Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care pain and fever adults pain and fever children vomiting warning signs Complications Underlying Cause Transmission Anatomy

Viral Encephalitis Home Care

Most people with encephalitis are initially treated in the hospital. Those with mild symptoms may be managed at home.

Home care for encephalitis may include:

Viral Encephalitis Pain and Fever Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and fever in adults with encephalitis include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Viral Encephalitis Pain and Fever Children

Common medications used at home for pain and fever in children with encephalitis include:

Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.



Viral Encephalitis Vomiting

Home care for vomiting in someone with encephalitis:

  • Drink clear liquids only, such as water, sports drinks, fruit juice and dilute tea. Sports drinks are best. The absence of food allows the intestines to rest.
  • Drink small quantities of fluids frequently. In general, two tablespoons of fluid every 5 minutes is an effective strategy.
  • Avoid milk and dairy products for 3 days.
  • Avoid liquids that irritate the stomach, such as citrus juice, alcohol and coffee.
  • If nausea or vomiting continues despite the above, consider one of the nonprescription medicines listed below.
  • Once vomiting and nausea resolves, start bland foods first. If you tolerate bland food, then you can resume a normal diet.

Nonprescription medications for vomiting include:

Viral Encephalitis Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have encephalitis and any of the following:

Continue to Viral Encephalitis Complications

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Viral Encephalitis References
  1. Debiasi RL, Tyler KL. Molecular methods for diagnosis of viral encephalitis. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2004 Oct;17(4):903-25, table of contents. [15489354]
  2. Kennedy PG. Viral encephalitis: causes, differential diagnosis, and management. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2004 Mar;75 Suppl 1:i10-5. [14978145]
  3. Vernet G. Diagnosis of zoonotic viral encephalitis. Arch Virol Suppl. 2004;(18):231-44. [15119778]
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