Long-standing track record of efficacy, especially in severe, life threatening cases of depression or Bipolar Disorder.
May be a useful, lifesaving alternative for patients who may not want or tolerate medications (elderly patients, pregnant patients).
Most effective and rapid treatment if psychosis is present.
Utility of maintenance treatment with ECT has been shown to help patients when medications no longer are as effective.
Treatment can be transitioned to or even started in an outpatient setting.
Improvements have resulted in a better tolerated treatment.
Relatively good third-party coverage for this treatment.
The use of anesthesia and induction of a generalized seizure results in short-term cognitive side-effects immediately after treatment.
Allergic reaction to anesthetic, risk of infection due to need for IV.
Memory loss immediately prior to or after the treatment may occur.
Drowsiness, headaches, muscle soreness can occur after treatment.
May require up to 12 treatments before efficacy is established.
Cannot work or drive on days that ECT is received.