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Meningitis: Medicines for Pressure on the Brain - Topic Overview

Medicines used to treat pressure on the brain caused by meningitis include:

  • Dexamethasone.
  • Mannitol (Osmitrol).

These medicines reduce swelling (inflammation) in the brain tissues, which may lower the risk of developing short-term complications such as seizures and long-term complications such as hearing loss.

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Taking dexamethasone along with a course of antibiotics is recommended for people with some types of meningitis.1 It can lower the chance of disability and death.

Some side effects that can occur from these medicines include nausea and stomach discomfort, drowsiness or trouble sleeping, mood swings, and ringing in the ears.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: December 06, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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