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What side effects could I have fromelectroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for bipolar disorder mania?

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Safety risks from ECT are related mainly to the risks of general anesthesia. Some people with certain heart problems shouldn't get ECT or may need especially close monitoring.

Headache and short-term memory loss are the most common side effects of the procedure. But these usually don’t last long.

If you have it while pregnant, there is a chance you could go into early labor, so the anesthesiologist must keep a close watch on you during the procedure.

Other side effects include:

  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches
  • Jaw pain

SOURCES: American Psychiatric Association: Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder, 2002.  Cleveland Clinic Foundation: "Your Guide to Electroconvulsive Therapy."  , 2000. Ghaziuddin, N.  , December 2004. Kahn, D. , April 2000. Kowatch, R.  , March 2005. Medscape: "Long-term Management of Bipolar Disorder: Psychopharmacologic Management." National Institute for Mental Health: "Bipolar Disorder booklet, 2001." , 326: 1363-1367.  The Expert Consensus Guideline Series: Medication Treatment of Bipolar Disorder 2000, A Postgraduate Medicine Special Report, April 2007.









Clinician ReviewsJournal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent PsychiatryPostgraduate Medical Special ReportJournal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent PsychiatryBritish Medical Journal

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on September 09, 2016

SOURCES: American Psychiatric Association: Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder, 2002.  Cleveland Clinic Foundation: "Your Guide to Electroconvulsive Therapy."  , 2000. Ghaziuddin, N.  , December 2004. Kahn, D. , April 2000. Kowatch, R.  , March 2005. Medscape: "Long-term Management of Bipolar Disorder: Psychopharmacologic Management." National Institute for Mental Health: "Bipolar Disorder booklet, 2001." , 326: 1363-1367.  The Expert Consensus Guideline Series: Medication Treatment of Bipolar Disorder 2000, A Postgraduate Medicine Special Report, April 2007.









Clinician ReviewsJournal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent PsychiatryPostgraduate Medical Special ReportJournal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent PsychiatryBritish Medical Journal

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on September 09, 2016

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