Which medications in the drug class Corticosteroids are used in the treatment of Aseptic Meningitis?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
  • Print


The use of steroids has been shown to improve the overall outcome of patients with certain types of bacterial meningitis, such as H influenzae, tuberculous, and pneumococcal meningitis. In general, corticosteroids are avoided but occasionally, glucocorticoids, such as dexamethasone, are useful when meningitis is associated with signs of increased intracranial pressure. If steroids are given, they should be administered prior to or during the administration of antimicrobial therapy. Meningitis from Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome responds to prednisone in moderate to high doses.

Dexamethasone (Baycadron)

Dexamethasone has many pharmacologic benefits such as stabilizing cell and lysosomal membranes. It increases surfactant synthesis, increases serum vitamin A concentrations, inhibits prostaglandin and proinflammatory cytokines (e.g., TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-2, and IFN-gamma). The timing of dexamethasone administration is crucial. If used, it should be administered before or with the first dose of antibacterial therapy. This is to counteract the initial inflammatory burst consequent to antibiotic-mediated bacterial killing. A more intense inflammatory reaction has been documented following the massive bacterial killing induced by antibiotics.

Prednisone (Rayos)

Prednisone is an immunosuppressant used for treatment of autoimmune disorders; it may decrease inflammation by reversing increased capillary permeability and suppressing PMN activity. It stabilizes lysosomal membranes and suppresses lymphocyte and antibody production.

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