Thursday, July 9, 2009

Postpartum Depression and News on Generic Drugs

It took me about 3 years to admit that I had postpartum depression after the birth of my first child. It was excrutiating. I feel for all women who go through all levels of this debilitating problem. I never told my doctor, which means I never got help for it. After Brooke Shields came forward with her admission, I wished I had asked for help.
Immediately after the birth of my second child, I asked the doctor for help out of fear that this would happen to me again. He prescribed Zoloft as my "security blanket," just in case I needed it. Luckily, I haven't. This postpartum time is a million times different from my first. I understand that hormones play a big part in postpartum depression, as does iron deficiency. Maybe my hormones are better aligned this time. Maybe it's my iron pills. Maybe it's because I'm getting a little sleep and I have some help, thanks to my incredible husband. Regardless, I am happy that I do not have to use the Zoloft, but it has been in my medicine cabinet just in case.
After reading the June issue of "Self," however, even if I have symptoms, I will not be using the medicine that my pharmacist gave me. There is an article about generics in this issue of Self, so I checked my bottle. Sure enough, they gave me the generic. My doctor did NOT prescribe the generic, and he has offered to give me a more specific prescription. After reading the article, I would recommend to anyone taking any medicine that affects the brain (anti-depressants, anti-seizure meds, etc.) get the brand name drug, not the generic. The FDA does not control the amount of key ingredients in the generic drug, so they are not necessarily the same as the name brand. Generics, it seems, can actually make symptoms worse. How scary for someone who is already afraid of symptoms of depression. Make sure that if your doctor gives you a prescription that you ask questions and get the medication that you actually need.
If you don't have the June issue of Self, read it online at
Take care of your body and your self!

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