HEALTH

New hope for moms with postpartum depression

May 18, 2024, 2:18 PM | Updated: 2:21 pm

The first FDA-approved pill to treat postpartum depression was approved a few months ago, and it's ...

The first FDA-approved pill to treat postpartum depression was approved a few months ago, and it's already helping moms in the Pittsburgh area. (KDKA via CNN)

(KDKA via CNN)

(CNN) The first FDA-approved pill to treat postpartum depression was approved a few months ago, and it’s already helping moms in the Pittsburgh area.

About one in eight women who have given birth experience symptoms of postpartum depression.

An Allegheny Health Network doctor told KDKA-TV that the medication allows them to receive treatment at home with their baby and family by their side.

If you’re feeling sad, hopeless, or overwhelmed after giving birth, you don’t have to tackle it by yourself.

“If you are at all feeling distressed or this is feeling hard, that’s okay there are resources to help,” said Dr. Ewurama Sackey, medical director at AHN Women’s Behavioral Health.

A new hope for mothers

She said the first pill for postpartum depression, Zurzuvae (Zuranolone), is giving moms new hope. The medication is taken at nighttime for 14 days. About 10 or 15 of her patients have taken it so far.

“One patient told me she feels more like herself, so she feels more like herself than she had even during her pregnancy, so she feels back to herself prior to pregnancy,” Dr. Sackey said.

Before this medication, women could take anti-depressants, which take longer to work, or get the similar neuro-steroid, Brexanolone, which requires an IV injection and a stay in the hospital for a few days.

“You can’t be at home or your family or your baby, and so this medication is much different in that you can have the supports at home, you can continue to foster attachment with your family, with your baby,” Dr. Sackey said.

Dr. Sackey said Zurzuvae’s side effects can include feeling tired, dizzy, or lightheaded and if severe, the dose can be decreased.

She’s seen the benefits of using it for both mild/moderate and more severe PPD.

She said fast-acting prescription drug helps improve mood during a critical time when hormones are fluctuating.

“We want to help people get better as soon as possible. We know that after giving birth, people are at the highest risk versus anywhere in their reproductive lives for the risk of suicide,” Dr. Sackey said.

PPD symptoms can be similar to depression like low mood and isolation.

“But also, things related to your baby like thinking, ‘I’m not a good mom or parent, this baby doesn’t like me, I’m not good enough, I will never be good enough, this isn’t for me,'” Dr. Sackey said.

Dr. Sackey said that it’s critically important to talk to your doctors about what can best help you.

If it’s taking this medication, the real work happens after that.

“Medication alone is not going to cure or help all of PPD. It’s really important that people engage in therapy, and that does take a longer amount of time,” she said. “This is for the family, this is for their future and so we’re here for you, we support you and we care about you,” she added.

KSL 5 TV Live

Health

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 12: The Olympic rings are seen on the Eiffel Tower ahead of the start of the P...

Tom Nouvian, Associated Press

Unsafe levels of E. coli found in Paris’ Seine River less than 2 months before Olympics

Water in the Seine River had unsafe elevated levels of E. coli less than two months before swimming competitions are scheduled to take place in it during the Paris Olympics, according to test results published Friday.

8 hours ago

High-tech cell phones...

Michael Houck

Cox declares summer Fridays as ‘Phone-Free Fridays’

Utah's governor announced a new declaration encouraging Utahns to get off their phones for at least one day a week this summer.

10 hours ago

A local organization is keeping kids away from crime and drugs one bike at a time. (KDRV via CNN Ne...

Rocky Walker, CNN

Familia Unida: Keeping kids away from drugs and crime by teaching them to work with their hands

A local organization is keeping kids away from crime and drugs one bike at a time. Familia Unida is a nonprofit that teaches children to channel aggression and negative experiences into healthy and constructive life skills through activities such as bike and car building.

1 day ago

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an official health advisory warning about ...

Jacqueline Howard, CNN

CDC warns access to ADHD meds may be disrupted after arrests of health-care startup executives

People taking medications for ADHD, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, may face disruptions in accessing treatment after the arrests of two health-care startup executives that distributed such drugs to adults across the United States.

1 day ago

(FILE) An audiologist preforming an a  hearing test. (KSL TV)...

Emma Benson

Listen up! The health consequences of untreated hearing loss

Around 600,000 people in Utah have hearing loss, but many may not realize they do until they're tested and how it can affect their health.

1 day ago

Katia Hetter, CNN

Mosquitoes and ticks are showing up with greater frequency. Here’s how to stay safe this summer

Welcome to summer in the Northern Hemisphere, with all its fun in the sun – and little critters who want to take a bite out of you.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

New hope for moms with postpartum depression