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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hemifacial spasm: successful treatment with felbamate.

Medical treatment of hemifacial spasm has generally been ineffectual. This report describes a 36-year-old man with a 7-year history of right hemifacial spasm who responded to felbamate (Felbatol) at doses of 1800-2800 mg per day. During treatment, he was able to achieve complete control of all spontaneous facial muscle spasms at rest. Activated hemifacial spasms, initiated by chewing, speaking, smiling, or grimacing were reduced in frequency and intensity of contraction by 40%-50%. Spontaneous worsening of the hemifacial spasms occurred at a dose of 3600 mg/day. Control of the hemifacial spasm was regained at a lower dose. This is the first reported use of felbamate for the control of hemifacial spasm. Microvascular decompression of the facial nerve has been the only known effective treatment for this condition. Successful felbamate therapy would provide an alternative to those patients for whom surgery is not a treatment option.[1]


  1. Hemifacial spasm: successful treatment with felbamate. Mellick, G.A. Journal of pain and symptom management. (1995) [Pubmed]
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