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Review: anticonvulsant drugs relieve chronic but not acute pain
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 QUESTION: In patients with acute or chronic pain, how effective are anticonvulsant drugs in providing pain relief?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline (1966 to July 1999), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1994 to July 1999), SIGLE (1980 to July 1999), the Cochrane Library, and the reference lists of relevant studies and by contacting investigators in the field. 40 medical journals were also handsearched for the period between 1950 and 1990.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials that investigated the analgesic effects of anticonvulsant drugs in adults and if pain assessment was an outcome measure. Studies of migraine or headache were excluded.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on number of patients, anticonvulsant drug and dosing regimen, pain condition, study design (placebo or active control), study duration and follow up, …

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