Dosing and Safety

Side effects of VNS Therapy are mild to moderate and typically decrease over time1

The side effects of VNS Therapy typically occur only during stimulation and may include1:

  • Temporary hoarseness/changes in voice tone
  • Cough
  • Tickling in the throat
  • Feeling of shortness of breath during exertion

The side effects of VNS Therapy are mild to moderate and typically decrease over time.1 Some people experience no side effects from VNS Therapy. If side effects are experienced, they can be minimized through dose adjustments.

VNS Therapy works with your other treatments without undesired interactions and is not associated with the common side effects of antidepressant treatments, such as sexual dysfunction. The incidence of weight gain and sleep disturbance1 (commonly reported side effects of other antidepressant treatments) is less than 2%. VNS Therapy may reduce the need for antidepressant medications over time for some people.1

See Also:

"When I first began the VNS Therapy I had some side effects, including a raspy voice, especially when we would increase the dose of the therapy.... We continued to adjust the dose until I virtually have no side effects in my voice now."

Marna, VNS Therapy since 2000

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"One of the very nice things about VNS Therapy is that we, the doctor, the patient, know what the side effects will be when the patient leaves the office, unlike medication where you may raise the dose and not know what the side effects are ultimately for a week or two.

"We can control the side effects by engaging, collaborating with the patient as to the proper amount of current, a well-tolerated amount of current, that is still sufficient to give a therapeutic effect."

A. John Rush, MD, Vice Chair, Department of Clinical Sciences Professor, Department of Psychiatry University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

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1. Depression Physician's Manual. VNS Therapy Pulse Model 102 Generator and VNS Therapy Pulse Duo Model 102R Generator. Houston, Tex: Cyberonics, Inc.; May 2005.

The VNS Therapy System is indicated for use as an adjunctive therapy in reducing the frequency of seizures in adults and adolescents over 12 years of age with partial onset seizures, which are refractory to antiepileptic medications.

VNS Therapy (or the VNS Therapy System) is indicated for the adjunctive long-term treatment of chronic or recurrent depression for patients over the age of 18 who are experiencing a major depressive episode and have not had an adequate response to four or more adequate antidepressant treatments.