FDA approves medication to help with postpartum depression

It's being called a game-changer in the fight against postpartum depression.

Posted: Mar 20, 2019 5:47 PM
Updated: Mar 20, 2019 7:04 PM

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first new drug to treat postpartum depression. It's being called a game-changer in the fight against the condition.

WAAY 31 spoke to mothers who say they're excited for the change. They said postpartum depression is an unseen illness and when this new drug becomes available, it will make a world of change.

One woman, Kanesha Rogers, said she suffered through postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter. She said she wishes there was medication available then to help her.

"I found myself crying for no reason. I'm kind of just going to school, and sitting there in like a daze, just didn't want to be there. I had lost hope for everything. I was just giving up, and I wanted to eat all the time," said Rodgers.

Her daughter is now three years old, and Rodgers has made it through that dark time with the necessary help. People who have lived through the condition say the stigma on pregnant women needs to change.

"I think society has convinced us that women are strong, and I totally agree, but we can't do this alone," said Theresa Fleischmann, who has also suffered from postpartum depression.

Fleischmann is part of a local chapter called Postpartum Support International. She said she will continue to be an advocate for women who need help, whether they take medication or not.

"I've been there. With help, you're going to get better, and it just makes it so much easier to believe that and to move forward with your treatment plan," said Fleischmann.

She said she's excited for Brexanolone, an injectable drug, to come on the market. Until then, she says there are other methods to help new moms stay positive and healthy.

Fleischmann said if you're feeling like you have lost hope, you're not alone and should reach out to people who can help you.

"We see you, we hear you, we want to help you," said Fleischmann.

The drug will be sold under the brand name "Zulresso" and it will be on the market in 2023. The company that helped create it said it starts to work in just 24 hours, but there are some pitfalls.

"Zulresso" has to be administered for 60 hours through an IV, and it could cost $30,000. A company representative said that price could come down. They said it will be up to insurance companies to determine how much they'll cover.

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