TMS Side Effects

What are the side effects of TMS treatment?
Does TMS Therapy have side effects?

TMS side effects

TMS side effects are identified and explained in this article. TMS is considered to be a very well tolerated treatment particularly when comparing TMS side effects with some other forms of treatments for Major Depression. Safety for TMS has been looked at extensively in the clinical research and when comparing the treatment to ECT and anti-depressant medication, TMS is accepted as a very safe treatment option.

TMS side effects do exist and while not everyone experiences them, some people do. We have outlined the possible side effects here:


This means feeling faint. This is more common in younger and more anxious patients and this is more common in patients who have had similar experiences with other medical procedures such as dental procedures. While this is an uncomfortable feeling and slightly embarrassing, it is not dangerous.


Mild headaches may occur after the treatment session has finished. Usually this requires only mild pain killers such as Panadol. If headaches do occur, they are more likely to happen during and after the initial treatment sessions.

Scalp irritation:

Some patients also complain of a mild pain over the scalp during or after the treatment. Mild pain killers such as panadol or neurofen usually resolve the headaches. Typically this occurs more frequently in the first few treatments and subsides as treatment progresses.

Seizures (fits):

When TMS is used within the safe levels that have been researched, seizures are extremely unlikely to occur. Despite this our staff will monitor for changes in medication, caffeine use or other things that increase your risk of seizures during your treatment. The chance of a seizure occurring are 1 in 30,000. At Sydney TMS, we can confidently state that we have not had a patient experience a seizure.

Change in energy:

Occasionally patients may experience elevated energy and difficulty sleeping after TMS. If this occurs usually your doctor can help you with this while continuing treatment.

In the research paper, Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in the treatment of depression (2018), by William Pridmore. CLICK HERE , to read the article. Pridmore states “adverse effects are generally trivial rather than serious and there are no long-term undesirable effects” This is particularly comforting for people who are considering TMS treatment and investigating the associated TMS side effects.

The Benefits of TMS

The best thing about TMS is that it isn’t associated with significant side effects associated with medication therapy like weight fluctuation, sexual dysfunction, drowsiness. To read more about the benefits of TMS, Click Here

Should you be concerned we encourage you to talk to the team at Sydney TMS to go through the information click here.

Breakthrough Depression Treatment

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment is filling a much needed gap.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am suitable for TMS?

TMS is recommended to those who have been dealing with depression symptoms for extended periods of time. They would have previously tried and failed two or more medication treatments. Often these treatments have failed if the person is unable to cope with the side effects of the medication or treatments provided. The medication is also considered to have failed if the patient continues to experience depression symptoms. A GP referral or specialist referral is required before you book your first appointment with a TMS clinic.

What should I do after a TMS session?

After a TMS session, you can actually go on with your day-to-day routine. Some people go back straight back to work. TMS side effects are considered to be mild and if they occur paracetamol is recommended. TMS Side effects may include, feeling faint, headaches, irritations on the scalp and maybe a change in energy.

How long is a TMS procedure?

rTMS therapy involves a series of treatment sessions in relatively close succession. We ask depression patients to allow for approximately 20 sessions with each one lasting around 30 minutes each. While OCD and PTSD patients can expect to attend approximately 30 sessions.

Who cannot get TMS therapy?

There are a number of groups that we do not offer TMS treatment to.

1. Patients with metal implants about the shoulder area. Braces and dental fillings are excluded.

2. Pregnant women.

3. Children under the age of 18.

Research is still being conducted in regards to pregnant women and children and its best to keep in touch as this information becomes updated.