Which medication is used in the treatment of viral meningitis?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Cordia Wan, MD; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Symptomatic control with antipyretics, analgesics, and antiemetics is usually all that is needed in the management of uncomplicated viral meningitis.

The decision to start antibacterial therapy for treatment of possible bacterial meningitis is the most crucial; empiric antibacterial therapy for likely pathogens should be considered in the context of the clinical setting.

Acyclovir should be used in cases suspicious for HSV (patients with herpetic lesions), and is usually used empirically in more severe cases complicated by encephalitis or sepsis.

Anti-HIV therapy is initiated when the patient’s history strongly suggests the presence of HIV infection and/or confirmatory tests have proven that an infection exists. Ganciclovir for CMV-related infections is reserved for severe cases with positive CMV culture or congenital infection, or for immunocompromised patients.

Administration of IVIg to neonates with overwhelming enteroviral meningitis has met with only occasional success and is not covered in this section.

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