Anticonvulsant medication use for the management of pain following spinal cord injury: systematic review and effectiveness analysis

Aging, Rehabilitation and Geriatric Care, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada.
Spinal Cord (Impact Factor: 1.7). 12/2013; 52(2). DOI: 10.1038/sc.2013.146
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Study design:Systematic review and effectiveness analysis.Objectives:Assess the effectiveness of anticonvulsants for the management of post spinal cord injury (SCI) neuropathic pain.Setting:Studies from multiple countries were included.Methods:CINAHL, Cochrane, EMBASE and MEDLINE were searched up to April 2013. Quality assessment was conducted using the Jadad and the Downs and Black tools. Effect sizes and odds ratios were calculated for primary and secondary outcome in the included studies.Results:Gabapentinoids, valproate, lamotrigine, levetiracetam and carbamazepine were examined in the 13 included studies, ten of which are randomized controlled trials. Large effect size (0.873-3.362) for improvement of pain relief was found in 4 of the 6 studies examining the effectiveness of gabapentin. Pregabalin was shown to have a moderate to large effect (0.695-3.805) on improving neuropathic pain post SCI in 3 studies. Valproate and levetiracetam were not effective in improving neuropathic pain post SCI, while lamotrigine was effective in reducing neuropathic pain amongst persons with incomplete lesions and carbamazepine was found effective for relief of moderate to intense pain.Conclusion:Gabapentin and pregabalin are the two anticonvulsants which have been shown to have some benefit in reducing neuropathic pain.Spinal Cord advance online publication, 3 December 2013; doi:10.1038/sc.2013.146.

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