What is Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)?

Category: Procedures

Most popular types: GammaCore

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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 via a lead wire implanted under the skin.

Reported purpose & perceived effectiveness
Purpose Patients Evaluations Perceived Effectiveness
Epilepsy 95 91
Seizures (grand mal or tonic-clonic) 35 20
Seizures (complex partial) 32 58
Depressed mood 8 6
Major depressive disorder 5 3

Show all 16 reasons taken


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

Side effects

Side effects as an overall problem

Side effects as an overall problem
Severity Evaluations
Severe 9
Moderate 24
Mild 51
None 41

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

Side effect Patients
Voice changes 7
Hoarseness 4
Difficulty projecting voice 3
Neck pain 3
Raspy voice 3
Chest pain 2

Show all 50 reported side effects

Dosages

Based on patients currently having Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)

Dosage Patients
daily 8
as needed 4
all the time (24/7) 1
monthly 1
one time 1
three times daily 1
Adherence
Adherence Evaluations
Always 109
Usually 6
Sometimes 6
Never taken as prescribed 4
Burden
Burden Evaluations
Very hard to take 5
Somewhat hard to take 13
A little hard to take 21
Not at all hard to take 86
Cost per month
Cost per month Evaluations
$200+ 3
$100-199 1
$50-99 0
$25-49 0
< $25 70
Not specified 51
Last updated:

19 patient evaluations for Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)

Sep 8, 2018 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Moderate (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    Mild (coughing while drinking, phlegm, hoarseness, dry cough)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Advice & Tips: still hoarse some and only have problem swallowing a drink when the Tachecardia sensor turns it on.
Cost: < $25 monthly

May 9, 2018 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Moderate (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    Mild (coughing while drinking, phlegm, hoarseness, dry cough)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Nov 16, 2017 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Moderate (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Advice & Tips: left lead has 2 wires and the new VNS's have 1. So had to get a new lead on mt right sideon 8/29/17.
Cost: < $25 monthly

Dec 11, 2016 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    Mild (phlegm, hoarseness, dry cough)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Oct 14, 2016 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    Mild (phlegm, hoarseness, dry cough)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Advice & Tips: Ever since increasing the frequency last time my seizures dropped at a very noticlable rate unless I was very stressed. The end of September I noticed the hiccups happen only after using the magnet. So I want magnet lowered to match when the VNS goes off normally. I want what ever they did increased by half.
Cost: < $25 monthly

May 24, 2016 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Moderate (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    Mild (phlegm, hoarseness, dry cough)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Apr 26, 2016 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Advice & Tips: Was implanted 8/12/09 and on my last study visit approx January 2014 it was at 50%.  my first clinic on 2/13/14  its still 50%. On 1/18/16 it was raised along with my Aptiom.  Seizures Decreased but not sure why, still at 50%. At this appointment 4/25/16 it was increased again along with making the maknet setting higher.  Was STILL at 50%.    I asked his nurse  and was told so BS excuse that is where it should be.  you Mean to tell me that in 5 years 4 months I used 50%. But 2 years 5 months later It is common to have not used even 1%.  I think it should have at least used 5-10%.
Cost: < $25 monthly

Nov 12, 2015 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Advice & Tips: no packing list.
Cost: < $25 monthly

Feb 19, 2015 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Jan 21, 2015 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Advice & Tips: the last replacement of the generator was 8-12-2009. not sure how much more juice this uses now since increased. After my last visit in December 18th 2014 the seizure have gone down the following week but are back up now. I have had 136 in the past 4 weeks according to this.
Cost: < $25 monthly

Dec 20, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Nov 28, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Nov 18, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    Mild (phlegm, hoarseness)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Advice & Tips: the cough lasted only 2 hours after the increase.
Cost: < $25 monthly

Nov 3, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Oct 24, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Advice & Tips: wanna raise strength maybe frequency.
Cost: < $25 monthly

Oct 21, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Oct 17, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Oct 14, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Oct 12, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Advice & Tips: eanna raise it or the frequency.
Cost: < $25 monthly

Oct 11, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Oct 9, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Advice & Tips: curious about raising it. Since being replaced it has only been changed a couple times. I just dont want it to be as strong as the magnet. msybe legthen time on. Ask Dr. Labiner
Cost: < $25 monthly

Oct 7, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Advice & Tips: like to try to raise VNS a little. Dont think we do much but check it in the drug study may have raised the manual activation strength. Can't remember any other times.
Cost: < $25 monthly

Oct 5, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Sep 26, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Sep 25, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Sep 18, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Sep 15, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Sep 12, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Advice & Tips: at about 50% so have 4-5 more years on this one.
Cost: < $25 monthly

Sep 10, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Sep 8, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Sep 4, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

Aug 31, 2014 (Started Dec 10, 1999)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

  • 0 helpful marks

Jul 31, 2017 (Started )

  • Effectiveness
    Slight (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    Mild (raspy voice)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    A little hard to take
Advice & Tips: Thus far it has been only 20 days that i have been on VNS the compliance factor is great and there is a slight cough when i use the magnet otherwise the impact of VNS is dramatic -- i have had only 1 seizure since the operation and it was controlled greatly with the magnet.
Cost: < $25 monthly

  • 2 helpful marks

Jan 12, 2014 (Started Jul 21, 2010)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for seizures (grand mal or tonic-clonic))
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: Daily
Advice & Tips: I STRONGLY suggest to all of you who are a candidate for a VNS to go for it. You have nothing to lose. This has changed my life and my family's also. I even finally got my drivers license at the age of 42. Miracles can happen.
Cost: < $25 monthly
Side effects: strange cough

Jun 17, 2012 (Started Jul 21, 2010)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for seizures (grand mal or tonic-clonic))
  • Side effects
    Mild (strange cough)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: Daily
Advice & Tips: I can only say this the VNS has changed my life totqlly and I have a new outlook for life. I feel better and I want to wake up in the morning and look forward to the day. I must say if you have the opportunity to have this procedure done take it.
Cost: < $25 monthly
Side effects: strange cough

Oct 6, 2010 (Started Jul 21, 2010)

  • Effectiveness
    Slight (for seizures (grand mal or tonic-clonic))
  • Side effects
    Mild
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: Daily
Advice & Tips: Patience, this treatment takes a lot of patience. There are many side effects and it takes a lot of time but in my eyes in the long run it will all be worth it. I just went through a day where I had 4 grand mal seizures in one day and ended up in the ICU for three days. My wife told my that the seizures were shorter and I came out of them faster so I look at it this way The VNS is starting to work. I just have to be patient and that is the best advice I can give to anyone thinking of this procedure. Be PATIENT it will work out in time.
Cost: < $25 monthly
Side effects: strange cough

Aug 25, 2010 (Started Jul 21, 2010)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for seizures (grand mal or tonic-clonic))
  • Side effects
    Moderate
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: Daily
Advice & Tips: I only had the surgery a month ago but I have already seen improvements. I have had seizures without losing consciousness or having convulsions. I am very horse but i am sure when they find the right level my voice will get back to normal. I mean after all the stimulator is going off every 5 minutes right now. i can't tell when it goes off anymore. I could for the first couple of days.
Side effects: strange cough

  • 1 helpful mark
Last updated:
Showing 3 of 19 patient evaluations for Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)