A medical breakthrough in treating postpartum depression

The FDA approved the first intravenous medication for new mothers affected by postpartum depression
4:03 | 03/20/19

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Transcript for A medical breakthrough in treating postpartum depression
Airs a new medical breakthrough a new drug to specifically treat postpartum depression has been approved by the FDA. And doctor Jane Ashton is joining us via phone in New York to tell us why this is such a big deal also doctor Jan. How does this this drug actually worked two to treat this specific type of depression how does it work. Well this is. Really historic the drug is called soul rest though. That's the brand name and it's the first drug ever FDA approved to treat postpartum depression now. A TV the good news first. It's a new wave that the drug works it works could be or model of Mattel happily differently than other anti depressants. And it worked immediately in contrast to other anti depressant that can take several weeks to K again. Did have to be given intravenously. Ideal for sixty hours in and and an observed hospitalized medical settings. To monitor someone's oxygen each and and blood pressure. Because of the rare possibility for a side effect of over sedation or loss of consciousness. Did good news is it that it did pretty well in clinical trials that women got immediate relief from postpartum depression which can be life threatening. Are you ready for the bad news bloom and yet the price tag. 35000. Dollars well for this drug. And again whether it's private insurance or Medicaid. I am very concerned that neither will pay for this so. It's good that it's been developed it's good that it got FDA approval but the access and logistics I I worry will be a real issue. Yes so they did the clinical trials are people actually using it right now are they using it in the hospitals. No so at the earliest that it might be actually not available for its first use would be June. But it was tested obviously in phase three clinical trials. And you know would there's a possibility that we might be seeing it as early as this summer. But again you know this is something that major issue not just for the woman but for her family and in women's health reproductive health. And the field of psychiatry. This is really big news. Yet just of people to remind people vis these symptoms and that the issues when people have postpartum what are those because I think a lot of people don't know. That's correct and if they do you know they there's a lot of men and misconception that it's kind of trade deal and you know that they can just roll it off their back kind of thing. This affects one in nine women that symptoms include. Feelings of detachment from the baby inability to makes. Basic decision to care for the woman to care for herself or her baby your other children. Feelings of hurting the baby or hurting herself. This can be really life threatening this is not a matter of being over tired it's not a matter of just being a little hormone all. This is a medical emergency and damn if it meets. And warrants to appropriate research and development for many many different kinds of treatment modalities and that it just want to bomb. Is there any concerns that you have about this this new drug. It's really the access and the logistics you know I mean I think to have a truck that works immediately. In a different way than other anti depressants is is an incredible medical advance but. If it's out of reach because of cost or religious sticks to most women. You know that doesn't really do much good this so. You know there's kind of beat gap between those two things the good news and the bad news but. Anytime we can talk about something like this a mental illness that affects. One in nine women who have given birth. I think that awareness is a good thing and I think the advances in treatment are a good thing I just want. Like the flat screen television that started out outrageously expensive I would like to see this rapidly come down so that it can be available to any at all women who need it. Doctors and thank you so much we appreciate.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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