Drawing of human brain on chalkboard with inscription transcranial magnetic stimulation
TMS Treatment, Uncategorized

Antidepressants vs. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: What Are the Differences?

While it’s a big step for many people, making the decision to seek treatment for your depression is a daunting task in and of itself. You may find yourself overwhelmed sifting through various web pages with endless information.

If you’re living with depression, you might be wondering if medication is the right treatment option for you. After all, antidepressants are commonly prescribed to help people manage their depression.

However, there is another potential treatment option that you might not be aware of: transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS.

TMS is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain and has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression.

So, which is right for you? Let’s take a closer look at both options.

Drawing of human brain on chalkboard with inscription transcranial magnetic stimulation
Drawing of human brain on chalkboard with inscription transcranial magnetic stimulation.

TMS vs. Antidepressants: The Basics

In order to understand which option may be most effective for you, let’s start by covering the basics.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants are medications that are used to treat depression. They work by correcting imbalances in neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that transmit messages in the brain.

Common types of antidepressants include SSRIs, SNRIs, and tricyclic antidepressants. Some people experience relief from their symptoms within a few weeks of starting antidepressant medication, while others may need to try a few different medications before they find one that works for them.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. TMS has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression, and it does not have the same side effects as antidepressants.

TMS is typically done 5 days per week for 4-6 weeks.

TMS vs. Antidepressants: The Side Effects

Side effects can make or break a treatment option for some people.

Let’s explore a few of the most common symptoms that occur with each:

Antidepressants:

Antidepressants are a popular and effective option for many people, but it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects before starting any new medication.

The most common side effect of antidepressants is nausea, which can be accompanied by vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Other gastrointestinal side effects include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

Some people may experience sexual side effects such as decreased libido or erectile dysfunction.

Additionally, some antidepressants can cause mood swings and make anxiety worse. If you experience any of these side effects, it’s important to talk to your doctor so that they can adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication.

How common are the side effects of antidepressants? According to a report found in the journal of Psychiatry, 40% of people that take antidepressants experience negative side effects.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation:

 If you’ve been considering TMS treatment for your depression, you’re likely wondering about the potential side effects. While any medical treatment comes with some risk, the side effects associated with TMS are relatively mild and short-lived.

The most common side effect of TMS is headache, which affects about 1 in 5 people who receive this treatment. Headaches are usually mild and go away on their own within a few hours.

Other potential side effects of TMS include:

• Scalp discomfort at the site of treatment

• Lightheadedness or dizziness

• Twitching or spasms in facial muscles

• Changes in taste

• Tingling or sensations in the scalp

How common are the side effects of TMS treatment? These side effects are typically rare and disappear soon after treatment is completed.

TMS vs. Antidepressants: The Cost

Another factor to consider when debating between antidepressants and transcranial magnetic stimulation is the cost.

The cost of antidepressants can vary depending on the type of antidepressant, your insurance coverage, and where you purchase your medication. Generally speaking, generic antidepressants are less expensive than brand-name antidepressants.

Now, how much does TMS cost?

TMS treatment varies depending on where you live, and how much your insurance is willing to cover. Each treatment typically ranges from around $400-$500. If you have insurance, your insurer may cover some or all of the cost of TMS treatment.

However, many insurers still consider TMS to be an experimental treatment, so coverage is not guaranteed.

It’s important to note, while TMS treatment costs are higher than antidepressants, magnetic stimulation gets to the root of depression rather than simply covering up symptoms. This means it’s a much better investment in the long run.

How Do I Find TMS Treatment Centers Near Me?

If you’re interested in finding a TMS treatment center near you, there are a few things you can do.

First, check with your insurance provider. They may have a list of TMS providers that they cover. If not, you can also search online for “TMS depression treatment near me.”

This should give you a list of providers in your area. Once you have a list of potential providers, call them and ask about their experience with TMS and what their success rates are. You should also ask about the cost of treatments and whether or not your insurance will cover them.

When you’re looking for a TMS provider, it’s important to find one that has experience in treating depression and has a high success rate. You should also make sure that the provider is covered by your insurance so that you can get the treatment you need without having to pay out of pocket.

Let’s Recap:

If you’re living with depression, you might be wondering if medication is the right treatment option for you.

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to help people manage their depression; however, they can cause side effects such as fatigue, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction.

Another potential treatment option is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain and has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression with far fewer side effects than medications

If you live near Mount Airy, Maryland, consider Gemini TMS as your go-to treatment center for transcranial magnetic stimulation. Not only do we provide a free consultation, we can empower you in finding relief from non-responsive depression or chronic mood instability. Contact us today at 301-363-1063 or schedule your free consultation online today at https://www.geminitms.com/schedule-consultation/.

Resources:

https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/depression-finding-what-works
https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/drug-side-effects.aspx#:~:text=According%20to%20a%20report%20in,effects%20are%20considered%20very%20bothersome.
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