Connecticut Mom Shares Experience With New Postpartum Depression Drug

Experts say 10 to 20 percent of moms suffer from postpartum depression and while other treatments are available, the FDA has just approved the first drug specifically meant to treat it.

After both of her pregnancies Stephanie Hathaway had the same feelings return.

“The worst was when I started having intrusive thoughts like your daughter deserves a better mom your husband deserves a better wife,” Stephanie Hathaway said.

While anti-depressants helped ease her postpartum depression after her first daughter, she says the symptoms came on even stronger after having her second.

“At that point I was so fearful and so hopeless for my life that I felt why not? I didn’t even call my husband first I called them and was accepted into the study,” Hathaway said.

Stephanie’s friend told her about a trial for a new drug known as Brexanolone, a 60-hour injection and for Stephanie the positive results came in just hours.

“I came home and the bonding with the baby was just how it’s supposed to be from the beginning,” Hathaway said.

The drug which was approved by the FDA on Tuesday will be marketed as Zulresso. Art Guerra, an APRN with The Institute of Living with Hartford Hospital, says 10 to 20 percent of moms suffer from postpartum depression. Guerra is encouraged how the drug targets symptoms.

“I think the theory behind this is that especially in the postpartum. There can be a rise in progesterone and that might be impactful as far as mood goes,” Guerra said.

“I left her one-month appointment with a prescription for antidepressants and a recommendation to see therapy,” Emily Courtney said.

Mom Emily Courtney who has used therapy and anti-depressants to treat her postpartum depression is encouraged about the drug but says potential cost and time are a concern for her.

“It’s 60 hours in an infusion center that’s a huge time away from the family,” Courtney said.

Still for Stephanie it’s a drug that’s changed her life for the better.

“I think a 60-hour infusion is just a drop in the bucket of time when you’re dealing with what I dealt with,” Hathaway said.

According to the to the FDA the most common side effects include sleepiness, dry mouth, loss of consciousness and flushing. It’s expected to cost somewhere between $20,000 to $35,000 and is expected to be available in late June.

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