Objectives: To compare the effect of 10 days versus 14 days of antibiotic therapy in neonatal meningitis on treatment failure rate.
Methods: The study was a randomized controlled trial conducted at a referral neonatal unit. The participants were 70 neonates with meningitis randomized to receive 10 days (study group) or 14 days (control group) of antibiotics. The primary outcome measure studied was treatment failure in each group within 28 days of enrolment.
Results: None of the neonates among either of the groups had occurrence of meningitis during follow-up. Occurrence of sepsis was observed after discharge in three neonates in the control group and none in the study group. Brainstem-evoked response audiometry was abnormal in one neonate in the study group. Adverse effects of drugs and neurological deficits were not observed in the study population.
Conclusions: Short course of antibiotic therapy (10 days) is effective, with potential benefits of shorter hospital stay.