VNS Therapy® Magnet

A unique benefit of VNS Therapy that may provide additional seizure control

VNS Therapy® Magnet
VNS Therapy® Magnet

VNS Therapy® Magnet

The VNS Therapy® Magnet allows patients and caregivers to manually deliver an extra dose of therapy which can stop a seizure once it starts. It can also be used to help shorten the duration of a seizure and improve recovery time after seizures.

Two magnets are provided with the VNS Therapy® System. The magnet is surrounded by a plastic casing similar to the shape of a watch and can be worn on the wrist or kept nearby in a pocket or bag.

If you feel a seizure is about to begin, or once a seizure is happening, the magnet can be used to initiate an extra dose of stimulation. The magnet can be used more than once during a seizure if necessary. Using the magnet more than once will not harm you or the device.

Two Magnet Functions

Temporarily suspend therapy to manage side effects during activities such as singing, public speaking or exercising. Normal operation will resume once the magnet is removed.

Provide an extra dose of therapy on demand if you experience a breakthrough seizure. This may:


Stop the Seizure

Stop the Seizure

Shorten the Seizure

Shorten the Seizure

Decrease the intensity of the seizure

Decrease the intensity of the seizure

Improve the recovery period following the seizure

Improve the recovery period following the seizure

How to use the VNS Therapy® Magnet

Magnet Guide

To share this information or for more information about how to use and care for the magnet, see our VNS Therapy Magnet Guide.

Download VNS Therapy magnet guide
Frequently Asked Questions

VNS Therapy™ Magnet

What does the magnet do?

The magnet is used to provide an extra dose of therapy if a breakthrough seizure occurs and to temporarily suspend therapy.

How does the magnet work?

The VNS Therapy®generator has a sensor called the Reed switch. The Reed Switch can be activated and deactivated by the magnet which will start or stop stimulation.

How often can I use the magnet?

Use the magnet for extra stimulation as often as you like, but for no more than 8 hours (continuous stimulation). Constant or frequent use of the magnet will use up the battery in the generator and could hurt the nerve. If you use the magnet often, your device settings may need to be adjusted. This is something to discuss with your doctor.

Depending on the settings, using the magnet will provide an additional 7- 60 seconds of stimulation each time you use it. Using the magnet again during the same period will not make the stimulation stronger but will restart the magnet stimulation. Wait until the stimulation ends before trying it again.

Where can I get a new magnet?

You should receive two magnets when your device is implanted. Please contact your doctor for additional magnets.

Can I stop all my seizures with the magnet?

Results from magnet stimulation differ for each person.

Can electronic devices affect the magnet or will the magnet damage my other electronic devices?

The magnet should be kept at least 10 inches (25 cm) away from credit cards, televisions, computers, microwave ovens, and other magnets.

Can I use any magnet with the VNS Therapy device?

No, the VNS Therapy® Magnet is the only magnet that should be used with the VNS Therapy System.

Do I have to use the magnet to try and stop a seizure?

No. VNS Therapy® automatically delivers therapy at regular intervals throughout the day in an effort to control seizures. The magnet is an optional benefit that may provide additional seizure control should a breakthrough seizure occur.

How long will my magnet last?

With normal use, the VNS Therapy® Magnet should last about 3 years.

Is it possible to stop all stimulation using the magnet?

Yes. To stop stimulation, hold the magnet over the generator and keep it there (some people use tape). If you have unusual or painful stimulation, contact your doctor immediately.

When should I use the magnet?

Use the magnet under the following circumstances:

  1. To start stimulation when you feel a seizure coming on or any time during a seizure
  2. To stop stimulation if it is painful or you plan to give a speech or sing
  3. To test that the device is operating properly
Will dropping my magnet affect its strength?

The magnet’s strength should not be affected if it is dropped. This is a common problem with low-power magnets.

Will the magnet affect my normal treatment schedule?

The magnet overrides your normal treatment schedule, whether or not the device is ON at that time. Once the magnet-activated stimulation ends, the device will return to the treatment schedule set by your doctor.

Have questions about VNS Therapy?

Find answers to your VNS Therapy™ questions

Browse our comprehensive list of FAQs covering topics such as product safety, device usage, battery life, magnet and more. 

Visit Knowledge Base

VNS Therapy Safety Profile

The most common side effects of VNS Therapy include:

Shortness of breath
Sore throat

These side effects generally only occur during stimulation and usually decrease over time.

Infection is the most common side effect of the procedure.

You can find more safety information here.