Skip to main content
What are the side effects of TMS treatments for depression?
May 4, 2022 at 4:00 PM
Doctor in a white coat holding a note pad and pen

Antidepressants and therapy are the most common treatments for people diagnosed with depression. However, they don’t always work for everyone, which is why some resort to alternative treatments such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS.

TMS treatments are non-invasive procedures that help regulate a person’s mood with the help of magnetic pulses and serve as an effective alternative for those who don’t respond well to traditional methods.

Are there any side effects?

If you’re considering TMS treatment, this is one question that has surely crossed your mind. We’ve got you covered.

According to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, TMS treatments are generally well-tolerated and are associated only with minor side effects. The majority of patients can withstand the side effects with only a minimal number discontinuing treatment. In fact, in most cases, there is no recovery time, meaning patients can drive home after the procedure and go back to their usual activities.

That being said, there may be instances where people feel a little discomfort, which usually goes away on its own after a few hours.

In any case, here are some common transcranial magnetic stimulation side effects that you should know about.


These are the most common side effect of TMS treatments with over half of patients reporting it.


Headaches due to TMS treatments are often mild and typically subside with subsequent sessions. These headaches linked may also be caused by the physical discomfort during treatment.

Over-the-counter medicines can be used as a treatment for mild headaches.

Tolerable scalp pain

During a TMS treatment session, patients are seated in a reclined chair as electromagnetic induction stimulates the brain to decrease depression. The tapping sensation of the coil on the scalp during treatment can cause tolerable pain during the first few sessions but over time, the scalp gets desensitized to this feeling.

Patients may also experience minimal discomfort which can be reduced by adjusting the settings of the treatment.

To deal with minimal scalp pain and discomfort, over-the-counter pain medications after TMS treatments may do the trick.

Dizziness and lightheadedness

Dizziness and lightheadedness are reported side effects of TMS treatments, but such cases are usually rare. Lightheadedness often accompanies dizziness, but these side effects are often mild and tend to go away quickly after the procedure.

These two side effects often occur during the first few sessions of TMS treatment and subside throughout the program.

Minor facial twitching

Some TMS treatment patients have reported a tingling sensation in their facial muscles after the treatment.

This side effect is fairly normal and tends to diminish throughout the treatment. To address this, adjustments can be made in the coil positioning and simulation settings to minimize discomfort.

Slight hearing problems

TMS treatments can produce a loud noise that may cause issues for patients with sensitive hearing. Earplugs may be used to drown out the noise during TMS treatments but there are still individuals who complain of hearing problems after the treatment.

According to The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine report, this is nothing to be worried about as there is no evidence that these side effects are permanent. Additionally, the effect can be reduced by wearing earplugs during the procedure.

Get quality TMS treatment in Brentwood, TN

At Bella Jace Center for Health, we’re all about providing a holistic approach to mental health and wellness. We take the time to consider how the body affects the mind and offer treatments based on a well-rounded approach that includes conventional and alternative wellness programs.

When it comes to TMS treatments, we make sure to provide professional and personalized care. While transcranial magnetic stimulation side effects are fairly normal, we make sure to address any issues with the right adjustment and support.

In addition to TMS treatments, Bella Jace Center for Health also offers other alternative treatment options such as Spravato Treatment and Ketamine Infusions.

Schedule your consultation

Our highly trained staff at Brentwood, TN are standing by to help with your mental wellness concerns. Schedule a consultation with us today by calling (615) 846-4558 or by filling out our contact form. You can also email us at, and we’ll get back to you.

Get holistic treatment for mental health.
We provide traditional and alternative treatment for mental health issues in Brentwood, TN.