FDA approves pill to treat postpartum depression

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – “It’s sad to hear that women are still being blinded, unfortunately. In the medical field they get- I feel that if I could do my part now I could say, ‘Well, I have resources,’” said Susan Aguayo, the president & CEO of Kassy’s Kause.

Kassy’s Kause is a local non-profit that connects women with pregnancy and mental health resources, and it’s a cause that hits very close to home.

“She started having anxiety and panic attacks, to what depth? Unfortunately, we didn’t know until after she passed away,” Aguayo said about her daughter, Kassy.

She said Kassy suffered from perinatal depression, and in the end, it was a battle she didn’t win.

But now, the FDA recently approved the first pill ever to treat postpartum depression, and Aguayo said she was excited to see the announcement.

“It gives them hope, and it gives us hope as well for our children. I have a total of seven granddaughters, you know, that, you know, nobody’s immune. So, with this medication it’s not just for presents for the future as well,” she said.

Postpartum depression affects one in eight women, according to then CDC.

The new pill is called Zurzuvae, and it’s taken daily for two weeks. Clinical trials showed improvement in symptoms as early as three days.

Aguayo said she wants women to know it’s OK to need extra help from medication.

“Sometimes you do need that medication to balance you, it doesn’t make you weaker, it doesn’t make you someone that was giving in. It just means that you want to be better, you want to be a happy person in a situation you want to bring this, this child to the world,” said Aguayo.

She also said she sees a lot of women come in with questions about depression during or after their pregnancy, and wants them to know they’re not alone.

“This is not a choice is no one wakes up and says, ‘I want to be unhappy, and I want to have dark thoughts and I want to be a good mom.’ No one wakes up that way,” she said about perinatal and postpartum depression. 

The new drug should be available in the U.S. by the end of the year. 

If you or someone you know may be suffering, click here for resources.