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Zulresso: FDA Approves First Treatment for Postpartum Depression

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Postpartum depression is one topic we have had to discuss many times lately. In a previous article, we talked about how men also can suffer from postpartum depression. However, not everyone is aware that this suffering is not female exclusive.

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Postpartum depression is one health challenge that requires enough attention. And as much as it has been emphasized that support from family and friends is one of the best ways to provide help to someone dealing with this condition, a lot of people still wish there was a medication for it. The united state’s food and drug administration finally approved the very first drug created to treat females dealing with postpartum depression.

Brexanolone is the name of this new medication. The drug will be sold under the name Zulresso by Sage Therapeutics. Zulresso will be administered intravenously over 60 hours. And it is designed to provide immediate relief from any depressive symptom within as low as 48 hours.

The results provided by this medication is a lot quicker than what is produced by the antidepressants used for the treatment of postpartum depression currently. The antidepressants a lot of people use for the postpartum of depression sex as much as between two to four weeks to have any significant effect on the user.

This new medication is not only effective; it is expected to come at a costly price. Before insurance this medication would cost more than 30000 dollars. It is believed that this medication would bring hope to be thousands of women around the world who suffer from postpartum depression yearly.

At present approximately one in every seven women in the united states of America have to deal with postpartum depression, and this disrupts the natural bonding process between them and their children, as well as the psychological growth of the child.

According to Dr Kristina deligiannidis, there are no FDA approved anti-depressants for treating postpartum depression. So with the approval of this first medication, it is a breakthrough for patients. Zulresso is capable of clearing up postpartum depression symptoms within a few hours.

In the year 2016, a breakthrough therapy designation was ordered by the FDA for Brexanolone. This played an essential role in expediting the development and review of medications that are intended to treat a severe or life-threatening condition.

Between 2016 and 2017 the drug underwent a total of three clinical trials to evaluate its safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics – or how the human body processes the medication. The trial study featured a total of 247 female participants who were picked randomly to receive either a placebo or brexanolone.

All the participants had put to bed within six months of receiving the trial treatment, and we’re all living with moderate to severe symptoms of postpartum depression. The participants couldn’t have psychosis or bipolar disorder; neither could they have had any recent suicide attempt.

The women were followed closely by the researchers over 30 days, and it was discovered that those of them who received brexanolone showed a significant level of improvement when compared to those of them who were placed on placebo.

According to Dr Deligiannidis, after a little above 60 hours almost half of the participants who received braixanolone we noticed to be in remission and no longer were considered to have clinical depression.

What do we know about Zulresso?

 

From the information available to us women who are undergoing this new treatment have to do so from a supervised healthcare centre because of the risks and side effects that were observed during the clinical studies.

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Some of the users may experience headaches dizziness or nausea. Others may suffer a loss of consciousness and even excessive sedation. Furthermore, patients may be required to stop breastfeeding during the period they get infused with medication, to prevent the child from feeding on contaminated breast milk. Although from the studies so far it seems like only a tiny amount of the drug get to the breast milk.

Dr Jennifer Wu, who is a board certified obstetrician-gynecologist with Lenox hill hospital new york city predict that this medication may not be the first line drug for the treatment of postpartum depression because of the possible need to separate the child from its mother. In the meantime, Dr Jennifer believes that the first line treatment for people dealing with postpartum depression should be counselling and SSRIs or any other traditional antidepressants.

Without said this new medication might be an excellent option for individuals who experienced severe cases of postpartum depression and have failed to respond to other treatment methods.

Zulresso won’t come cheap

According to information provided by sage pharmaceutics, this medication will likely be sold for around $7450 a vial. This will amount to approximately $34000 after insurance or discounts. This does not include the costs that come with getting admitted into a medical centre and having to stay there for a couple of days. This drug is expected to be made available by June 2019.

How exactly does this drug work?

The human brains contain a network of receptors known as GABA receptors. These receptors are responsible for the communication between our brain cells. When a woman is pregnant her hormone levels, especially that of progesterone will begin to fluctuate and cause a decrease in the activity of receptors. After childbirth is the period known as postpartum and during this time or more levels will decline and cause those GABA receptors to turn on again.

When GABA receptors on again the rebound but this time to a greater extent which results to hyperactivity and causes depressive symptoms. Brexanolone is a synthetic compound created from progesterone, and what it does is act to correct the hyperactivity of the GABA receptors in the new mother’s brains. this will ultimately reduce depressive symptoms.

Scientists currently working with sage therapeutics are developing another medicine which can be orally ingested and it is called the SAGE-217. This new drug also acts in the GABA receptors. This experimental drug is one that researchers are optimistic about. the research of the clinical stories. Having carried out on these drugs was released in January 2019 suggests that medication can also potentially reduce depressive symptoms in women with postpartum depression quickly.

More trials on this new medication will be covered out by sage and if approved the pool will need more accessible an affordable to people with postpartum depression.

A lot is still left unknown about this treatment

according to health experts there is still so much that we are yet to learn about brexanolone and the new pill that is being developed. With time researchers hope that they would eventually be able to figure out when the person’s symptoms will likely resume and how intense day have to be before treatment begins.

A lot of women and how to deal with postpartum depression and with the recent discovery that men also can deal with this condition there is a need for a solution to the problem. We hope that this drug will be made available soon and more people will gain access to it if really it works.

Have you heard anything about this new treatment? Let us know what your thoughts and suggestions are by leaving a comment in the comment section provided below. Also please do not hesitate to share this article on social media so that others can learn from it.

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