Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
- Problems with thinking and memory that may go away in a couple of weeks or may last for many months
- Short-term changes in heart rhythm
- Long-lasting seizure
- Heart attack or cardiac arrest
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
- A history of heart problems, stroke, or high blood pressure
- 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 (ECT). Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/how-electroconvulsive-therapy-works. Accessed November 23, 2020.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Mental Health America website. Available at: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/ect. Accessed November 23, 2020.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for depression. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/electroconvulsive-therapy-ect-for-depression. Accessed November 23, 2020.
Ottosson JO, Odeberg H. Evidence-based electroconvulsive therapy. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2012 Mar;125(3):177-184.