The NeuroStar TMS Therapy System has already successfully treated more than 20,000 patients. We know it works, and we know it is safe! But what about side effects?
Compared To Antidepressants TMS Is Much Easier On Your Body!
For most patients, TMS is very easy to tolerate. Because it is not a drug, our Advanced TMS Therapy is entirely free of the systemic side effects that are often associated with antidepressant medication.
A Long List Of Side Effects of Antidepressants
What are some of the side effects typically experienced with antidepressant medications?
Fortunately, antidepressants don’t cause drooling, but what are the side effects of antidepressant medicines?
- Abnormal ejaculation
- Decreased libido
- Daytime drowsiness
- Increased weight
- Increased appetite
- Decreased appetite
- Dry mouth
Not all patients on antidepressant medications experience all these side effects, but bothersome side effects are all too common with antidepressant medicines.
What are the side effects of our Advanced TMS Therapy using the NeuroStar System compared to drug therapy?
We’re impressed when we compare the side effects of TMS with the side effects of medications. We want our patients to have as few side effects as possible.
Because it is a localized, targeted therapy, TMS eliminates the side effects commonly associated with medicines, but are there some big new side effects with TMS treatment?
What’s the number one side effect with TMS?
Number one is people tell us it feels “weird” the first time they experience the treatment. Mostly they say the weird feeling is not painful, and that it goes away as they become used to the experience.
We agree – repetitive magnetic stimulation feels weird at first, but the weird feeling disappears pretty quickly.
As the newness of the experience wears off, so does the most common side effect. This temporary weird-because-its-a-new-experience feeling at or near the treatment site is a localized feeling, and it does not make patients feel weird overall.
We’d love to be able to tell you TMS has zero side effects.
It doesn’t have any systemic side effects, but TMS does have a few localized side effects. Still, compared to medicines, the side effect profile of TMS is remarkable.
Are there any other side effects with TMS? Are all of the TMS side effects localized?
Other localized side effects (occurring in ≥5% of patients and twice the rate of placebo) include:
- Eye pain
- Muscle twitch
- Facial pain
- Pain of the skin
We ask our patients to tell us about any discomforts such as these because…
We usually can make these other side effects disappear within seconds by making a few simple adjustments.
In clinical trials, fewer than 5% of patients discontinued treatment with NeuroStar TMS Therapy due to adverse events such as side effects, all of which are localized.
In office practices the discontinuation rate is a lot lower.
When someone’s brain has been hijacked by depression, something’s got to be done, but medication side effects can be horrible, and that’s not the way most people want to go when they realize they have a choice.
Why are the side effects of medicines so much worse than TMS side effects?
Antidepressant side effects occur because antidepressant drugs go everywhere, all through the body. All psychiatric medicines often cause these body-wide, systemic side effects to one degree or another.
TMS side effects are mild, and they are localized to the area of the body being treated. Unlike all medications, transcranial magnetic stimulation is a localized, targeted treatment. TMS side effects also tend to go away within the first few days of treatment, unlike the side effects of antidepressant medications.
TMS causes no adverse effect on cognition. TMS does not cause any disorientation, or confusion, or sedation. Following TMS, people leave our office, driving themselves, and do whatever they want. Immediately after their Advanced TMS Therapy sessions our patients can play bridge, or tennis, or return to work, or do anything they are usually able to do.
Compared to medicines, TMS has few side effects, and TMS is very safe!
For most people our Advanced TMS is the safest therapy of all. It’s an effective treatment. It’s free of most side effects, and free of all systemic side effects.