ECT is given two to three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for a total of six to twelve treatments. Some patients may need more or fewer treatments. Once symptoms are resolved, ECT is usually discontinued.
Continuation/maintenance ECT is recommended for patients whose depression has not responded well to medications (treatment-resistant depression) or patients who are unable to tolerate antidepressants. It is usually given for a period of several months with each treatment separated in time by one or more weeks. Continuation/maintenance ECT is expected to prevent the return of the psychiatric condition.