Which medications in the drug class Antibiotics 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...
  • Print
Answer

Antibiotics

Empiric therapy for likely pathogens should be considered in the context of the clinical setting. Broad-spectrum coverage is attained with ampicillin and a third-generation cephalosporin (ceftriaxone or cefotaxime; ceftazidime can also be used). Aminoglycosides are used in severe infections in neonates or children.

Ampicillin

Ampicillin is a broad-spectrum penicillin. It interferes with bacterial cell wall synthesis during active replication, causing bactericidal activity against susceptible organisms. It is an alternative to amoxicillin when unable to take medication orally. It is indicated for L monocytogenes and S agalactiae meningitis, usually in combination with gentamicin.

Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)

Ceftriaxone is a third-generation cephalosporin with broad-spectrum, gram-negative activity. It has lower efficacy against gram-positive organisms and higher efficacy against resistant organisms. Bactericidal activity results from inhibiting cell wall synthesis by binding to one or more penicillin binding proteins. It exerts antimicrobial effect by interfering with synthesis of peptidoglycan, a major structural component of bacterial cell wall. Bacteria eventually lyse due to the ongoing activity of cell wall autolytic enzymes while cell wall assembly is arrested.

Cefotaxime (Claforan)

Cefotaxime is a third-generation cephalosporin with broad gram-negative spectrum, lower efficacy against gram-positive organisms, and higher efficacy against resistant organisms. It arrests bacterial cell wall synthesis by binding to one or more of the penicillin-binding proteins, which in turn inhibits bacterial growth. Safety profile is more favorable than aminoglycosides. It is used to treat suspected or documented bacterial meningitis caused by susceptible organisms such as H influenzae or N meningitides.

Ceftazidime (Fortaz, Tazicef)

Ceftazidime is a third-generation cephalosporin with broad-spectrum, gram-negative activity, including pseudomonas; lower efficacy against gram-positive organisms and higher efficacy against resistant organisms. It arrests bacterial growth by binding to one or more penicillin-binding proteins, which, in turn, inhibit the final transpeptidation step of peptidoglycan synthesis in bacterial cell wall synthesis, thus inhibiting cell wall biosynthesis. The condition of the patient, severity of the infection, and susceptibility of the microorganism should determine the proper dose and route of administration.

Gentamicin

Gentamicin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic that inhibits protein synthesis by irreversibly binding to 30s ribosome. Aminoglycosides are used in severe infections in neonates or children.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!