TMS should not impact the medications themselves. However, as TMS treatments continue, there may no longer be a need for the medications that were being used as part of the original mental health treatment plan.
Unlike antidepressants, which temporarily impact mood and behavior by working through the bloodstream, TMS stimulates the brain and delivers localized electromagnetic pulses to the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of your brain that regulates mood. These electromagnetic pulses stimulate neurons, which release neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. Many experts believe that depression and other mental health conditions are linked to an imbalance of these neurotransmitters. TMS works to restore that balance and can provide a more lasting impact on relieving depression symptoms than other treatments, such as antidepressants.
However, mental health treatments are not one-size-fits-all situations. Because of this fact, treatment plans will vary depending on each patient’s unique needs and concerns. Treatment plans could follow these paths:
- If a person was already taking medications before beginning TMS treatments, they may or may not continue to take them.
- If a person was not already taking medications before beginning TMS treatments, they may or may not be prescribed medications to supplement their TMS treatment plan.
Overall, patients will work closely with their providers to collaborate on a treatment plan that works best for them. And as treatments continue, the plan will be adjusted as needed to make sure patients are continuing on their path to wellness.