TMS Safety and Effectiveness
Houston Pain: Patient Education & Videos | Topic: TMS Therapy
TMS Therapy is a Safe, Non-Drug Treatment for Depression
- TMS Therapy is a well-tolerated treatment.
- TMS Therapy selectively targets the area of the brain that is involved in mood. It thus avoid systemic side effects that are usually experienced with antidepressant medications, such as weight gain, dizziness, nausea, sedation, dry mouth, or sexual dysfunction.
- TMS Therapy does not cause cognitive or memory problems, which are typically seen with ECT (electro-convulsive therapy).
- Some patients do experience some discomfort or scalp pain at or near the treatment location. This usually improves within the first few sessions and is easily managed with common over-the-counter analgesics (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, etc.).
- There is also a rare risk of seizure with TMS Therapy. The estimated risk of seizure under ordinary clinical use is approximately 1 in 30,000 treatments. This risk is no greater than what has been observed with oral antidepressant medications.
TMS Therapy improves Depression Symptoms
- TMS Therapy has been shown to be effective as mono-therapy treatment (without medications) on patients who have failed at least one antidepressant trial.
- In clinical studies of such patients, 1 in 2 patients experienced significant improvement of their depression symptoms, and 1 in 3 patients became free of depression symptoms (remission).
- In clinical practice, TMS Therapy may be used as a combination with medications, and the response rates are somewhat higher.