Click on any question below to read the FAQ
Does TMS cause any side effects?
Since TMS does not circulate through the bloodstream, it is not associated with the common side effects of antidepressant medications such as dry mouth, upset stomach, dizziness, drowsiness, weight gain, or sexual dysfunction. Some patients report mild to moderate discomfort during the procedure, but these effects are temporary.
How long is a TMS treatment plan?
While treatments plans vary from patient to patient, TMS therapy easily fits into most daily routines without major disruption. A typical course of treatment lasts six to eight weeks depending on the patient’s response. The procedure is performed daily in sessions of about 30-45 minutes and patients can resume regular activities immediately after each session.
How similar is TMS to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)?
Electroconvulsive therapy, or “shock therapy,” is a considerably more intense treatment in which seizures are intentionally induced to treat depression. Patients undergoing ECT must receive general anesthesia and muscle relaxers to prevent the seizures from causing injury. Furthermore, ECT requires a significant amount of recovery time and patients are often put under close observation after treatment. Potential side effects of ECT include confusion and memory loss.
In contrast, TMS is a much safer procedure administered without any sedation. TMS is generally well tolerated, although some patients may experience mild to moderate discomfort.
Will my current psychiatric medications interfere with ketamine therapy?
Antidepressant medications (SSRIS, MAOIs, and tricyclics) do not interfere with ketamine, and there is no need to stop them. Patients taking large doses of benzodiazepines (Ativan, Xanax and Klonopin) will have a reduced response to ketamine, but taking these medicines does not mean that ketamine cannot help you.
Lamictal in doses over 100mg/day will blunt the ketamine response. Important: You should not decrease or stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your prescribing physician.
If ketamine therapy works for me how soon will I begin to feel better?
Response time varies from patient to patient. Some will begin to feel better within hours of the first infusion, while others may require multiple infusions before feeling improvement.
Patients with thoughts of self-harm often notice those thoughts dissipating first. There can be a dramatic relief of dread and hopelessness.
Will my insurance company pay for ketamine therapy?
Unfortunately, since using ketamine therapy in the application of mood and anxiety disorders is still relatively new, insurance companies do not provide reimbursement yet.
What medical conditions could keep me from receiving ketamine?
There are very few. Your Lenox Hill Mind Care provider will discuss contraindications with you before you receive your first infusion.
Please visit our Resources page for links to these studies, as well as videos and well-researched news articles.