Frequently Asked Questions

Have some questions? We’re here to help. Below are some common questions about TMS.
Studies have shown TMS treatment to be effective for patients with depression, regardless of how many medications were tried in the current episode of depression.
TMS technology has been tested in over 100 clinical studies for various indications in leading institutions worldwide. The FDA has cleared this technology for clinical use and it is currently available in the U.S., Europe, and South America.
TMS treatment has been proven safe and effective, and has no known systemic effects (effects deriving from medication entering the bloodstream and circulating throughout the body). The most common side effects are headaches and local discomfort, both usually temporary and mild.
No, the two procedures are very different. While both are effective in the treatment of depression, there are many differences in safety and tolerability. ECT is a treatment based on electrically induced seizures, whereas TMS treatment stimulates brain regions using brief magnetic pulses similar to those used in MRI systems, without inducing seizures. ECT requires anesthesia and has severe side effects, including memory loss. Deep TMS does not involve anesthesia, has no effects on memory, and is well-tolerated.

During TMS Therapy, patients sit in a chair and are awake and alert throughout the entire 19-37 minute procedure – no sedation is used with TMS Therapy. Patients can transport themselves to and from treatment.

In over 10,000 active treatments with the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system in clinical trials, no seizures were observed. TMS Therapy was also shown to have no negative effects on memory function in these studies.

In contrast, “shock therapy,” or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), intentionally causes a seizure. Patients receiving ECT must be sedated with general anesthesia and paralyzed with muscle relaxants. Recovery from an ECT treatment session occurs slowly, and patients are usually closely monitored for minutes or a even few hours after a treatment.

Short-term confusion and memory loss are common with ECT, and long-term disruptions in memory have been shown to occur and may persist indefinitely in some people. Because of the side effects associated with ECT, a significant amount of caregiver support is required.
Typically, patients hear a tapping sound and feel a tapping sensation in the head area during the 20 minute treatment. To diminish the sound, the patient is provided with earplugs. For more information about the treatment, please contact TMS Tampa at (813) 350-9500.
In general, the treatment should not be used if you have metal implants in or around the head (except for standard amalgam dental fillings). Please consult with your doctor to check whether the treatment is right for you or contact TMS Tampa at (813) 350-9500.
Over 300 million patients have insurance policies that cover NeuroStar TMS Therapy through their health plans
  • CIGNA
  • AETNA
  • TRICARE (Standard and prime)
  • United Healthcare/ UBH/OPTUM
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans
  • Baycare
  • The NeuroStar TMS Therapy system uses short pulses of magnetic fields to stimulate the area of the brain that is thought to function abnormally in patients with depression. The magnetic field produces an electric current in the brain that stimulates the brain cells (neurons). This results in changes that are thought to be beneficial in the treatment of depression.
    NeuroStar® is non-systemic (does not circulate in the blood throughout the body), so it does not have side effects such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, dry mouth, sedation, etc. The most common side effects reported during clinical trials were headache and scalp discomfort – generally mild to moderate – occurring less frequently after the first week of treatment.
    A typical course of TMS Therapy is 5 times per week for 19-37 minutes sessions, depending on what the doctor determines is the correct protocol, over 4-6 weeks.

    Any additional treatments are based on clinical judgment.
    NeuroStar TMS is the only TMS system with the durability of its effects established over 12 months. In a clinical trial, 2 out of 3 patients who had either responded to treatment or completely remitted their depression symptoms reported 12 months later that they remained at the level they were at the end of the trial. Additionally, after the trial, only 1 in 3 patients needed to return for ‘maintenance’ TMS sessions.
    Yes. In clinical trials, NeuroStar TMS Therapy was safely administered with and without other antidepressant medications.

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