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[N-acetyl-L-cysteine as a therapeutic option in bacterial meningitis].


PMID 17235423

Abstract

Despite antibiotic therapy, supportive intensive care, and adjunctive treatment with dexamethasone, the mortality and morbidity remain high in patients with bacterial meningitis. The intracranial complications that mainly contribute to the poor outcome are in part a result of the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. Experimental studies have shown that the prognosis for bacterial meningitis can be improved by the administration of antioxidants. Especially adjunctive therapy with N-acetyl-L-cystein (NAC) was shown to have mainly positive effects. Since NAC is already in clinical use in high doses for treating other diseases (e.g., acetaminophen intoxication) and only minor side effects have been observed, there is justified hope that adjunctive therapy with NAC could improve the prognosis of patients with bacterial meningitis.