How to Treat Meningitis

Treatments for meningitis may vary depending on the type of the disease, the cause, the age of the patient, the extent of the infection, and the presence of other medical conditions. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if the symptoms of meningitis develop. Early treatment for meningitis can prevent serious complications.woman-injection-arm-120405Treatments for Bacterial Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is the most serious form of the disease. Without proper and immediate medical treatment, bacterial meningitis may cause severe brain damage and even death. It can prove fatal in a matter of days. Bacterial meningitis is treated with intravenous antibiotics and cortisonelike medications to ensure recovery and reduce the risk of complications. The specific antibiotic used depends on the bacterium responsible for the infection. Antibiotic therapy is very effective and may reduce the fatality rate to approximately 10 percent.

Treatments for Viral Meningitis

There is no specific treatment for viral meningitis. Antibiotics cannot cure viral meningitis. Mild cases of viral meningitis can be treated by drinking extra liquids to prevent dehydration because infections increase the body’s need for fluids. Other treatments may include bed rest and medications to control pain and fever. In a severe case, when you are not able to drink enough, the liquids can be given into a vein (IV). The doctor must control the amount of fluids given because people with meningitis may develop problems if they have too much or not enough fluid. Most patients recover from viral meningitis within a week or two and suffer no lasting effects.

Treatments for Other Cases of Meningitis

The doctor may start antiviral and antibiotic treatment while a cause of meningitis is being determined. In the case of fungal meningitis, treatments may be deferred until the cause is confirmed by a laboratory test. It is because fungal meningitis treatments are associated with harmful side effects.

Cortisonelike medications may be used to treat non-infectious meningitis due to allergic reaction or autoimmune disease. In certain cases, the disease may not require specific treatment because it can resolve on its own. Cancer related meningitis requires therapy for the individual cancer.

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