How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Before having transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), you may need a medical exam to make sure it's safe and a good option for you. You may be asked a number of questions about your depression. Tell your doctor or mental health provider if:

  • You're pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.
  • You have any metal or implanted medical devices in your body. Due to the strong magnetic field produced during TMS, some people who have the following devices cannot have TMS:
    • Aneurysm clips or coils
    • Stents
    • Implanted stimulators
    • Electrodes for monitoring brain activity
    • Any magnetic implants
    • Bullet fragments
    • Any other metal device or object implanted in your body
  • You're taking any medications, including over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements or vitamins. Bring a list of what you're taking to your doctor's appointment and include dosages and how often you take them.
  • You have a history of seizures or mania, any past injuries or surgeries, or any other physical or mental health problems.

Little preparation is needed. TMS isn't invasive, doesn't require anesthesia and can be performed in a doctor's office. You don't need to arrange for someone to drive you home after treatment — unless, for the first treatment, you want someone to drive you so you get a sense of how you'll feel afterward. Before considering treatment, check with your health insurance company to see whether TMS is covered. Your policy may not cover it.

Feb. 04, 2015