Chronic central pain is a frequent complication after spinal cord injury. Anticonvulsant drugs, among them valproate, have been recommended for treatment. In this paper we conducted a double-blind, cross-over study comparing valproate and placebo for severe chronic central pain. During the study, serum concentration of valproate, pain and side effects were registered and the dose was adjusted according to these. No significant analgesic effects of valproate could be demonstrated although serum concentration and dose reached a high level. Few studies of pain following spinal cord injury exist and we recommend that further studies be performed.
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