Aseptic Meningitis Secondary to Antibiotic Therapy


West Florida


Citrus Memorial Hospital

Document Type

Case Report

Publication Date



aseptic meningitis, drug-induced aseptic meningitis, viral meningitis, tmp-smx, bactrim


Infectious Disease | Internal Medicine | Nervous System Diseases | Neurology


Drug-induced aseptic meningitis is a rare entity. Diagnosis of drug-induced aseptic meningitis can be challenging due to the difficulty in distinguishing clinical presentation from bacterial or viral meningitis. We present a case of a 52-year-old Caucasian female patient who presented to the emergency room on two different occasions with severe headache, neck pain, and confusion. Initial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis showed lymphocytic pleocytosis, and empirical intravenous acyclovir was initiated. Bacterial and viral CSF analysis and cultures were negative. The patient completely recovered. Several days later, the patient returned to the emergency room with similar symptoms. Second CSF analysis revealed neutrophilic pleocytosis, and empirical intravenous antibiotic and antiviral therapy were started. Bacterial, fungal, and viral CSF analysis and cultures were negative. Imaging studies of the brain were unremarkable on both occasions. The patient reported taking trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) for right foot infection before and after the initial presentation. The patient's symptoms resolved without neurological sequelae after discontinuation of TMP-SMX. This case report highlights the importance of taking a detailed history to diagnose drug-induced aseptic meningitis.

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