Corticosteroids as Adjunctive Therapy for Acute Bacterial Meningitis

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Although anecdotal reports and the results of clinical trials suggest that corticosteroids may be efficacious in the treatment of acute bacterial meningitis, controlled and double-blind studies fail to support this view with the exception that corticosteroids may be of benefit for patients with pneumococcal meningitis. Corticosteroids may also be of benefit to patients with acute bacterial meningitis in the presence of life-threatening complications of increased intracranial pressure, such as coma, seizures, fluctuating blood pressure, or rapidly deteriorating mental status, but results of controlled or double-blind studies to substantiate this have not been reported. The possible advantages gained from the use of corticosteroids must be considered with regard to a significant detrimental effect in patients over 16 years of age.

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