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

Yolanda Alvarez, Magí Farré, Francina Fonseca, Marta Torrens

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25 Citations (Scopus)


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. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-73
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Anticonvulsant
  • Cocaine dependence, Retention
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic review


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