What is Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) Adjustment?

Category: Procedures


Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is an adjunctive treatment for certain types of intractable epilepsy and major depression. VNS uses an implanted stimulator that sends electric impulses to the left vagus nerve in the neck. The amount of stimulation may require adjustment depending on patient response.

Reported purpose & perceived effectiveness
Purpose Patients Evaluations Perceived Effectiveness
Seizures 10 8
Major depressive disorder 3 0
Epilepsy 1 0
Pain 1 0

  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell

Side effects

Side effects as an overall problem

Side effects as an overall problem
Severity Evaluations
Severe 0
Moderate 3
Mild 5
None 0

Commonly reported side effects and conditions associated with Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) Adjustment

Side effect Patients
Voice changes 2
Breathing difficulty 1
Dry cough 1
Electric shock sensations 1
Loss of speech 1
Nerve pain in neck 1

Show all 9 reported side effects


Based on patients currently having Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) Adjustment

Dosage Patients
as needed 2
monthly 1
Adherence Evaluations
Always 7
Usually 1
Sometimes 0
Never taken as prescribed 0
Burden Evaluations
Very hard to take 0
Somewhat hard to take 1
A little hard to take 1
Not at all hard to take 6
Cost per month
Cost per month Evaluations
$200+ 0
$100-199 0
$50-99 0
$25-49 2
< $25 1
Not specified 5
Last updated:

1 patient evaluation for Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) Adjustment

Jan 9, 2013 (Started Jan 09, 2012)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epileptic tendencies)
  • Effectiveness
    Major (for seizures)
  • Side effects
    Mild (toothache, throat tightness, breathing difficulty, dry cough, voice changes, nerve pain in neck)
  • Adherence
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: Every 6 Weeks
Advice & Tips: The side effects I listed above I only experience whenever the VNS device actually goes off, like right now I can feel the electrical pulse going up my throat, through my teeth on the left side of my mouth which doesn't feel good, and if I were talking, it would sound like I suddenly went "horse" as if I had been screaming my head off all night long at a football game. When the pulse stops, like it just did, my voice returns and I can breathe normally. I wake in the morning with a sore throat that goes away quickly. I often cough when it goes off and since it feels or does cut off my throat, I have to be careful when eating or drinking so I don't choke. It can be embarrassing but after about a year, I got used to it and figured out what to do. I'm better now. The thing to remember is you'll need time and patience before you'll start to see and notice the changes you want. It's been 18 months and I'm only now hoping that I'm finally on a good roll.

  • 0 helpful marks
Last updated:
Showing 1 of 1 patient evaluation for Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) Adjustment