Seventy-nine children were enrolled in a study to compare seven vs ten days of ceftriaxone therapy for bacterial meningitis. On the basis of a computer-generated list of therapy assignments, 35 children with Haemophilus, pneumococcal, or group B streptococcal meningitis each were assigned to seven- or ten-day treatment regimens; nine children with meningococcal meningitis received seven days of therapy. The population characteristics and etiologic agents were similar for the two treatment groups, as were also the findings on examination and culture of cerebrospinal fluid at completion of therapy. There were no significant differences in the frequency and types of neurological complications between the two treatment groups; four patients in each group had two or more neurological abnormalities. The rates of nosocomial infections and prolonged and secondary fever were similar in those who received seven days of therapy compared with patients treated for the conventional ten days. Diarrhea occurred in 44% of those receiving the drug. Patients treated with the seven-day regimen were discharged from the hospital approximately two days earlier than those with the ten-day regimen.
Lin T, Chrane DF, Nelson JD, McCracken GH. Seven Days of Ceftriaxone Therapy Is as Effective as Ten Days' Treatment for Bacterial Meningitis. JAMA. 1985;253(24):3559-3563. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350480067021