PSVa Statement on the Approval of Zuranolone 

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration approved Zuranolone, a new medication to treat postpartum depression. Zuranolone will be available under the brand name Zurzuvae for once-daily use over 14 days. 
 
Adding a new and effective tool to treat postpartum depression is an excellent step forward in addressing maternal mental health issues such as postpartum depression. The full spectrum of maternal mental health issues includes Perinatal Anxiety, Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Psychosis, and the Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder during the perinatal time.  
 
Research shows that up to 1 in 7 childbearing people will experience depression during pregnancy or after childbirth, but only half will receive treatment. For women of color, rates of screening and treatment are even lower.  
 
Zuranolone was trialed with women experiencing severe postpartum depression. An American Journal of Psychiatry Article outlined impressive results.  

  • Fast-acting relief from depressive symptoms within a few days. 
  • Effects were still present at 28 and 45 days following the end of treatment (the study did not follow patients past 45 days). 

Notably, Zuranolone can be taken at home, unlike Zulresso, an IV treatment for postpartum depression only available in healthcare facilities.  
 
Zuranalone is being hailed as a breakthrough treatment but is not a magic pill. Those most at risk for postpartum depression and other maternal mental health issues include childbearing people of color, those with low socioeconomic status, and women with a history of trauma. These women are least likely to be screened and referred for treatment. 
 
We need to think about solving maternal mental health issues holistically, and it starts with excellent medical care, access to quality mental health care, proper screening and referral, and the elimination of systemic trauma. Medication cannot address the systemic issues that increase the risk of maternal mental health issues. 
 
At Postpartum Support Virginia, we address maternal mental health with a combination of direct services (warmline, care coordination, support groups); community-level action through the Perinatal Mental Health Coalition of Virginia and its Regional Workgroups; and training programs for maternal and mental health providers. 
 
Zuranolone is expected to be commercially available in the fourth quarter of 2023.  Mothers seeking treatment should get help now from their OB, mental health provider, or another trusted individual. Do not wait for this drug to be available to seek help.  
 
For help, call our Warmline (English and Spanish) at 703-829-7152 or visit us at www.postpartumva.org. You are not alone, you are not to blame, and you can feel better.  
 
Media requests related to the FDA approval of Zuranolone can be sent to Mandolin Restivo at mrestivo@postpartumva.org or by calling her at 540-681-3802. 

Share this post with your friends