Not a single drug on the market today specifically targets PPD. So this new drug trial is pretty big news!
“What’s most difficult for me is when I see someone come in who’s really suffering and is quite sick … it’s going to take four to six weeks to get better, ” said Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, perinatal psychiatrist.
“In general, even outside the postpartum period, when we think about treating depression or anxiety, we think about medications being effective on the order of weeks or months,” explained Dr. Anna Glezer, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.
“As a perinatal psychiatrist, what’s most difficult for me is when I see someone come in and see me who’s really suffering and is quite sick, is that even if I start standard antidepressants right away, it’s going to take four to six weeks to get better,” said Meltzer-Brody. “It’s a bad scene.”
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Five years ago, a biotech firm approached Dr Meltzer-Brody to get her opinion on a drug the company was developing.
The drug was brexanolone, Sage Therapeutics’ first-of-its-kind formulation of a neurosteroid that the company hopes can target some of the hormonal changes fundamental to pregnancy and childbirth and ultimately transform treatment for PPD.
During drug trials Dr Meltzer-Brody said she was seeing patients who’d been totally withdrawn from the world suddenly emerge from their hospital rooms to chat with their families and dote on their babies, coming back to life like wilted flowers after a good long soak.
“What’s really exciting to me is that there is no drug on the market that is a neurosteroid that acts in this way,” Meltzer-Brody said.
“It’s going after an entirely different mechanism of action. It would be something that would potentially treat women for postpartum depression in days. And that, I think, would be an amazing, positive step forward.”
“Within 24 hours, we were seeing dramatic responses that then were sustained over a 30-day follow-up period.”
Trials are still continuing.
This sounds like it could be a great option for mums suffering PND. I hope it isn’t too far away.
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