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Researchers waiting for FDA approval for postpartum depression tablet

A new drug exclusively developed for women suffering from postpartum depression might be approved soon by health authorities, according to Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical companies Sage Therapeutics and Biogen. The medicine, called zuranolone, is an antidepressant medication that only requires two weeks of treatment, which is a contrast to Zulresso, the other available medication for PPD that demands continuous IV infusions for 60 hours.

PPD affects one in seven new mothers and can manifest through severe symptoms such as intense sadness, excessive crying, distant feelings toward the baby, and thoughts of harm. Recently, postpartum psychosis has gained attention after a woman was diagnosed with an acute case following the alleged murder of her three children in Boston.

“We see the potential for zuranolone, if approved, to be a meaningful new option that can help address the serious unmet need faced by the diverse populations struggling with MDD and PPD,” said Dr Priya Singhal, Biogen’s Executive Vice president and head of research.

The medicine is designed to use a compound called a neurosteroid to target GABA receptors in the brain, aiming to reset brain function by quickly rebalancing dysregulated brain networks that impact mood, arousal, behavior, and cognition.