New FDA-approved drug will soon be available for postpartum depression

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- 400,000 moms battle postpartum depression each year, and an FDA-approved drug will soon be available for those suffering from it.

Danielle Little suffered from postpartum depression.

"It was a disconnect. It was more so just going through the work of motherhood and not necessarily enjoying every aspect of it," Little said.

When her daughter was just five weeks old, Little's mother died from a heart attack. All of the emotions, Little found herself undiagnosed with postpartum depression.

"It's a challenge because we expect new parents to know what normal new parents look like," Little said.

But moms just like Little will now have more treatment options, including the first ever FDA-approved drug for postpartum depression--Zulresso.

"This is just unlike anything else currently available," said Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, with the UNC Perinatal Psychiatry Program.

Dr. Meltzer-Brody helped test Zulresso on struggling moms.

Women were followed out to 30 days after treatment in the studies and the clinical response was maintained at that point for most women who received the treatment

"The idea that you could get well that fast is really life saving and transformative," Dr. Meltzer-Brody said.

Along with the medicine, patients will have access to a call center--Sage Central--which is based in Raleigh. It will offer support for both moms and families going through their treatment journeys. It's an option Little says she wished she had.

"It gives hope. It gives a lot of hope. A lot of women suffer from postpartum depression and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and they no longer have to," Little explained.

Zulresso was just approved by the DEA as well. They hope to offer it to patients by the end of June, and at that point the call center will be up and running as well.
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