The treatment for encephalitis depends on the infections agent: viral or bacterial. Treatment for viral encephalitis may include intravenous fluids, antiviral medications, and medications to control vomiting. Treatment for bacterial encephalitis may include intravenous fluids, antibiotics, corticosteroid medications, and medications to control vomiting. Acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be given for pain and fever control.
Treatment for encephalitis may include:
- Intravenous fluids
- Antibiotics for bacterial encephalitis:
- Cefotaxime (Claforan)
- Ceftazidime (Fortaz)
- Ampicillin (Omnipen, Principen)
- Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)
- Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)
- Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin)
- Vancomycin (Vancocin)
- Corticosteroids for bacterial encephalitis:
- Antiviral medications for viral encephalitis
- Medications for nausea
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for fever and pain
- Narcotic pain medication
- Prophylactic antibiotic:
For more information:
Encephalitis Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of encephalitis.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- Am I contagious?
- For how long?
- 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?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for complications?
- How do I avoid passing the infection to others?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat encephalitis:
Continue to Encephalitis Home Care
- Debiasi RL, Tyler KL. Molecular methods for diagnosis of viral encephalitis. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2004 Oct;17(4):903-25, table of contents. 
- Kennedy PG. Viral encephalitis: causes, differential diagnosis, and management. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2004 Mar;75 Suppl 1:i10-5. 
- Vernet G. Diagnosis of zoonotic viral encephalitis. Arch Virol Suppl. 2004;(18):231-44.