TMS is a safe treatment. While it is a relatively new mental health treatment, it was FDA-approved for the treatment of depression in 2008. In 2018, TMS therapy with the Brainsway Device was cleared by the FDA for OCD, and a separate MagVenture coil was also cleared for OCD treatment in 2020.
Because TMS is a local or focal treatment, it is probably as safe, if not safer, than many of the medications used which can have systemic effects throughout the entire body.
Also, we want you to know that our clinicians who administer TMS treatments are professionally trained and put each patient’s comfort first.
TMS treatments do not hurt during or after each session. There are very few side effects of TMS therapy. Most side effects are mild and short-lasting, and can include:
- Scalp discomfort
- Twitching or tingling of the facial muscles
Many patients find it to be uncomfortable on their scalp and mild headaches are common during the first few treatments, but these generally go away within the first two weeks as people get used to the sensation. It is rare that anyone drops out of TMS because of side effects.
More serious side effects happen very rarely, but can consist of:
- Hearing problems from the loud clicking noise that occurs during treatment
- Mania, which is more likely to occur if an adolescent has bipolar disorder
However, our expert providers will use their professional knowledge to further help avoid serious side effects like the ones listed above. It is most likely that some adolescents may experience a mild headache.
Generally, patients will feel just like their normal selves. They will be able to drive and go back to their regular activities. Some people report feeling a little tired or having a mild headache, but that usually goes away after the first week or two. Other people report more energy and better focus, as well as the ability to ignore obsessive, anxious thoughts after treatment.