Remedy for Postpartum Depression Shows Promising Results
The substance acts faster than traditional antidepressants and is in the testing phase, but it is already a hope for mothers who suffer from the problem.
For some mothers, the birth of a child comes with negative feelings and loss of pleasure in life. There is a point where melancholy is normal, the baby blues , which starts at birth and goes away in a few weeks. The problem is when sadness impacts daily and becomes a disease: the known postpartum depression .
It is estimated that up to 26% of the Brazilian women can be affected by the disorder, whose treatment involves cognitive-behavioral therapy, changes in habits and, often, remedies. But the antidepressants currently used, although effective and safe, take about two weeks to take effect. Now a new formula, with much faster results, is being tested in women who suffer from the disease.
It is brexanolone , which works in a different region of the brain than traditional remedies, GABA receptors. We’ll explain! One of the possible reasons for postpartum depression is the rapid drop in the level of a number of hormones, including allopregnanolone, which also works on these GABA receptors, which in turn stimulate the nervous system. When all these substances leave the scene, the imbalance can trigger the baby blues and, in some people, depression .
“The new compound simulates the action of allopregnanolone and thus acts in one of the hypotheses for the emergence of depression that is still little explored by the drugs,” explains Luiz Scocca, a psychiatrist and member of the Brazilian Association of Psychiatry (ABP). It is worth noting that this is not to say that hormones are the only ones responsible here. Stress by the baby’s arrival, lifestyle, lack of support and stability and even genetic predisposition are involved in the disorder.
In the latest study on the drug , published recently, it managed to ease the symptoms of the four participating volunteers in just 24 hours . In a press interview , the lead author of the paper reported that patients who were not eating or prostrated left the room, dined and talked after taking the new drug. The effect was maintained for up to 30 days after receiving the substance, which was administered by intravenous infusion.
The study was open, that is, patients and doctors knew the medicine that was administered. Before, a double-blind trial, when two groups were divided between placebo and drug without knowing which one , had already been published with equally positive results. The last phase of the study so that the drug can be approved is underway and the results are expected to be published in the first half of 2018.
“This is a small but well-structured study that could help not only the treatment of postpartum depression , but other types of depression,” says Scoccca.