COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX)- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug developed to treat symptoms for severe postpartum depression in new mothers.
Zulresso, developed by Sage Therapeutics, will be given through an IV over two and a half days, requiring a stay in a medical center. The drug is designed to mimic natural hormones that normally lower in a woman after childbirth
According to clinical trials, the drug works within 48 hours, but is quite expensive, averaging out at $34,000 per patient, not including the two-day medical stay.
Dr. Nancy Bertsch, an OBGYN at Baylor Scott & White in College station, believes that although the medication is aimed towards women with severe postpartum depression, it is definitely a step in the right direction.
“So for women who are having severe post-partum depression that may not be responding to our usual first-line treatments, this might be a good option for them. It offers a new innovation medication,” says Bertsch.
Local medical professionals say the symptoms of PPD affect over four hundred thousand American women a year and suggest speaking to your healthcare provider if you notice symptoms.
Bertsch says there are many different manifestations of PPD, but some of the most common symptoms include, feeling sad, tearful, anxious, feeling a difficult time bonding with the baby and isolationism.
“I think the more we talk about it, the more we say "yeah this happens to 10% of PPD patients" makes it a little easier to talk about and bring up with family as well as the healthcare provider,” says Bertsch
Sage Therapeutics plans to start selling the IV drug in late June and is currently in clinical trials with similar treatment in pill form.