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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2010 Jan;38(1):66-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2009.07.001. Epub 2009 Aug 29.

Anticonvulsant drugs in cocaine dependence: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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  • 1Human Pharmacology Unit, IMIM-Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain.


A systematic review and meta-analysis according to the methodology developed by the Cochrane Collaboration and the Quality of Reporting of Meta-Analyses statement based on randomized controlled trials to evaluate the efficacy of anticonvulsants in subjects with cocaine dependence were performed. Fifteen randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials involving 1,236 patients were included. Two outcome measures were evaluated: retention in the anticonvulsant treatment (compared to the placebo treatment) and the subsequent cocaine use, measured by urinalysis results. The efficacy of the seven anticonvulsant drugs analyzed was not homogenous. On average, 50% of the enrolled participants were lost to follow-up. Treatments did not show an improvement in subject retention compared to placebo. Overall, the number of cocaine-positive urine samples was close to statistical significance (95% confidence interval = 0.85-1.06) compared to placebo. Available clinical trials indicate that there is insufficient evidence to justify the use of anticonvulsant drugs in treating cocaine dependence.

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