MYOCLONIC seizures of infancy and early childhood are generally resistant to conventional anticonvulsant drugs although their treatment has been facilitated in part by the use of corticotropin.1,2 Corticotropin is advocated particularly in young infants with hypsarhythmia in the electroencephalogram; a beneficial response is unrelated to the apparent cause of the seizures.2 Partial and occasionally complete control of seizures may be expected in approximately 50% of patients with infantile spasms but the remainder are unresponsive and mental deterioration is unrelieved. The need for new and more effective agents in the management of this type of seizure disorder is apparent.
Nitrazepam (Mogadon), an analogue of chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride (Librium), is more potent than other benzodiazepine derivatives against experimental seizures in animals; its anticonvulsant efficacy has been demonstrated in clinical trials. Liske and Forster3 found that myoclonic, psychomotor, and petit mal seizure patterns were influenced most favorably. Markham4 recommended nitrazepam