New Haven, Conn. (WTNH) — Earlier this month, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first pill to treat postpartum depression in adults.
The medication is called Zurzuvae, and it is expected to hit the market in the fourth quarter of the year.
News 8 spoke with a Hartford HealthCare physician and a first-time mother about how this new treatment option can help those suffering from postpartum depression.
News 8 spoke with Liz Maselli, a physician assistant at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport and mother to a 9-month-old named Donny.
“You have the baby and there’s much chaos in the house and you’re already exhausted and you don’t have a lot of free time,” she said.
Liz says she was very aware of postpartum depression during her pregnancy after losing a loved one to suicide.
“I personally lost a friend to postpartum depression, so it was very important to me that I knew the signs and symptoms and I knew when to ask for help when we saw them,” she said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms of postpartum depression “PDD” include withdrawing from loved ones, feeling distant from your baby, doubting your ability to care for your baby, or thinking about harming yourself or your baby.
“One in seven women will experience postpartum depression, and one in 10 men will experience postpartum depression – so it’s a real event,” said Dr. Daniel Gottschall, an OBGYN at St. Vincent’s Medical Center.
Zurzuvae is said to provide rapid relief compared to other more well-known depression medications that can take weeks to work.
“The nice thing about this medication from releases on the early studies is that in one to three doses – people can already start to notice some changes and I think that’s the most exciting piece,” Dr. Gottschall said.
Dr. Gottschall says the side effects are reported to be minimal and new moms like Liz are welcoming the pill as a potential treatment option.
“To have that medication out there and available to women is fabulous – even if you see the commercial and you don’t need the medication, it increases your awareness – all awareness, is good awareness when it comes to postpartum depression,” Masseli said.