HomeBlogConditionsTipsWhat’s New in Postpartum Depression Medication? An Overview of Zurzuvae and Other Treatments

What’s New in Postpartum Depression Medication? An Overview of Zurzuvae and Other Treatments

Postpartum depression is a serious issue among new mothers, one that can have significant ramifications on quality of life, mental health, and the relationship between a mother and their child. Over the past several years, new treatment options have begun to emerge with new advancements for controlling symptoms of hopelessness, fatigue, and anxiety. One such option is Zurzuvae.

Understanding postpartum depression

One of the most common complications following pregnancy is postpartum depression. 19% of women experience postpartum depression, and those who have had a history of depression aren’t at a much higher risk. Symptoms can include:

  • Anger or moodiness
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Crying
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • An inability to concentrate
  • Unwanted thoughts, especially about your child
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Restlessness
postpartum depression medication

The impact of PPD on mothers and families

Research indicates that postpartum depression can have an impact not just on the mother but on the new baby. Some studies say that postpartum depression can negatively impact the healthy relationship with a child and the development of that child. In some cases, children struggle with the following:

  • Delays in language development
  • Problems learning
  • Mother-child bonding issues
  • Behavioral problems 

The feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness can not only make it challenging for new mothers to bond with their children but can make it challenging for them to take care of themselves, handle daily activities around the house, or even support relationships with other children and family members.

Postpartum depression can cause significant problems within the family unit, breaking down relationships, especially as communication comes to a stop. When mothers struggle with depression, they are more likely to pull away from their family members, including other children and spouses, which can inhibit bonding as well and lead to problems with emotional development and behavioral tendencies.

Current statistics on the prevalence of PPD

  • According to the CDC, 1 in 10 mothers have an episode of major depression
  • One in eight mothers has symptoms of postpartum depression

Traditional treatments for postpartum depression

Traditional treatment for postpartum depression revolves around psychotherapy and antidepressants.


Psychologists can provide several forms of psychotherapy, but the most common is interpersonal psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. Both of these help new mothers find ways to address their feelings, cope with them, set goals, and respond positively to their emotions.


Antidepressants are the most common medication prescribed for new mothers, but they come with the side effects that they get into the breast milk. While there are currently few risks of any side effects, it is something that new mothers have to consider.

Other medications might be incorporated into traditional treatment to target specific symptoms, like anti-anxiety medications or medication to treat insomnia.

Not all women respond to medication or therapy. In fact, getting out of the house as a new mother for therapy sessions had me quite challenging, and those with a history of depression who are more likely to struggle with postpartum depression are at risk for limited efficacy in traditional antidepressants.

Zurzuvae: A New Hope

There is a new medication for postpartum depression: Zurzuvae. This is the first postpartum depression pill available to women. 

FDA approval status and clinical trial outcomes

The FDA has approved this postpartum depression medication after several clinical trials confirmed that taking this new medication for postpartum depression brought about significant improvements in new mothers in as little as three days. Women who took the postpartum depression pill for 14 days had very few side effects aside from sleepiness and dizziness and did not experience symptoms of postpartum depression for up to 45 days after.

Two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies worked with women who received 50 mg of Zurzuvae and after 14 days of treatment showed significant improvement.

How Zurzuvae differs from traditional antidepressants

This medication for postpartum depression works a bit differently than other antidepressants. Traditional antidepressants fall under the category of SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. They get the name because of the mechanism of action that they employ; inside the brain, they prevent the reabsorption of serotonin, which means that it remains in your system for a longer amount of time and helps to boost your mood.

Zurzuvae postpartum depression medication is a new postpartum depression pill that is a synthetic form of a naturally occurring neurosteroid called allopregnanolone. This neurosteroid is responsible for making progesterone in the body. The pills used in this medication for postpartum depression help to increase the levels of progesterone and the GABA-A receptors, both of which regulate your mood and behavior. This helps do away with significant depression. 

Other new medications and therapies

Today, more research is focusing on hormonal treatments and other pharmacological advances to help treat postpartum depression. Zurzuvae postpartum depression treatment remains one of the most promising novel approaches because of its targeted efficacy and managing hormonal imbalances that cause postpartum depression.

Some things to be aware of, though, include the following:

  • One of the issues is that Zurzuvae may cause suicidal thoughts and behavior. 
  • Zurzuvae may cause fetal harm. 
  • Additionally, it, too, can get into breast milk, and as it is a relatively new postpartum depression medication, little is known about these effects long-term.

Summing Up

Medication for postpartum depression is essential if you are struggling with any symptoms of postpartum depression beyond the first few weeks of giving birth. The FDA continues to evaluate new medications, and if you are looking into postpartum depression medication, it’s important to consider all available options. 

As a new mother, it’s essential that you seek help and consult healthcare providers about new medication for postpartum depression and whether or not the postpartum depression pill is the right choice for you.

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