What is VNS Therapy® and how does it work?
VNS Therapy® (short for vagus nerve stimulation therapy) is an add-on treatment designed for people with drug-resistant epilepsy whose epileptic disorder is dominated by partial or generalized seizures.
VNS Therapy can lead to fewer seizures, shorter seizures and better recovery after seizures.
Medication alone isn’t the answer for 1/3 of people having seizures. If seizures continue after two anti-seizure medications have been tried for an appropriate amount of time as determined by a doctor, it is considered to be drug-resistant epilepsy.
Studies have proven that adding more medications is not likely to control this kind of epilepsy. But despite this data and what we know about the risks of living with drug-resistant epilepsy, many people continue to be prescribed multiple medications instead of being evaluated for non-drug therapy options.
If you’ve tried multiple medications yet continue to have seizures, it may be time to consider alternative treatment options.
VNS Therapy® for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy
VNS Therapy (short for vagus nerve stimulation therapy) is a neuromodulation treatment designed for people with drug-resistant epilepsy. It is recommended by guidelines as an add-on therapy in reducing seizure frequency in children and adults with drug-resistant epilepsy who are not suitable for resective surgery.
VNS Therapy is a small device that is implanted under the skin in the chest and connected to the vagus nerve in the neck. VNS Therapy delivers mild pulses to the brain through the vagus nerve to help prevent seizures before they start and help stop them if they do.
Less Severe Seizures
Improved Post-Seizure Recovery
Improved Quality of Life
Reduction of Status Epilepticus
Improved Alertness, Mood and Memory
Fewer Hospital and ER Visits
Could you benefit from VNS Therapy®?
VNS Therapy is recommended by guidelines as an add-on therapy in reducing seizure frequency in children and adults with DRE who are not suitable for resective surgery.
More Seizure-Free Moments
VNS Therapy® has been shown to improve over time to help control seizures for years to come.
In a 10-year study of 65 patients that tracked the effectiveness of VNS Therapy at reducing the frequency of seizures:
"I'm now living the life that I never lived before."Gary, VNS Therapy patient since 2004.
How does VNS Therapy® work?
VNS Therapy is delivered through a device that sends mild pulses to the vagus nerve at regular intervals throughout the day in an effort to prevent seizures.
An additional dose of therapy may stop or shorten your seizure, decrease its intensity and improve your recovery after a seizure.
VNS Therapy includes a short outpatient procedure, which is not brain surgery.
Helps Prevent Seizures
Stimulation is delivered at regular intervals all day, every day, to help prevent seizures.
Responds to rapid increases in heart rate that may be associated with seizures*
An extra dose of therapy is automatically delivered at the sign of a rapid increase in heart rate, which is typical of many seizures.
*Only available in Models 106, 1000 and 1000-D
Scheduled Programming allows your doctor to pre-program your VNS Therapy® device to automatically increase therapy settings at intervals he or she chooses.
This option can reduce the need for attending follow up appointments for programming, giving you time back to live your life.
Day & Night Programming
Your doctor can customise your VNS Therapy® treatment based on your lifestyle preferences or side effect management by programming your device to different settings for any two periods of time during a 24-hour period.
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.
Talk to your physician 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.
References are available upon request.