Brain Abscess Treatment
Most brain abscesses require surgery, in order to open the abscess and drain the infected fluid. After surgery, a person with a brain abscess usually receives prolonged treatment with antibiotics, for 4 to 8 weeks. Initially, the antibiotics may be given through an intravenous (IV) line. Corticosteroid medications may be used to reduce swelling around the brain. Complete healing may require a few months.
Treatment for a brain abscess includes:
- Surgery for brain abscess:
- To remove or drain the abscess
- Used to obtain a culture to identify the infecting organism
- Intravenous fluids
- Antibiotics for brain abscess:
- Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)
- Cefepime (Maxipime)
- Imipenem and cilastatin (Primaxin)
- Meropenem (Merrem IV)
- Metronidazole (Flagyl)
- Cefotaxime (Claforan)
- Ampicillin (Marcillin, Omnipen)
- Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin)
- Vancomycin (Vancocin)
- Ceftazidime (Fortaz, Ceptaz)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
Brain Abscess Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of a brain abscess.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Do I need to lose weight?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- Will I need occupational therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Brain Abscess Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat brain abscesses:
Continue to Brain Abscess Warning Signs
- Bernardini GL. Diagnosis and management of brain abscess and subdural empyema. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2004 Nov;4(6):448-56. 
- Roche M, Humphreys H, Smyth E, et al. A twelve-year review of central nervous system bacterial abscesses; presentation and aetiology. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2003 Aug;9(8):803-9. 
- Xiao F, Tseng MY, Teng LJ, Tseng HM, Tsai JC. Brain abscess: clinical experience and analysis of prognostic factors. Surg Neurol. 2005 May;63(5):442-9; discussion 449-50. 
- Yogev R, Bar-Meir M. Management of brain abscesses in children. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2004 Feb;23(2):157-9.