Why TMS Is Recommended as an Antidepressant Alternative?

We offer a variety of interventional treatments, including TMS Pasadena. At first glance, they may seem like alternatives to antidepressants. However, there are many factors that go into choosing the best course of treatment for depression and other mental health conditions. A reputable psychiatrist will determine when dTMS is the best solution for someone struggling with the symptoms of depression.

Depression TMS

The most common methods of treatment for depression are medication and psychotherapy. While this combination works well for some people, it is not a cure-all. Like any other medical condition, what works for one patient may not work for another. It might be a simple matter of finding the correct medication and dose for milder cases of depression. However, for treatment-resistant depression, other modalities will typically produce better results.


According to the STAR*D study by NIMH, medications alone are only effective 27.5% of the time. Not only are they less effective, but it will also take a month or two to establish if the patient is responding well to a specific medication. This timeline will repeat with each new antidepressant a patient tries. Additionally, many people find the side effects of antidepressants challenging to handle. Common side effects include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Weight changes
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue

Suddenly removing medications can cause withdrawal and severe symptoms, so it is never safe for people to simply stop taking them. For patients who have treatment-resistant depression, depression TMS has been shown to provide better and faster results.

TMS Pasadena

One of the benefits of TMS is the fact that it is non-invasive with few side effects compared to SSRIs and other treatments. In addition, patients can go about their day after treatment. There is no need to monitor people for drowsiness and dizziness as you would with esketamine.

Brainsway dTMS, which we use at Pasadena Neuropsychiatry, is FDA approved for treatment-resistant depression, anxious depression, OCD, and more. While depression TMS does have a higher rate of effectiveness, doctors will not simply take patients off of their medications if they are already taking them.

For example, participants in the STAR*D study were kept on their medications. The results showed an 11 percent rate of remission in people only using medication. In contrast, those who had dTMS and medicine showed a 67% remission rate.

It is possible for TMS Pasadena patients to eventually taper off their medications. However, only a board-certified psychiatrist should determine if and when a patient can begin the process of reducing or removing psychiatric medications from their treatment plan. At Pasadena Neuropsychiatry, adhere to APA+ADA guidelines. Treatment plans are based on patient history, labs, and other factors, which we monitor during the treatment process.

If you have any questions about dTMS Pasadena or any of our other interventional treatments, please reach out to us. We believe in empowering our patients and work with each one to ensure that they understand their health and have the information necessary to make informed decisions. It is this partnership that leads to success.