What are the possible adverse effects of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Although advances in brief anesthesia and neuromuscular paralysis have improved the safety and tolerability of ECT, this modality poses numerous risks, including those associated with general anesthesia, postictal confusion, and, more rarely, short-term memory difficulties. Especially in elderly patients, a preprocedure workup should be undertaken and should examine cardiac and vascular risk, because the procedure places a high cardiovascular demand on the patient.

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