December 1986

Four Days of Penicillin Therapy for Meningococcal Meningitis

Author Affiliations

From the Infectious Disease Unit, Department of Medicine, Hospital Bellvitge, University of Barcelona (Spain).

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(12):2380-2382. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360240108019

• Fifty consecutive patients with meningococcal meningitis aged 7 to 75 years (mean, 29 years) were treated with intravenous penicillin G sodium (2 to 3 × 105 U/kg/d) for four days. Two of the patients (both teenagers) died of fulminant infection during the first 36 hours of therapy and one elderly woman developed aspiration pneumonia requiring penicillin therapy to be prolonged beyond four days. The remaining 47 patients recovered from the infection. On the fourth day, fever, mild meningeal signs, and moderate elevations of cerebrospinal fluid cell counts and protein contents persisted in some patients; nevertheless, all patients were cured without relapse. The results of our study suggest that meningococcal meningitis may be successfully treated with a four-day course of intravenous penicillin G.

(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:2380-2382)