A new pill is bringing hope for mothers struggling with postpartum depression.
On Wednesday, scientists from The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research announced that results from phase 3 of a clinical trial for the drug, zuranolone, are showing promising results.
The findings, which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry, show that after two weeks of daily treatment using zuranolone, women treated with the medication had a "statistically significant reduction in their core symptoms of depression compared to women who received a placebo."
The placebo-controlled clinical trial, which was led by Kristina Deligiannidis, MD., looked at 153 randomized patients from 33 centers across the U.S. It was given to female patients between the ages of 18 and 45 with perinatal major depressive episodes for 14 days.
The patient's depressive symptoms were scored at various points in the study for 45 days. Of the 153 randomized patients, 76 people were given the placebo and 77 were given zuranolone orally, nightly for two weeks during the trial.
At day 45, 53% of women who received zuranolone were in full remission of clinical depression versus 30% who received the placebo.
"These encouraging results are an important step in efforts to develop a novel treatment option for patients who suffer from this prevalent condition," said Dr. Deligiannidis in a statement.
If approved, zuranolone would be the first pill to treat postpartum depression. It would also be much handier than other treatments.
Currently, there's only one drug on the market that's FDA-approved to treat postpartum depression, which affects one out of eight women in the U.S., and it's only available through infusion, which can be cumbersome for newborn mothers to receive.