(CTN News) – Regulatory agencies in the United States have approved the first pill to treat postpartum depression. This offers a lifeline to as many as one in seven pregnant women who suffer from the condition each year, according to a report.
A new drug called Zurzuvae, manufactured by Biogen and Sage Therapeutics, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of severe Postpartum Depression associated with childbirth or pregnancy, the FDA announced on Friday.
As of recently, there have only been a few treatments available in the US for postpartum depression. These treatments have only been available through intravenous injection.
It was reported in the New York Times that the drug, Brexanolone, has to be infused intravenously for 60 hours at a hospital. It costs about $34,000 for a 60-hour infusion at the hospital, according to the report.
A couple of weeks ago, Sage Therapeutics for Postpartum Depression and Biogen, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced that they expect the drug to become commercially available in the near future.
The companies announced in a joint statement that Zurzuvae Postpartum Depression will be available for sale in the fourth quarter of 2023, once it is designated as a controlled substance by the U.S. DEA.
In a joint statement, Sage Therapeutics and Biogen announced in a statement that Zurzuvae would be available for sale by 2023.
There is an expectation that the decision will be made within 90 days by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Several studies by the company have found that women who take the drugs have fewer signs of Postpartum Depression over a four- to six-week period, with the benefits for many patients becoming apparent within three days of taking the drug. In addition to drowsiness and dizziness, Zurzuvae is reported to cause drowsiness and dizziness as side effects.
In terms of pricing, the manufacturer has not yet announced the price of the pill, which is to be taken once a day for 14 days.