Evidence-based medicine depends on the existence of controlled clinical trials that establish the safety and efficacy of specific therapeutic techniques. Many interventions in clinical practice have achieved widespread acceptance despite little evidence to support them in the scientific literature; the critical appraisal of these interventions based on accumulating experience is a goal of medicine. To clarify the current state of knowledge concerning the use of various drugs for intraspinal infusion in pain management, an expert panel conducted a thorough review of the published literature. The exhaustive review included 5 different groups of compounds, with morphine and bupivacaine yielding the most citations in the literature. The need for additional large published controlled studies was highlighted by this review, especially for promising agents that have been shown to be safe and efficacious in recent clinical studies.