Which medications in the drug class Antibiotics 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...
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These agents are used to treat or prevent infection caused by the most likely pathogen suspected or identified.

Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)

Ceftriaxone is a third-generation cephalosporin with broad-spectrum gram-negative activity. It has lower efficacy against gram-positive organisms but has excellent activity against susceptible pneumococcal organisms. It exerts an antimicrobial effect by interfering with the synthesis of peptidoglycan, a major structural component of the bacterial cell wall. It is an excellent antibiotic for the empiric treatment of bacterial meningitis.

Ceftazidime (Tazicef, Fortaz)

Ceftazidime is a third-generation cephalosporin with broad-spectrum activity against gram-negative organisms, lower efficacy against gram-positive organisms, and higher efficacy against resistant organisms. By binding to one or more of the penicillin-binding proteins, it arrests bacterial cell wall synthesis and inhibits bacterial replication.

Cefotaxime (Claforan)

Cefotaxime is a third-generation cephalosporin that is used to treat suspected or documented bacterial meningitis caused by susceptible organisms, such as H influenzae or N meningitidis. Like other beta-lactam antibiotics, cefotaxime inhibits bacterial growth by arresting bacterial cell wall synthesis.


Newer antibiotics are available, but aminoglycosides, such as gentamicin, remain significant in treating severe infections. Aminoglycosides inhibit protein synthesis by irreversibly binding to 30S ribosome. In meningitis or gram-negative meningitides, administer intrathecally because of poor CNS penetration. Dosing regimens are numerous; adjust the dose based on CrCl and changes in the volume of distribution.

Doxycycline (Doryx, Adoxa, Monodox)

Doxycycline inhibits protein synthesis and, therefore, bacterial growth by binding with 30S and possibly 50S ribosomal subunits of susceptible bacteria.

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