Several trials have asserted that some anticonvulsant drugs seem to be useful for the prophylaxis of migraine, but systematic reviews are sparse. We independently searched PubMed, EMBASE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials until 2005, as well as Headache and Cephalalgia through April 2006, for prospective, controlled trials of anticonvulsant drugs. Data were calculated and pooled across studies and expressed as standardized mean differences, odds ratios and numbers-needed-to-treat. Anticonvulsants, considered as a class, reduce migraine frequency by about 1.3 attacks per 28 days compared with placebo, and more than double the number of patients for whom migraine frequency is reduced by ≥ 50% relative to placebo. Sodium valproate/divalproex sodium and topiramate were better than placebo, whereas acetazolamide, clonazepam, lamotrigine and vigabatrin were not; gabapentin, in particular, needs further evaluation. Trials designed with sufficient power to compare different drugs are also necessary.