Treatments for Meningitis

Treatments for meningitis would depend on the type and the severity of the infection. Treatment for bacterial meningitis would differ from that of viral meningitis

For Bacterial Meningitis:

  • In most cases, the patient will be hospitalized.
  • The doctor will administer broad spectrum antibiotic drugs until the actual cause of the infection is ascertained. Once the cause of the meningitis is confirmed, the doctor will promptly administer intravenous antibiotics, or cortisone-like drugs so as to enable a speedy recovery and to decrease the risk of further complications.
  • Sometimes, the doctor might recommend surgical intervention; as in the case of sinusitis or accumulation of infected fluid between the skull and membranes of the brain.
For Viral Meningitis:

  • Severe manifestations of viral meningitis symptoms would necessitate hospitalization. This may be followed by a similar treatment that is administered in the case of bacterial meningitis – antibiotics.
  • On receiving a confirmation in terms of the diagnosis, the doctor may withdraw the antibiotics but will most probably continue the intravenous fluids.
  • Patients who are diagnosed with mild viral meningitis do not require medication. The doctor will recommend plenty of rest, mild painkillers to alleviate headaches and an anti-emetics medication to control vomiting if present.
  • As far as home remedies for meningitis go, all that can be done is reducing the fever by using cold compresses, ensuring that the patient consumes fresh uncontaminated fluids and so on.
For Fungal Meningitis:

  • The treatments associated with fungal meningitis tend to have harsh side effects and are therefore withheld until laboratory results can confirm the diagnosis.

Frequently asked questions
  1. Justine Miranda, Allan R. Tunkel, Strategies and New Developments in the Management of Bacterial Meningitis, Infectious Disease Clinics of North America, Volume 23, Issue 4, December 2009, Pages 925-943, ISSN 0891-5520, 10.1016/j.idc.2009.06.014.
  2. Charles S Bryan, Kenneth L Reynolds, Linda Crout, Promptness of antibiotic therapy in acute bacterial meningitis, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Volume 15, Issue 5, May 1986, Pages 544-547, ISSN 0196-0644, 10.1016/S0196-0644(86)80990-8.
  3. Swati Waghdhare, Ashwini Kalantri, Rajnish Joshi, Shriprakash Kalantri, Accuracy of physical signs for detecting meningitis: A hospital-based diagnostic accuracy study, Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, Volume 112, Issue 9, November 2010, Pages 752-757, ISSN 0303-8467, 10.1016/j.clineuro.2010.06.003.