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Side Effects of ECT 

Side Effects of ECT
Side Effects of ECT
Electroconvulsive Therapy in Children and Adolescents

Angèle Consoli

, William de Carvalho

, and David Cohen


This chapter describes commonly known side effects of ECT, which may be due to the anesthesia or associated with the treatment itself. ECT is considered a low risk procedure and most commonly experienced side effects are minor in nature. Many of these side effects can be relieved by reassurance and over-the-counter medications. The minor side effects may include headache, muscle pain, nausea rarely associated with vomiting, confusion and post treatment agitation. Memory disturbance is usually limited to impaired short term memory during the treatment course and for a few weeks following the completion of the course. Adolescents who have been evaluated months or years following ECT do not differ significantly from those who did not receive this treatment. Prolonged seizures may be somewhat commoner in adolescents than in adults and may be prevented and treated by appropriate steps. No fatalities, which could be directly attributed to ECT, have been ever reported in this age group.

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