New review out now: Epilepsy drug fails crack addiction

This review asked whether a drug for epilepsy seizures – Topiramate – can help treat cocaine addiction, reduce cocaine use and prolong treatment retention.
No current evidence supports the clinical use of Topiramate for the treatment of cocaine dependence.

·      We looked at all scientific literature up until December 2014.
·      We also wanted to see how whether people quit treatment prematurely and whether they had any side effects. We included people of any gender, age or ethnicity.


       We found 5 studies with 518 patients; all were done in USA
       Topiramate did not help people stay in treatment longer
·      The mean duration of the trials was 13 weeks (range eight to 24 weeks).
·      The side effects were the same for Topiramate and placebo.
Topiramate could possibly help people stay cocaine-free without having more side effects than placebo.

       There is no drug for cocaine dependence.
       In the past, researchers have studied whether drugs for depression, epilepsy or seizures could treat cocaine addiction.
       There is a need to understand how to treat cocaine addiction. 
Reference: Singh, M., Keer, D., Klimas, J., Wood, E., Werb, D. Topiramate for Cocaine Dependence: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Control Trials. Addiction, 2016, In Press:
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