In spite of the large increase in the number of anticonvulsant drugs in the three decades since the introduction of phenobarbitone, new remedies are constantly being sought. The present state of therapy of the epilepsies remains rather unsatisfactory. Drug therapy, which is still the most widely used form of treatment, is at best a maintenance treatment, i.e. the patient has to continue with it at least for many years to control the attacks. Even then a large number of sufferers continue to have seizures, often as frequently as once a month, which elude treatment. Surgery, which has found a wider application recently, is not radical either in many cases, and has to be followed up by medication over many years. The situation is further complicated by the fact that many anticonvulsant drugs, even when effective, produce unpleasant or dangerous side effects and have to be abandoned. One has also to consider the enormous psychological effects of the disease on the patient. The social stigma which epilepsy confers and the continual threat of an impending fit are often far more disabling than the actual seizures.
Lately three favourable clinical reports have appeared in American journals on a new anticonvulsant drug called “Hibicon” (Gotton et al., 1951; Kaplan et al., 1952; Hawkes, 1952). Lederle Laboratories Division, American Cyanamid Company have kindly put a quantity of Hibicon at our disposal for a therapeutic trial in this country. We are reporting our experiences with this drug on a group of forty patients suffering from various types of epilepsy.