Zulresso is a New Highly Effective Treatment for Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is a common experience for women and some men after childbirth. At TMS & Brain Health, we specialize in alternative therapies such as Zulresso to treat depression effectively, especially where traditional antidepressants have failed. Zulresso is an FDA-approved treatment for PPD proven to help women alleviate symptoms faster. Before receiving Zulresso, you’ll be approved through the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy program (REMS) to ensure that you’re a good candidate for infusion. TMS & Brain Health is a REMS certified Zulresso provider.
At TMS & Brain Health, we will discuss your symptoms and medical history to create a personalized treatment plan that’s right for you. Our patients show higher rates of success with alleviating depression than our competitors who use “cookie-cutter” treatment plans. We know that every individual has different needs, and we combine treatments and adjust dosage as necessary. Zulresso is likely to be more effective when coupled with another depression therapy like Cognitive Behavior Therapy, mindfulness meditation, and group therapy.
What is Zulresso?
Zulresso, or brexanolone, is the first and only medicine to be FDA-approved specifically for treatment of postpartum depression in adults. Zulresso is administered intravenously for 60 continuous hours (2.5 days). Clinical trials have shown a greater improvement in PPD symptoms after treatment, measured using a standard depression scale. Patients see symptom relief beginning as soon as treatment is complete, and generally see results that last at least 30 days.
The most common adverse effects include sleepiness, dry mouth, loss of consciousness, and flushing of the skin or face.
What is PPD?
After childbirth, it’s normal for women to go through what’s known as “baby blues”, which can include mood swings, feeling overwhelmed, reduced concentration, sadness, anxiety, or trouble sleeping or eating. This usually lasts anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks. Some women experience a longer lasting depression, known as PPD, or postpartum depression. The symptoms of PPD are more intense and may interfere with your ability to care for the baby and handle daily tasks. Symptoms can begin during pregnancy or up to a year after childbirth, and may include:
- Severe mood swings
- Serious changes in appetite
- Loss of energy or overwhelming fatigue
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Severe anxiety or panic attacks
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Oversleeping or insomnia
- Trouble concentrating or thinking clearly
- Feelings of inadequacy or shame
- Recurring thoughts of suicide or death
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING TREATMENT
Zulresso is administered via IV for 60 continuous hours, or 2.5 days. Treatments begin on Friday evenings and end on Monday mornings. Our Santa Monica/West Los Angeles clinic is approved by REMS to be a safe and comfortable infusion setting. In the clinic, you will always be in the company of one of our medical team members, so you’ll never be alone. The clinic is a baby-friendly setting, so you are welcome to bring your child or children with you. You may also bring a family member or caretaker to help care for the child during the treatment. You may feel sleepy during the infusion.
Our medical team members will check in on you at least every 2 hours while you are awake. Other common side effects include dry mouth and flushing of the skin or face, so experiencing any of these is normal.
You’ll be able to go home the same day your treatment ends. After your infusion, you won’t be able to drive a car until your feelings of sleepiness have gone away completely, so it’s recommended to have someone drive you home.
How do I get started?
If you want to learn more about Zulresso treatment or find out if it’s a viable option for you, here are the next steps:
- Give us a call or request an appointment online
Zulresso is covered by most insurance companies, and we also offer self-pay options. If you choose to move forward, we will also enroll you into the REMS program at this time.
- Schedule an evaluation
We will schedule you for an evaluation with our clinical team at our LA or Santa Monica location — wherever is more convenient for you. We can also do this initial evaluation over Zoom, if that’s more comfortable for you.
- Get approved through your insurance
If you choose to go through insurance, we will submit all of the information to your insurance and get you approved before you begin treatment. Note that the time this process takes varies, and can sometimes take 4+ weeks in order for insurance companies to approve the treatment. We do all that we can to stay on top of the insurance company and ensure that your case is not slipping through the cracks.
- Begin treatment!
Call TMS & Brain health today or request a consultation online to learn more.
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TMS & Brain Health is not a healthcare provider and does not render any psychiatry or other medical services, including but not limited to TMS, Ketamine, or Neurofeedback. IOP services are rendered through a separate, affiliated entity. Rather, TMS & Brain Health performs administrative services for various psychiatrists and/or psychiatry and/or medical practices. Further, this website does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. More information can be found at our disclaimer page.