Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a patient undergo TMS therapy?
In clinical trials, patients received NeuroStar TMS Therapy 5 times per week for approximately 40 minutes during each session for 4-6 weeks.
Patients should be treated for a minimum of four weeks with additional treatments based on clinical judgment.
Does NeuroStar TMS cause any side effects?
The most common adverse event related to treatment was scalp pain or discomfort at the treatment area during active treatments, which was transient and mild to moderate in severity.
The incidence of this side effect declined markedly after the first week of treatment. Less than 5% of patients discontinued the study due to adverse events.
What are the long-term consequences of TMS treatment?
TMS is an acute therapy. With regard to long-term safety, TMS uses the same type and strength of magnetic fields as MRIs, which have been used in tens of millions of patients around the world and have not been shown to cause long-term consequences.
The amount of magnetic field exposure for a full course of TMS Therapy is only a small fraction of one brain scan with an MRI.
Is there anyone who should not have NeuroStar TMS Therapy?
NeuroStar TMS Therapy is contraindicated (should not be used) in patients with implanted metallic devices or non-removable metallic objects in or around the head.
It also should not be used in patients with implanted devices that are controlled by physiological signals such as pacemakers, etc.
Is TMS Therapy intended to replace antidepressant medications?
No. Currently there are few options for patients who have had an inadequate response to previous antidepressant treatments.
They are often faced with choosing between a complex regimen of multiple drugs or, for more severe cases, more invasive procedures. Based on its excellent safety profile, NeuroStar TMS Therapy may be used earlier in the treatment.
How does it compare to ECT? Is this a replacement?
ECT and TMS both used applied energy to the brain to cause neural stimulation for relieving the symptoms of depression. ECT uses electrical energy applied to the whole brain, while TMS uses magnetic energy applied only to the left prefrontal cortex.
ECT is an effective acute treatment for major depression, but is highly invasive (causing seizure induction and requiring anesthesia) and has significant adverse effects. In contrast, TMS is also effective in patients with Major Depressive Disorder but is non-invasive and has an excellent safety profile.
TMS will likely be used much earlier in the treatment algorithm, because of its favorable risk/benefit ratio
ECT will always have an important role for certain depression patients despite safety concerns; however, will be reserved as a "last resort".
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