How Long Does TMS Therapy Last? A Comprehensive Guide

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When diagnosed with depression, doctors typically suggest two treatment options: antidepressants and psychotherapy.

Unfortunately, neither of these treatments is foolproof—patients often don’t get the desired results. But there is an unsung hero worth discussing: How long does TMS therapy last?

TMS therapy (transcranial magnetic stimulation) is an innovative, drug-free treatment for depression—and it’s effective: around 60% of patients respond to TMS.

And even more importantly, studies show it’s effective in treating patients who haven’t responded to other treatments

Key Takeaways

  • TMS therapy usually involves daily 20-40 minute sessions over an eight week period. 
  • Depressive symptoms are improved within the first few weeks of treatment.
  • Over 50% of patients have no depressive symptoms 1 year after finishing TMS therapy. 
  • If needed, maintenance TMS is available to help stop your symptoms from returning.

How Long is a TMS Treatment Course?

The length of a TMS treatment course can vary—we ask that you request a TMS consultation for personalized advice.

But we generally recommend daily treatments per week for eight weeks. Each TMS session lasts 20 to 40 minutes, so the total treatment time is around 20+ hours

The excellent news about TMS is it doesn’t require any downtime; the therapy is completely non-invasive. After each session, you can continue with your day as usual. 

How Long Does TMS Therapy Take to Work?

If you respond to TMS, you can expect to feel benefits in your mood within a couple of weeks of starting treatment.

These benefits continue throughout the treatment course. However the time it takes for TMS to work varies between patients—everyone responds differently. 

The setup of the treatment course can also impact how quickly you see results.

For example, according to Pubmed, depressive symptoms were improved more quickly with twice-daily TMS sessions compared to once-daily sessions.

Our doctors always choose the best treatment plan based on your symptoms to help offer rapid relief. 

It’s important to remember that—even if you feel better after a few weeks—you must continue the treatment plan.

If the full TMS course isn’t completed, benefits will occur more slowly. You also may not result in complete relief from your depressive symptoms. 

How Long Do The Benefits of TMS Therapy Last?

Although TMS therapy is effective at treating depression, it is not a complete cure. Like most treatments for mood disorders, your symptoms may return after finishing TMS.

How soon this happens varies between patients. In general:

  • Most TMS patients feel the benefits several months after the TMS course.
  • Around half continue to have fewer depressive symptoms after one year

The long-term outlook is even more promising for patients who achieve full remission (no longer have any depressive symptoms) after their initial TMS course.

One study found that 62.5% of patients in remission continued to be symptom-free one year later.

As depressive symptoms can return after TMS, we recommend meeting with a psychiatrist to monitor your mood and behaviors. If depression returns, maintenance TMS sessions might be an option. 

TMS Therapy: FAQs

Q: Does TMS help permanently?

A: No, TMS is not a permanent cure for depression. However, benefits may continue months and years after the initial treatment course. 

Q: How long does it take for TMS to wear off?

A: How long TMS lasts varies between patients. Around half are in remission one year after TMS. Others need maintenance sessions to prevent depressive symptoms from returning. 

Q: How often do you need TMS maintenance?

A: Maintenance TMS is usually done once per week for a few months. Our doctors can create a personalized maintenance TMS schedule based on your symptoms and potential for relapse. 

Is TMS Therapy Right For Me?

TMS therapy is an effective, non-invasive, drug-free treatment for depression.

While not a permanent fix, many of our patients have no depressive symptoms one year after initial treatment.

If your depression returns, TMS maintenance sessions can help put you back into remission. 

To learn more about TMS or schedule a consultation, contact our team now. We are happy to help! 

We Accept Most Major Insurance Policies

If you don’t see your health insurance company listed, we may still be able to accommodate you. Contact us today to see what we can do for you!
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