FDA approves new drug to treat postpartum depression

Until now, drugs that were prescribed for postpartum depression could take as long as six weeks to start working.

Posted: Mar 21, 2019 7:33 PM
Updated: Mar 21, 2019 7:49 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A new drug to treat postpartum depression has now hit the market, and some Eugene women are saying they wish it existed when they were new mothers.

The intravenous treatment for postpartum depression was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It takes effect faster than the popular form of treatment. 

One Eugene mother told KEZI 9 News that after having her first child, she felt "numb" and as though she made a mistake, and that's when she decided to seek help. Her doctor prescribed her Prozac, and she said it worked but it took nearly six weeks to work and the waiting period was extremely difficult. 

RELATED: FDA approves first postpartum depression drug 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in nine women will suffer from postpartum depression. But Eugene pediatrician Dr. Pilar Bradshaw said she sees almost 50 percent of mothers who come in to her office after birth display signs of postpartum depression.

"Symptoms can start very soon after birth. Within days after having a baby, you can start feeling really down and the depression can last, especially if it's not recognized. They can last past that baby's first birthday," Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw said symptoms of PPD include:

  • Depressed mood or sadness
  • Irritability and anger
  • Felling out-of-body or disconnected from baby or others
  • Inability to sleep

She also said the first and most important step of treating postpartum depression is recognizing it and asking for help. 

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