Exeter Headache Clinic

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Educational Video Links for Doctors and Patients
Patient Information Sheets
Management Guidelines
Migraine Handbook for Self Management
Research Activity and Publications
Support for NHS Commissioners
School Policy Guidance
BASH GPwSI Meeting Presentations
Proposed NHS Devon Headache Referral Guidelines
Headache Support Groups
Contact us
How to find us
Statement on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Statement on the use of Triptans in Pregnancy
Information for Prescribing Doctors for Ordering Oxygen
Information for Prescribing Doctors for Prescribing Flunarizine
Statement by the Exeter Headache Clinic

1. We welcome the development of alternative non-drug treatments for migraine and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) offers an interesting option. 

2.  NICE has stated in a Health Technology Assessment that this intervention can be effective and in the short to medium term is safe. These assessments are for guidance only and do not commit the NHS to providing the treatment.  Decisions will be made by local NHS commissioners (in England NHS  Clinical Commissioning Groups) on the basis of whether they offer value for money or in cases of special circumstances.

3. This intervention is supported by one high quality trial for migraine with aura which showed moderate improvement.  39% of migraineurs were pain free at 2 hours compared with 22% in a comparative group that had a sham or dummy treatment.  There was no difference in migraine related quality of life outcomes in the two groups. The cost of TMS is £150 per month.

4.  Until further high quality evidence is forthcoming, TMS should be considered for the acute treatment of migraine where available acute treatments, used in conjunction with recommended preventative treatments have failed or cannot be taken due to unacceptable side effects or clinical contraindications. It cannot be considered as an alternative to drug therapy.

5.  Further information can be obtained from: 

and for patients: