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Neurology India
Medknow Publications on behalf of the Neurological Society of India
ISSN: 0028-3886
EISSN: 0028-3886
Vol. 50, No. 1, 2002, pp. 63-67
Bioline Code: ni02015
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Neurology India, Vol. 50, No. 1, 2002, pp. 63-67

 en Dexamethasone Therapy for Bacterial Meningitis in Adults : A Double Blind Placebo Control Study
D. Gijwani, M.R. Kumhar, V.B. Singh, V.S. Chadda, P.K. Soni, K.C. Nayak, B.K. Gupta


Routine use of steroids in the treatment of bacterial meningitis remains controversial. A prospective placebo controlled double blind study of dexamethasone was carried out in 40 patients (age>10 years) of acute bacterial meningitis. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either placebo (n=20) or dexamethasone (n=20) in addition to injection ceftriaxone 100 mg/kg/day (maximum 4 gm/day) for 14 days. Dexamethasone sodium phosphate was given in dose of 0.6 mg/kg/day in 4 divided doses, for first 4 days of therapy. First dose of dexamethasone was given 15 minutes prior to first dose of ceftriaxone. Baseline demographics, clinical and laboratory features of the two groups were similar. Clinical improvement of signs of meningeal irritation was rapid in dexamethasone group than in the placebo group, but no significant difference was observed regarding resolution of fever, headache and vomiting. Secondary fever (mean+SD 15.00), gastrointestinal tract bleeding (mean+SD 15.00) and psychiatric manifestations (mean+SD 10.00) were more common in dexamethasone group. Neurological complications and hearing loss were more common and severe in placebo group as compared to the dexamethasone group (p<0.05). It is concluded that dexamethasone may be beneficial in some aspects of bacterial meningitis, in adults. A study with a larger number of cases in each group is recommended.

Dexamethasone, Bacterial meningitis, Adults

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