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Moms, experts say first postpartum depression pill could be a game changer

A pregnant woman. (Diana Bagnoli/Getty Images)
A pregnant woman. (Diana Bagnoli/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: If you or someone you know may be considering suicide or in crisis, call or text 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis LifelineFor specific maternal mental health support, call the 24-hour hotline at (833) 943-5746 or seeother ways to get help.

While women with postpartum depression are often prescribed anti-depressants, the drugs have had mixed results and can take two to eight weeks to start working. So news that the first-ever pill to target postpartum depression is being reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration, with possible approval by early August, is generating buzz among affected mothers.

The drug, called Zuranolone, was developed by Sage Therapeutics in partnership with Biogen. And unlike traditional antidepressants, clinical trials show it works within three days and continues to show improvement months later.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks to University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School psychiatrist Nancy Byatt and Stephanie Hathaway, a Connecticut mother who was part of a clinical trial for Zulresso, an IV infusion of Sage Therapeutics’ first postpartum depression drug. Hathaway credits it with saving her life.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.