JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has approved medication specifically to treat women suffering from postpartum depression.
It’s a drug that may have helped mothers like Kristina Dulaney.
“I had no mental health history,” Dulaney said.
In the months after her daughter, Sadie was born, she started fighting severe postpartum psychosis.
“I went through this very challenging, very dark time where I had so many thoughts, racing thoughts, delusional thoughts,” Dulaney said.
She said she spent two weeks in a physiatric unit for treatment.
Dr. Jessic Murphy, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at ETSU, says one in seven women in the United States suffer from postpartum depression.
“Generally we treat women by a combination of cognitive therapies so that means group therapies, one-on-one counseling, plus or minus an anti-depressant,” Murphy said.
Last week, the FDA approved a drug called Zulresso, which is focused on treating postpartum depression.
It’s a drug Dr. Murphy says has some hurdles.
“Unfortunately, at this time, it’s an IV medication that’s only available if you’re hospitalized,” Murphy said. “It’s an IV infusion that can take up to 60 hours depending on your specific needs and it’s estimated to cost about $34,000 without insurance.”
For women like Dulaney, it’s a drug that gives her hope.
“I think that it’s amazing that there is a drug available now that can treat women in a matter of two days,” Dulaney said.
The pill version of this medication is in phase three of clinical trials. It could be submitted for approval in a couple of years.
Insurance companies are evaluating the drug this week.
Dulaney is the co-founder of Appalachian Perinatal Mental Health Alliance, an organization that helps women suffering from a form of postpartum depression.
The next meeting for the organization will be held in the Johnson City Public Library on West Millard St. on April 8 at 6 P.M.
To learn more information about the organization, visit the Facebook page here.