VNS Therapy™ Safety FAQs
Find answers to commonly asked questions about VNS Therapy™ safety related topics including MRI, airport security and more
MRI can be safely performed with the VNS Therapy System provided specific guidelines are followed. Speak to your doctor about which areas of the body can be safely scanned. MRI scan requirements are different depending on your VNS Therapy device model and the implant location.
VNS Therapy has been studied for more than 25 years and has proven to be a safe and effective way of treating drug-resistant epilepsy. It is safe to use with other medicines with none of the side effects typical of anti-seizure medications. While there are some side effects, the most common can be reduced or eliminated by adjusting the device settings with your doctor.
The most common side effects of VNS Therapy include:
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
The most common side effect of the VNS Therapy implant procedure is infection. These side effects generally only occur during stimulation and usually decrease over time. You can find more safety information here.
Antitheft devices, airport security systems and other metal detectors should not affect the generator or be affected by it. As a precaution, however, move through them at a steady pace; do not linger in the area and stay at least 40 centimeters (16 inches) away from such equipment.
Frequently Asked Questions
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VNS Therapy™ Safety Profile
The most common side effects of VNS Therapy™ include:
Shortness of breath
These side effects generally only occur during stimulation and usually decrease over time. The most common side effect of the surgical procedure is infection.
Children under 12 may have a greater risk of infection than those 12 years of age and older and may be more likely to experience lead damage due to higher activity levels and the potential to manipulate the lead. Talk to your physician about the best ways to avoid these complications and about warnings, precautions, side effects, and hazards. Ask about risks that you should know about as well as any other issues that might be appropriate to discuss, such as status epilepticus and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.
You can find more safety information here.