TMS FDA Approved for Depression Treatment: What You Need to Know

Posted December 16, 2022 by in Health + Fitness

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. It affects more than 16.1 million adults in a given year. Despite its prevalence, depression is often misunderstood and can be difficult to treat. Fortunately, there are a number of FDA-approved treatments available, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Here’s what you need to know about TMS and depression treatment.

TMS vs Medication

One advantage of TMS over medication is that it does not have the same side effects as many antidepressants. For example, sexual side effects are common with antidepressants, but they are not seen with TMS. In addition, TMS does not carry the risk of overdose or addiction that is seen with some medications used to treat depression.

What is TMS?

TMS is a noninvasive form of brain stimulation that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. It is typically administered five times per week for four to six weeks. 

TMS is usually well-tolerated with minimal side effects. The most common side effect of TMS is headaches which can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication. Some people also experience Scalp discomfort at the site of stimulation.Pros of TMS 

One of the major benefits of TMS is that it is non-invasive and has very few side effects. The most common side effects reported by patients are headaches and scalp discomfort at the site of stimulation. These side effects are typically mild and go away on their own after a few days.

TMS is also more affordable than other forms of treatment such as medication or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). It does not require any sort of hospitalization or anesthesia, which can also help to lower the cost. 

Lastly, TMS has been shown to be an effective treatment option for patients who have not responded well to traditional forms of treatment such as medication or therapy. In some cases, it may even be effective for patients who have not responded to ECT.

Cons of TMS 

 While TMS seems like a miracle treatment with few drawbacks, there are still some potential risks associated with the procedure. As with any form of brain stimulation, there is a small risk that TMS could trigger a seizure in patients with epilepsy or other neurological conditions. There is also some evidence to suggest that TMS may worsen symptoms in patients with certain mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. 

 In addition, because TMS is still a relatively new procedure, there is limited long-term data available on its efficacy and safety. More research is needed to determine the long-term risks and benefits associated with TMS before it can be definitively deemed safe and effective. 

How Does TMS Work?

During a TMS session, a magnetic coil is placed against the scalp near the forehead. The coil emits magnetic pulses that pass through the skull and stimulate the nerve cells in the region of the brain responsible for mood regulation. It is thought that this stimulation can help to improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression.

Is TMS FDA Approved for Depression Treatment?

Yes, TMS for Depression is FDA approved for treating depression in adults who have failed to respond to at least one antidepressant medication. In 2008, the FDA cleared TMS for treating major depressive disorder in patients who had not responded to medication. In 2013, they expanded this approval to include patients who had not responded to previous antidepressant treatment. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, it’s important to know that there are treatments available that can help. TMS is a safe and effective treatment option that has been approved by the FDA for treating depression in adults who have not responded to other medications. If you think TMS might be right for you or your loved one, talk to your doctor about getting started with treatment.