Can I also take antidepressant(s) if I am receiving TMS Therapy?
Yes. In clinical trials, TMS therapy was safely administered with and without other antidepressant medications.
How long does the antidepressant effect last?
In a clinical trial, 2 out of 3 patients who had either responded to treatment or completely remitted their depression symptoms reported 12 months later that they remained at the level they were at the end of the trial. Additionally, after the trial, only 1 in 3 patients needed to return for ‘maintenance’ TMS sessions.
Is TMS Therapy uncomfortable?
No, the most common side effect related to treatment was scalp discomfort during treatment sessions. This side effect was typically mild-moderate and was shown to occur less frequently after the first week of treatment.
If necessary, this discomfort can be treated with an over-the-counter analgesic. If these side effects persist, your doctor can temporarily reduce the strength of the magnetic field pulses being administered. This can help make treatment more comfortable.
Less than 5% of patients treated with TMS therapy discontinued treatment due to side effects.
Are there potential risks of TMS Therapy?
TMS Therapy has been demonstrated to be safe in clinical trials and most people tolerate the TMS Therapy system very well.
Throughout over 10,000 active treatments performed in clinical trials, the most commonly reported side effect related to treatment was scalp discomfort during treatment sessions. This side effect was generally mild to moderate and occurred less frequently after the first week of treatment. Less than 5% of patients treated with TMS Therapy discontinued treatment due to side effects.
While TMS Therapy has shown to be effective, not all patients will benefit from it. Patients should be carefully monitored for worsening symptoms, signs or symptoms of suicidal behavior, and/or unusual behavior. Families and caregivers should also be aware of the need to observe patients and notify their treatment provider if symptoms worsen.
What is a typical course of treatment with TMS Therapy?
Typically, the average course of TMS Therapy happens five times per week for exactly 37 minutes sessions over a 4-6 week timeframe.
Any additional treatments are based on clinical judgment.
Is TMS Therapy like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)?
No. While both show effective results for treating depression, there are many differences in safety and tolerability.
During a TMS treatment session, patients are sitting, awake and alert throughout the entire 37-minute procedure. This means that no sedation is required for TMS Therapy. Patients are able to transport themselves to and from their treatment.
In contrast, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), commonly referred to as “shock therapy,” is meant to intentionally causes a seizure. Patients who receive ECT are sedated with general anesthesia and paralyzed with muscle relaxants. After the treatment, recovery occurs slowly, and patients are typically monitored under close supervision for minutes or a even few hours after a treatment.
Patients often experience short-term confusion and memory loss after a ECT session. Even long-term memory disruptions have been reported and may persist indefinitely in some people. Significant caregiver supervision is often required after treatment, due to the side effects commonly associated with ECT.
Is TMS Therapy a good alternative for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects associated with antidepressant medications?
TMS is non-systemic, which means that it does not circulate in the blood throughout the body. Because it’s non-systemic, it does not have typical anti-depression medication side effects such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, dry mouth, sedation, etc.
The most common side effects reported during clinical trials were mild to moderate headache and scalp discomfort. Side effects typically occur less frequently after the first week of treatment.
Does my insurance cover Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment?
Yes! Transcranial magnetic stimulation is typically covered by most insurances. You can speak to one of our intake specialists to learn more about your specific plan.
How does TMS Therapy work?
A TMS device sends short stimulating pulses of magnetic fields to the area of the brain that is thought to function abnormally in patients with depression. An electric current is produced by the magnetic field in the brain that stimulates the brain cells (neurons). The results show changes that may be beneficial in the treatment of depression. Initial treatment often lasts about 37 minutes, performed every day for about 4-6 weeks.
What is TMS Therapy?
TMS stands for transcranial magnetic stimulation. It is commonly used to treat forms of depression by stimulating the brain non-invasively using electromagnetic fields, similar to those produced by an MRI machine.