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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Apr 16;(2):CD006754. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006754.pub2.

Anticonvulsants for cocaine dependence.

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1
ASL RM E, Department of Epidemiology, via Pellicone 5, Fosdinovo, Italy, 54035. sminozzi1@alice.it

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cocaine dependence is a major public health problem that is characterized by recidivism and a host of medical and psychosocial complications. Although effective pharmacotherapy is available for alcohol and heroin dependence none exists currently for cocaine dependence despite two decades of clinical trials primarily involving antidepressant, anti convulsivant and dopaminergic medications. There has been extensive consideration of optimal pharmacological approaches to the treatment of cocaine dependence with consideration of both dopamine antagonists and agonists. Anticonvulsants have been candidates for the treatment of addiction based on the hypothesis that seizure kindling-like mechanisms contribute to addiction.

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the efficacy and the acceptability of anticonvulsants for cocaine dependence

SEARCH STRATEGY:

We searched the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Groups specialised register (issue 4, 2007), MEDLINE (1966 - march 2007), EMBASE (1988 - march 2007), CINAHL (1982- to march 2007)

SELECTION CRITERIA:

All randomised controlled trials and controlled clinical trials which focus on the use of anticonvulsants medication for cocaine dependence

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Two authors independently evaluated the papers, extracted data, rated methodological quality

MAIN RESULTS:

Fifteen studies (1066 participants) met the inclusion criteria for this review: the anticonvulsants drugs studied were carbamazepine, gabapentin, lamotrigine, phenytoin, tiagabine, topiramate, valproate. No significant differences were found for any of the efficacy measures comparing any anticonvulsants with placebo. Placebo was found to be superior to gabapentin in diminishing the number of dropouts, two studies, 81 participants, Relative Risk (RR) 3.56 (95% CI 1.07 to 11.82) and superior to phenythoin for side effects, two studies, 56 participants RR 2.12 (95% CI 1.08 to 4.17). All the other single comparisons are not statistically significant.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS:

Although caution is needed when assessing results from a limited number of small clinical trials at present there is no current evidence supporting the clinical use of anticonvulsants medications in the treatment of cocaine dependence. Aiming to answer the urgent demand of clinicians, patients, families, and the community as a whole for an adequate treatment for cocaine dependence, we need to improve the primary research in the field of addictions in order to make the best possible use out of a single study and to investigate the efficacy of other pharmacological agent.

PMID:
18425968
DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD006754.pub2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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