BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - New mothers in south Louisiana will have more access to a new treatment for postpartum depression.
Baton Rouge General will offer the treatment for postpartum depression (PPD), which affects about one in nine women in the U.S., either during pregnancy or after childbirth.
The medication was being offered at the Prairieville Family Hospital, which opened earlier this year.
Zulresso, the first and only medicine specifically approved to treat PPD, is delivered via continuous IV over about 60 hours and can potentially treat the depressive symptoms of PPD rapidly.
Before Zulresso, the typical treatment for PPD includes prescription antidepressants and/or psychotherapy. Patients with that treatment recover within two to four weeks, according to BRG.
“This new therapy works differently than any treatment option we’ve had before,” Dr. Candee Moore, an OB/GYN at Baton Rouge General said. “Instead of weeks, patients can see improvement in their symptoms within days. And the sooner they feel like themselves, the sooner they can enjoy life again at home and work.”
The treatment is available at BRG’s Birth Center to any woman suffering from postpartum depression. Patients are admitted into Birth Center for two to three nights to receive the IV medication.
Moms are allowed to bring their babies with them, as long as they have a support person who can be there to care for the baby. Moms can breastfeed and/or pump during treatment, as long as they are cleared by their OB/GYN to do so safely.
Approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in March, Zulresso must be administered in health care facilities certified under the Zulresso Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy program due to potential side effects during treatment. Throughout their IV process, patients are under observation for excessive sedation and sudden loss of consciousness, as well as continuous monitoring of their blood oxygen level.
Patients may be diagnosed with PPD through a standard screening for depression, which is conducted by their obstetrician. Some women may seek help on their own or be encouraged to seek care by family or friends.
Without treatment, PPD can last a year or more, and it can become a problem that patients may struggle with throughout their lifetime.