US Mothers Are Crying For Help, It Shouldn't Cost $30,000 For Some Relief
This week the FDA announced that they are releasing a drug that can help a mother with PPD. I have to say that as a mom who suffered from PPD I was intrigued. The new drug is Brexanolone and will be sold as Zurlosso. This drug is an intravenous drug and will cost $34,000 that is not including the two-day stay at a medical facility for observation.
Right now the timeline for meds to work for PPD is about 2-3 weeks it can take longer if you need to change the dosage or brand of meds to fit the mother's needs. That is a long time when dealing with PPD and the thoughts that can come along with it. For me, it took my Zoloft about 2 weeks to make me feel better. This new drug is boasting 48 hour time that you will start to feel intense feelings subsiding. They say in 30 days you are no longer clinically depressed but also advise you that you can use this in conjunction with antidepressants that you may have started.
Breastfeeding was not encouraged during the over 30-day trial ( 247 women were in the trial and some received a placebo while other received the drug) Little is know about the effects it has on breastfeeding but some say that you should be able to because small traces of the medicine gets into the breast milk. How they know this without really testing it is beyond me.
I am happy that there are steps being made to help out mothers who have PPD but I wish it was something that could really help ALL mothers. This is not something that your average person can get. With statistics showing that in 2018 29.3 million are still uninsured. That means that this is not accessible to all.
To be honest I had to be proactive for my health when I had PPD and can you imagine dealing with that and trying to be your own advocate. I was prescribed my antidepressants from my OB and I didn't know if I should have seen my OB or general for my symptoms. My OB didn't check up on me I had refills and that was it. I weaned off meds by asking my GP and I had to approach her. Far too often mothers with PPD fall through the cracks in the US.
I am happy that everyone is now talking about PPD and at least the FDA is trying to work on a pill that will be more cost-effective. (I don't know how cost effective, I took FDA approved drug Diglegis for my hyperemesis gravidarum and that wasn't always covered by insurance for everyone and it's very expensive) they need support from their friends and family. I had no family, just my husband when I was going through PPD and we were privileged to be in the position to save money so he could take two months off work. That helped a great deal because I was able to focus on my health and know that the children were alright.
Women in the US NEED HELP! We need things in place that can offer help for all no matter their social status. PPD doesn't just affect the elite. 1 in 7 women may experience it in the first year of their child's life. the reported rate of women with PPD is between 10-20%. That is reported, many women deal with this in silence. Medicine is a great start but mothers need more. What do they need? Other countries have maternity and paternity leave, they have help from the government that offers affordable daycare. Why not make therapy accessible to all new mothers in conjunction with antidepressants.
Each of us as individuals can do something as well. Check up on our friends that have children. It really does take a village, don't ask "Is there anything you need?" Be proactive. Call your friend in the morning and tell them you are dropping off dinner for the family. When you come for a visit throw a load of laundry in, clean some dishes, sweep the floor etc. Be a listening ear for a mom and educate yourself on the signs of PPD that way you can encourage them to get the professional help they need.
This isn't just a mom problem, this is a societal problem. We need to be there for all mothers and a $34,000 isn't the solution.