While having a baby can be one of the most joyful experience for some women – for many, it also becomes a struggle with a condition known as postpartum; where mothers can fight a losing battle of depression and mental health.
Unfortunately, the treatment choices available today are not directly targeted to this unique mental health issue. In fact, postpartum is treated much like any other type of depression, where patients are prescribed antidepressants and/or therapy, depending on the severity of their postpartum symptoms.
Sure, there are a variety of antidepressants that seem to be safe, as moms who breastfeed need to ensure they do not consume harmful substances that could affect their baby. Still, the main concern around lumping postpartum with other forms of depression is that these medications simply might not be a proper fit for what new moms may need; with effects of the drug taking weeks, sometimes months, to kick in.
Sage Therapeutics thinks it may have come up with a solution to this. Established in 2010, the company announced in early July they have had some success with a small testing group on an experimental drug they have created for new moms experiencing moderate to severe postpartum. Testing 21 females on the drug, which is being dubbed Sage-547; ten females were given Sage-57, through injection – while 11 eleven of the trial group were offered placebo.
Of those who were given the drug, seven claimed they were relieved of their postpartum symptoms in less than three days (that is 60 hours to be exact). They also did not report any of the usual side effects of antidepressants including: anxiety, odd dreams, or insomnia.
MSN reported that the seven news moms that stated they were in remission after taking the Sage-547 maintained keeping their postpartum symptoms at bay, for one month. When it came to the placebo group, one mom stated her postpartum depression left after 60 hours, while five stated some side effects that included: insomnia, anxiety, and terrible dreams.
It’s important to note, the new moms that took part in the trial were asked to stop nursing for a week and half (ten days), while on Sage-547; still, thanks to the incredible effect it takes in such a short amount of time, the drug could potentially interfere less with nursing than other drugs that are currently on the market.
So what are the next steps in making this drug accessible to the general public? The company states that trials around smaller doses on larger groups is what they will be conducting in the near future (as it is common within the initial drug trials to provide larger amounts to participants).
Sage-547 still has a long road to travel, before being readily available to new moms, suffering from postpartum, however the test results above are a great sign, of what (may) be to come.