 days, and then after 45 days, they found the results to be consistent.  

Safety of Zurzuvae for Breastfeeding Moms

Zurzuvae is not recommended for breastfeeding moms. The trial (mentioned in the previous section) consisted of only women who weren’t nursing their newborns. However, at this point, we cannot conclude that Zurzuvae is not safe for breastfeeding moms because more research is needed in this area. In short, nursing mothers should avoid taking Zurzuvae until it is proven to be safe for them.

Fda Approves First Fast Acting Pill Zurzuvae For Postpartum Depression

We hope you now understand the importance of Zurzuvae for postpartum depression. When treated in the initial stages, postpartum depression can be cured easily so that the mother and her child can bond better and stay healthier.