TMS or Ketamine Therapy: Choosing the Right Treatment for You

Jan 08, 2024
TMS or Ketamine Therapy: Choosing the Right Treatment for You
Dealing with depression or other mental health problems is tough when you can't find treatment – but have you considered esketamine or TMS therapy? Read on to learn more about these treatments and how to decide which is better for your needs.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 280 million people have depression worldwide, which is a staggering number for both men and women. Depression is a severe mental health problem that affects every aspect of your life.

There are various treatments for depression, including therapy and medications – but what if they're ineffective at relieving your symptoms? Other options are available for treatment-resistant depression, including TMS therapy and esketamine (also known by its brand name, Spravato™). 

Esketamine and TMS therapy are both effective in relieving depressive symptoms, but they both work differently on your brain. Dr. Elia R. Gonzalez-Rodriguez and the Pacific Phoenix TMS team explain both services to help you pick the right one for you.

Dr. Gonzalez-Rodriguez is a psychiatry specialist who excels at treatments for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD.

How does TMS therapy work?

TMS therapy is a noninvasive treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD. It uses strong magnets to increase the neurotransmitters in your brain that control your mood.

Decreased nerve activity in your brain often leads to fewer neurotransmitters, which affect how you feel. Depression, OCD, and other mental health issues result from low levels of certain neurotransmitters.

One of the significant benefits of TMS therapy is that it doesn't require anesthesia or surgical incisions to perform and has relatively few side effects.

TMS therapy is a great treatment option for people who don't get relief from medications or therapy when living with depression or other mental health problems.

What is esketamine?

Ketamine is a type of dissociative anesthetic that anesthesiologists often use for operative anesthesia. It helps to relieve pain without the respiratory compromise of opioid medications.

In 2019, the FDA approved ketamine for the treatment of depression in adults suffering from depressive symptoms not relieved by other means.

Esketamine is a nasal spray that's highly potent and has significant positive effects on the symptoms of depression. It is also known by its brand name, Spravato™ and it has milder side effects than IV-administered ketamine.  It works quickly on glutamate, a neurotransmitter in the brain that controls mood.

It also helps your brain with neuroplasticity, which is its ability to adapt to new feelings and situations.

Which treatment is best for you?

It's best to talk to Dr. Gonzalez-Rodriguez to determine the best treatment for your needs. However, if you're having suicidal ideations or severe depression, esketamine may be the better option because of its fast effects.

You can get speedy relief from depression symptoms with esketamine, although the effects may not last long. However, it's an excellent option for preventing suicide by significantly reducing thoughts of self-harm with one treatment.

If you're looking for an option with fewer side effects and potential for abuse, TMS therapy is a better option. Although it doesn't work as fast as esketamine, it offers longer-lasting results.

Ultimately, esketamine is best for urgent depressive crises. At the same time, TMS therapy is a good option for the long-term management of mild-to-moderate treatment-resistant depression.

Side effects to know about

TMS therapy is a noninvasive form of brain stimulation that is generally quite safe, and most people tolerate it well. However, it can cause mild-to-moderate side effects, especially after the first few treatments.

The common side effects of TMS therapy include scalp discomfort, lightheadedness, and headaches. You may also have tingling in your facial muscles.

Severe side effects with TMS therapy are rare but do happen occasionally. The procedure often causes fewer side effects or problems than other treatment forms.

Ketamine is highly effective but also comes with many side effects you should know about before treatment. Common side effects of esketamine are:

  • Disorientation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Detachment from reality
  • Visual or auditory hallucinations
  • Loss of motor coordination
  • Increased heart rate or blood pressure

Although there are a lot of side effects, our staff at Pacific Phoenix TMS will monitor you closely to reduce the chances of adverse effects. Most people are willing to chance the side effects of both treatments because of their success in treating mental health issues.

Call one of our conveniently located offices in Salmon Creek or East Vancouver, Washington, today to schedule an appointment for TMS or esketamine therapy, or request an appointment on our website.