Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Your doctor will review possible problems such as:
- Problems with thinking and memory—most go away in a couple of weeks, but for some, these may last for many months
- Short-term changes in your heartbeat
- Muscle aches or soreness
- Heart attack or cardiac arrest
- Long-lasting seizure
Your chances of having problems is higher for:
- A history of heart problems, stroke, or high blood pressure
- Pregnancy—may increase the risk of problems for the baby
- Taking medicines that haven't helped you
- Increased age
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Therapy, Electroconvulsive; ECT)
American Psychiatric Association https://www.psychiatry.org
Mental Health America http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net
Canadian Mental Health Association https://cmha.ca
Canadian Psychiatric Association https://www.cpa-apc.org
Electroconvulsive therapy. El Camino Hospital website. Available at: http://www.elcaminohospital.org/Programs%5Fand%5FServices/Behavioral%5FHealth/Electroconvulsive%5FTherapy. Accessed September 4, 2018.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/how-electroconvulsive-therapy-works. Updated May 22, 2017. Accessed September 4, 2018.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Mental Health America website. Available at: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/ect. Accessed September 4, 2018.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for depression. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T361082/Electroconvulsive-therapy-ECT-for-depression . Updated August 23, 2018. Accessed September 4, 2018.
Kellner CH, Greenberg RM, Murrough JW, et al. ECT in treatment-resistant depression. Am J Psychiatry. 2012;169(12):1238-1244.
5/13/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T361082/Electroconvulsive-therapy-ECT-for-depression : Semkovska M, McLoughlin DM. Objective cognitive performance associated with electroconvulsive therapy for depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Biol Psychiatry. 2010;68(6):568-577.