Which antiviral medications are 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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Multiple antiviral medications are currently being tested in the general population; their impact on preventing the potential, rare sequelae of viral meningitis has not yet been established. In herpetic viral infections, acyclovir is significantly beneficial only if given very early in the course of the infection. Suspected cases should be treated as soon as possible; in cases complicated by seizures, encephalitis is assumed and acyclovir should be initiated.

Anti-HIV therapy is initiated when the patient’s history or associated risk factors suggest the early phases of HIV meningoencephalitis.

Ganciclovir for CMV-related infections is reserved for severe cases with positive CMV culture or when a congenital infection or an AIDS-related infection is strongly suspected.

Administration of IVIg to neonates with overwhelming enteroviral meningitis has met with occasional success and is reserved for severe cases lacking other therapeutic options.

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