The pharmacotherapy of relapse prevention using anticonvulsants

Am J Addict. 1998 Summer;7(3):205-9.


This review of anticonvulsants for relapse prevention in substance abusers focuses on a series of clinical trials among cocaine abusers. Based on a preclinical rationale linking kindling with drug craving, several studies by Halikas et al. found reductions in cocaine use and craving among "compliant" subjects with blood levels above 4 mu/ml. Three independent randomized trials found no difference from placebo in cocaine use, although treatment retention may be higher during the first 6 weeks, and alcohol use might be less at follow-up after medication discontinuation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Recurrence
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / rehabilitation
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*


  • Anticonvulsants