Mother of three shares battle with postpartum depression as local hospital eyes new drug

Health

There is new hope for women suffering from postpartum depression and after The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first ever drug to help treat it, Wesley Medical Center is taking a deeper look.

Some call it a break-through, but Britni Bybee, mother of three, said it could be life-saving. 

“One day I just went to my husband and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore, I don’t know what’s wrong with me,’ said Bybee. 

On Mar. 19, the FDA approved Zulresso, also known as brexanolone injection for the use of treatment for postpartum depression in adult women. 

“[It’s] a unique medication in that instead of giving a patient a pill that they take every day for weeks, months, years on end,” said Dr. Melissa Hague, M.D. FACOG. “It’s an IV fusion that’s given over two days in the hospital while the patient is being monitored.” 

For Bybee, postpartum depression caused anxiety and bad thoughts after she had her third child, who is now 18-months-old. 

“[I thought] my kids would be better off, they’d have a better mom, my husband would have a better wife who wasn’t feeling like this,” said Bybee. “My breaking point was sitting in a parking lot after I’d just been to the store and just breaking down.”

Bybee said sometimes the symptoms were unbearable. 

“Crying, you don’t want to get out of bed,” said Bybee. “The outside world is something you don’t want to do. A lot of moms, you want to do it all yourself, so asking for help is the hard part.”

But, that’s exactly what she did. Bybee finally asked for help. She got treatment and was put on medication to help.

Stories like these are common for Dr. Hague at Wesley Medical Center. Not only has some of her patients suffered from the condition, but she, too, had postpartum depression. 

“Women are caring for our children and our future,” Dr. Hague said. “Yet, we’ve kind of ignored this as a diagnosis for treatment.”

That’s why Dr. Hague and other officials at Wesley are taking a closer look at what the drug is and how they could possibly bring it to Wichita. 

The medical center met with the drug company on Tuesday (Mar. 26) and said while the initial studies of the drug are very promising, Dr. Hague said it would take time and there would be several obstacles the hospital would have to navigate through. 

“It’s a new medication,” said Dr. Hague. “It’s expensive. We’re not sure what the insurance coverage is going to be.”

That price tag for the treatment could reach up to $35,000.

While it’s still just an idea for Wesley, mothers like Bybee said it’s much needed and could make life easier for new moms in our area. 

“I hope that more poeple become aware that it’s not just in your head,” said Bybee. “There is something that is actually wrong and there’s something that can help you.”

There is no set date or timeline for when or if Wesley Medical Center will offer the postpartum drug. 

Officials at Ascension Via Christi said as of now, they don’t have plans to get the postpartum treatment.

For more information about the postpartum drug, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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