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VNS Therapy™ for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy (DRE)

Drug-resistant epilepsy affects patients in many ways1. Find out how VNS Therapy could help to reduce the consequences of DRE for your patients. 

VNS Therapy is an established neuromodulation therapy for DRE2, indicated for both adult and paediatric patients with focal or generalized seizures.


VNS Therapy™ is an established neuromodulation therapy

VNS Therapy™ is the most studied neuromodulation therapy in use for drug-resistant epilepsy patients, with over 25 years of innovation3.

25 years of experience in DRE

Years of experience

The longest experience in DRE

125,000 patients treated

Patients treated

High number of neuromodulation implants for DRE3

490+ publications (Highest number of publications among neuromodulation therapies in epilepsy)


Highest number of publications among neuromodulation therapies in epilepsy4

VNS Therapy is an effective treatment option for patients with DRE

Based on studies comparing effects of VNS Therapy compared to pre-VNS Therapy, or VNS Therapy + treatment-as-usual compared to treatment-as-usual alone, some people with VNS Therapy have experienced benefits that include:

Cognitive development and memory

Improved cognitive development and memory11

Fewer Seizures

Sustained improvements in seizure frequency, seizure severity and postictal recovery7

VNS Therapy reduces depressive symptoms such as mood

Reduction of symptoms associated with depression such as mood9

VNS Therapy™ significantly reduces the incidence of hospitalizations, ER visits, fractures and head trauma in patients with DRE

Lower incidence of hospitalisations, A&E visits, fractures and head traumas8

Patients receiving VNS Therapy experience significant improvements in quality of life

Improvements in quality of life10

VNS Therapy™ Efficacy

Long-term efficacy of VNS Therapy™ increases over time

Studies show that VNS Therapy has been proven to reduce seizure frequency and improve other QOL related patient outcomes. The long-term efficacy of VNS Therapy increases over time13.

Benefits of VNS Therapy for Adults

Benefits of VNS Therapy for Paediatrics

75% of patients chose to replace their device at the end of service14

What is VNS Therapy™ and how does it work?

VNS Therapy is an approved treatment option for both paediatric and adult patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.

The VNS Therapy System includes a pulse generator that is implanted under the skin and connected via leads to the left vagus nerve at the carotid sheath. The generator sends mild pulses through the vagus nerve to the brain. VNS Therapy can lead to fewer seizures, shorter seizures and better recovery after seizures15.

VNS Therapy™ works to control seizures in three ways

Normal Mode

Normal Mode

Helps to reduce seizures

Stimulation is delivered at regular intervals all day, every day, to help reduce seizures16

Responsive mode (Austostim)

AutoStim Mode

Responds to rapid increases in heart rate*

An extra dose of therapy is automatically delivered at the sign of a rapid increase in heart rate, which may be associated with seizures16

*Only available in Models 106 and 1000

Magnet Mode (On-Demand)

Magnet Mode

Delivers On-Demand Treatment

Stimulation is manually delivered by swiping the VNS Therapy™  magnet over the generator to help stop or shorten a seizure once it starts16

Available in Model 1000 only

Customisable treatment and therapy management

Enhanced programming options available with the latest VNS Therapy technology

Day & Night Programming

Day & Night Programming

Create two independent sets of therapy parameters at different times during a 24-hour period.

After the Day-Night program has been defined, the generator will alternate between the 2 independent parameter sets on a daily basis. This feature provides the physician with the ability to further customise the delivery of VNS Therapy to accomodate each individual patient's needs after a target level has been established for the patient.17

Scheduled Programming

Scheduled Programming

Enables the programming of the generator so that it automatically increases stimulation therapy parameters while the patient is in the comfort of their home.

This feature is intended to be used during the titration phase and could potentially reduce the number of appointments the patient may need to travel to and from the clinic for programming visits only.17

VNS Therapy Potential Mechanisms of Action


VNS Therapy™ Mechanisms of Action

When managing DRE, anti-seizure medications alone are unlikely to help your patients achieve seizure control or an improved quality of life29. As soon as you suspect DRE, consider the treatment goals and speak to your patients about non-drug treatment options. 

The sooner you act, the more likely you are to mitigate the serious consequences of DRE.

See the data behind VNS Therapy for paediatric patients

Explore VNS Therapy for paediatric patients

Explore VNS Therapy benefits for adult patients

Explore VNS Therapy benefits for adult patients


Learn about SenTiva™

Learn more at a VNS Therapy webinar

Join the discussion at a VNS Therapy webinar

Watch real-life patient testimonials

Hear patients talk about their experiences

VNS Therapy™ has proven safety and tolerability profile with side effects reducing over time

Safety Profile

VNS Therapy has no drug interactions and does not cause drug-related toxic central nervous system side effects.

Common side effects include hoarseness or change in voice tone, shortness of breath, sore throat, and coughing. Most side effects associated with VNS Therapy occur only during stimulation, tend to diminish over time, or are eliminated by adjusting parameter settings.

The most common side effect of the surgical procedure is infection.

For more safety information click here.


1. Park KM et al, 2019. Journal of Epilepsy Research. 9:14-26  2. VNS Therapy™ System Epilepsy Physician’s Manual April 2021, 76-0000-5600/8 (OUS)  3. Data on File, LivaNova, Houston, TX   4. The number of publications/clinical trials on while searching for a. "Vagus nerve stimulation" OR "Vagal nerve stimulation" OR "VNS" AND "Epilepsy" NOT "Auricular" ; b. "deep brain stimulation" OR "DBS" AND "Epilepsy"; c. "Responsive neurostimulation" OR "RNS" AND "Epilepsy".  7. Orosz et al 2014. Epilepsia 55(10):1576-1584  8. Helmers et al, 2011. Epilepsy & Behaviour 22(2):370-5  9. Spindler et al, 2019. Seizure, 69:77-79  10. Ergene et al, 2000. Epilepsy & Behaviour, 2:284-287. Ryvlin et al, 2014. Epilepsia, 55(6):893-900  11. Orosz et al 2014. Epilepsia 55(10):1576-1584  12. Soleman et al, 2018. Epilepsy & Behaviour, 88:138-145  13. Kawai et al, 2018. Epileptic Disord, 19(3):327-38  14. Data on File, LivaNova, Houston, TX   15. Patient’s Guide for Epilepsy, November 2021, 1 — 26-0009-9700/4 (OUS)  16. VNS Therapy™ System Epilepsy Physician’s Manual April 2021, 76-0000-5600/8 (OUS)  17. VNS Therapy™ System Epilepsy Physician’s Manual April 2021, 76-0000-5600/8 (OUS)  18.Marrosu F, et al, 2005. Clin Neurophysiol. 116(9):2026 36.  19. Ravan et al, 2017. DOI 10.1109/TBME.2016.2554559, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering   20. Boon et al, 2015. Seizure 32:52–61.   21. Fisher et al, 2015. Acta Neurol Scand 131: 1–8 DOI: 10.1111/ane.12288.   22. Hallböök T, et al, 2005. Seizure 14(8):527 33.   23. Marrosu et al, 2003. Epilepsy res. 55,59-70   24. Larsen LE, et al 2016. Neurotherapeutics 13:592–602.   25. Liu WC et al,2003. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 74:811-813.  26. Dorr AE et al, 2006. J Pharmacolo Exp Ther; 318(2): 890-8.   27. Nosaka 1984. Experimental Neurol. 85:493-505.   28. Morais et al, 2020. PAIN 161 (2020) 1661–1669.   29. Kwan P, Brodie M 2000. New England Journ of Medicine. 342(5): 314-319. 

This website is intended for healthcare professionals in Australia. VNS Therapy™ for drug-resistant epilepsy is not available in all regions - please refer to your country-specific labeling.