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FDA approves first pill for postpartum depression

Until now, the only treatment available for women facing this condition was an intravenous injection.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first oral medication to treat postpartum depression, an illness that occurs in women in the last stages of pregnancy or after childbirth. The FDA accompanied the approval of Sage Therapeutics' Zurzuvae with recommendations such as not driving or operating heavy machinery for 12 hours after taking the pill.

"Postpartum depression is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition in which women experience sadness, guilt, worthlessness—even, in severe cases, thoughts of harming themselves or their child," explained Tiffany Farchione, director of psychiatric medications for the FDA. "Having access to an oral medication will be a beneficial option for many of these women coping with extreme, and sometimes life-threatening, feelings."

Until the approval was announced last Friday, an intravenous injection administered in healthcare facilities by medical professionals was the only treatment available.