FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Common questions about TMS treatments for depression.
What is TMS Therapy?
How does TMS Therapy work?
What is a typical course of treatment with NeuroStar TMS Therapy?
A typical course of TMS Therapy is 36 sessions. After the initial treatment, each following treatment takes 20-30 minutes. Patients attend treatment 5 days per week (M-F) for 6 weeks, followed by a 2-3 week taper period.
Does FDA-clearance of the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system mean that all TMS devices are cleared for use in major depression within the United States?
Is TMS Therapy uncomfortable?
Can I also take antidepressant(s) if I am receiving TMS Therapy?
How long does the antidepressant effect last? Will I need any therapy beyond the first treatment regimen?
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What are the potential risks of NeuroStar TMS Therapy?
TMS Therapy has been shown to be well tolerated and the Neurostar TMS Therapy system has been demonstrated to be safe in clinical trials. 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. Less than 0.1% of patients have experienced a seizure during the course of the treatment.
While TMS Therapy has been demonstrated 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.
Does TMS Therapy cause memory loss?
Is TMS Therapy a good alternative for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects associated with antidepressant medications?
Is TMS Therapy like other alternative therapies which use magnets to treat some illnesses?
Is TMS Therapy similar to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)?
No, the two procedures are very different. While both are effective in the treatment of depression, there are many differences in safety and tolerability. During TMS Therapy, patients sit in a chair and are awake and alert throughout the entire 37-minute procedure. There is no sedation used with TMS Therapy and the patient does not undergo anesthesia or have an induced seizure as is the case for ECT. Patients can transport themselves to and from TMS treatments. TMS Therapy was also shown to have no negative effects on memory function as can be the case with ECT. Because of the side effects associated with ECT, a significant amount of caregiver support is required.