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Are the Side Effects of TMS Therapy Dangerous?

Woman discussing TMS therapy side effects

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy is a treatment for depression and other mental health conditions. But what are the side effects of TMS therapy? Let’s learn more about it.

TMS therapy uses magnets to stimulate the brain. It is safe and many people find it helpful. However, like any treatment, TMS therapy can have side effects. Most of these side effects are mild and go away on their own.

Common Side Effects of TMS Therapy

When people start TMS therapy, they might feel a bit different at first. Some common side effects include:

  • Headache: Some people might get a mild headache after their TMS session.
  • Scalp Discomfort: The magnets can make the scalp feel tingly or sore.
  • Lightheadedness: A few people might feel a bit dizzy during or after treatment.

These side effects are usually not severe and go away quickly. Most people can continue their normal activities after their TMS session.

Less Common Side Effects of TMS Therapy

Sometimes, people might experience less common side effects. These are rare but can happen. They include:

  • Muscle Twitching: Some people might notice their facial muscles lightly twitching during the session.
  • Seizures: The most likely serious side effect of TMS therapy is having a seizure, but these are extremely rare. The risk of having a seizure from a TMS session is 0.01%, or less than 1 in 10,000.
  • Hearing Problems: The loud clicking sound of the machine can affect hearing, but wearing earplugs can help.

Are the Side Effects of TMS Therapy Dangerous?

No, the side effects of TMS therapy are generally not dangerous. Most people find that the benefits of the treatment are worth the mild side effects. Doctors carefully monitor patients to make sure they are safe.

Memory Loss and TMS Therapy

One concern people have is whether TMS therapy causes memory loss. The good news is that TMS therapy does not typically cause memory any problems. Unlike some other treatments, TMS therapy targets specific areas of the brain and does not affect memory or cognitive functions.

Comparing TMS Therapy to Depression Medications

It’s helpful to compare the side effects of TMS therapy with those of common depression medications. Here are some key differences:

  • Common Side Effects of Medications: Many depression medications can cause side effects like weight gain, sleep problems, dry mouth, and sexual dysfunction.
  • Rare Side Effects of Medications: In some cases, medications can lead to more serious issues like increased suicidal thoughts, liver damage, or severe allergic reactions.
  • TMS Therapy: TMS therapy side effects are usually mild and do not include these issues. There are no known effects on weight, sleep, or sexual health with TMS therapy.

Why Choose TMS Therapy?

TMS therapy offers a different option for treating depression. It can be a good choice for people who do not respond well to medications or who want to avoid the side effects of drugs. Here are some reasons to consider TMS therapy:

  • Non-invasive: TMS therapy does not involve surgery or taking pills.
  • Fewer Side Effects: The side effects are generally mild and short-lived.
  • Effective: Many people find relief from their depression symptoms with TMS therapy.

FAQ: Understanding TMS Therapy

What are the negative effects of TMS?

The negative effects of TMS therapy are generally mild and short-lived. Common side effects include headaches, scalp discomfort, and lightheadedness. Rarely, some people might experience muscle twitching or hearing problems.

What is the controversy with TMS?

The controversy with TMS often revolves around its effectiveness and cost. While many people benefit from TMS therapy, some critics argue that more research is needed to fully understand how it works and who it helps the most.

Can TMS therapy go wrong?

TMS therapy is considered safe, but like any medical treatment, there are risks. The most serious, though very rare, risk is having a seizure. However, this happens in less than 1 in 10,000 sessions.

Can TMS make anxiety worse?

TMS is primarily used to treat depression, but it can also affect anxiety. In some cases, people might feel more anxious during the initial sessions, but this usually goes away as treatment continues. Always talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your anxiety.

Who should not do TMS?

People with certain medical conditions should not do TMS therapy. This includes individuals with metal implants in their heads (except for dental fillings), a history of seizures, or certain brain injuries. It’s important to consult with a doctor to see if TMS is safe for you.

Who should not get TMS?

People with implanted medical devices (like pacemakers) or metal objects in their heads should not get TMS. Additionally, those with a history of epilepsy or other seizure disorders should avoid TMS unless advised otherwise by a doctor.

Can TMS cause personality changes?

TMS therapy does not typically cause personality changes. It targets specific brain areas involved in mood regulation but does not alter a person’s overall personality. If you notice any unusual changes, it is important to discuss them with your doctor.

Can TMS cause anger?

TMS therapy does not usually cause anger. However, any treatment that impacts brain function can potentially affect mood. If you experience increased irritability or anger, it’s important to communicate this to your healthcare provider.

Are there long-term negative effects of TMS?

There is no evidence of long-term negative effects from TMS therapy. Most side effects are mild and temporary. Long-term safety data shows that TMS is a safe and effective treatment for many people.

Take the First Step Towards a Brighter Future

Are you ready to improve your mental health and well-being? Discover the benefits of TMS therapy and see if it’s the right fit for you. Find out if you qualify for a free EEG and psychiatric evaluation. Contact American TMS Clinics today and take the first step towards a brighter future!