In an effort to combat postpartum depression, Tulsa ER & Hospital recently began offering what they have dubbed a revolutionary new treatment. Since just a few months ago, the drug Zulresso has been available at the facility for some women who need treatment.
According to Medical Director Dr. Mark Blubaugh, the drug helps reduce both emotional and physical symptoms of postpartum depression. These include anxiety, rage, a sense of hopelessness, and/or thoughts of harming oneself or one’s baby.
“A high number of women – one in seven – will experience postpartum depression,” Blubaugh said in a press release. “We are excited to offer Zulresso in our quiet, concierge-style facility, which feels much more like home than a larger hospital setting.”
Zulresso is also touted for alleviating physical symptoms such as body aches, changes in appetite and issues with sleeping. According to the press release issued by Tulsa ER & Hospital, more than 90 percent of the women whose symptoms decreased with Zulresso still felt better 30 days after receiving the treatment.
“Postpartum depression is often tied to a decrease in progesterone levels,” Blubaugh said. “Acting on neurotransmitters in the brain, Zulresso doesn’t replenish those progesterone levels, but it adds something similar.”
Zulresso is meant only for women who suffer from postpartum depression. Additionally, in order to qualify, the patient needs to have failed previous treatments and cannot be pregnant while taking Zulresso.
“It’s been available for just a few months, and we’ve had only one patient who’s undergone the treatment,” Dr. Blubaugh said. “Within about 30 hours of her leaving the hospital, though, she looked better. Her husband said her overall demeanor had changed and that she felt a whole lot better.”
One caveat, however, is that Zulresso does require hospital admission. Specifically, it involves a 60-hour IV infusion. That said, it is a one-time infusion.
“I would not call this a cure-all, either,” Blubaugh said. “We don’t see Zulresso as an alternative, but rather as something taken in addition to standard anti-depressant pills. Even after taking Zulresso, you’ll definitely want to continue taking your current medication and speaking with your therapist.”
According to Blubaugh, Tulsa ER & Hospital is the only location in the Green Country area that offers this treatment.
About Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is different from “baby blues,” which may have similar symptoms to postpartum depression, but the symptoms are not as intense and are short-lived. According to www.mayoclinic.org, postpartum depression symptoms are intense, last longer and may interfere with a woman’s ability to care for her baby or handle daily tasks. Symptoms may even appear up to a year after giving birth. If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms of postpartum depression, talk to you healthcare provider.
- Depressed mood or severe mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
- Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
- Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
- Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Intense irritability and anger
- Fear that you’re not a good mother
- Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
- Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
- Severe anxiety and panic attacks
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide