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Metharbital (Gemonil) in Myoclonic Spasms of Infancy and Related Disorders

MEYER A. PERLSTEIN, M.D.
AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;93(4):425-429. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.02060040427011.
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Six years have elapsed since a previous report1 was published on the uses of metharbital (Gemonil) (5,5-diethyl-1-methylbarbituric acid) in various convulsive disorders. This relatively new, nontoxic barbiturate, which had shown marked anticonvulsant activity against pentamethylenetetrazol (Metrazol)-induced convlusions in mice and cats,2 was found to be clinically effective in dosages which did not produce sedation.

Since no single drug is effective in all types of seizures, and since certain drugs have selective beneficial effects in specific types of seizures, it is always worth while subjecting new drugs to a critical evaluation. In the previous clinical investigation of metharbital (at that time known as Gemonal) 50 patients were studied, ranging in age from 4 months to 64 years. The average age was about 8 years, and dosage varied from 20 mg. to 180 mg. (½ to 3 grains) given two to four times daily, according to the patient's requirements. Metharbital

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