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Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal:
doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000122
Brief Reports

Glycerol and Acetaminophen as Adjuvant Therapy Did Not Affect the Outcome of Bacterial Meningitis in Malawian Children

Molyneux, Elizabeth M. FRCPCH*; Kawaza, Kondwani FCSA*; Phiri, Ajib MMed*; Chimalizeni, Yamikani MMed*; Mankhambo, Limangeni MMed*; Schwalbe, Edward PhD; Kataja, Matti; Pensulo, Paul Dip Clin Med*; Chilton, Lucy PhD; Peltola, Heikki MD§

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Abstract

We investigated the benefit of 2 candidate adjunctive therapies in bacterial meningitis: glycerol, which has shown promise in earlier studies, and acetaminophen, which is reportedly beneficial in adult septicemia. In a hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, we enrolled 360 children aged ≥ 2 months with proven bacterial meningitis (36% HIV infected) in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of glycerol and acetaminophen in a 2 × 2 factorial design. Of 4 groups, first group received oral glycerol, second received rectal acetaminophen, third received both therapies and the fourth received placebos only. Adjuvant therapies were given for the first 48 hours of antibiotic therapy. Endpoints were mortality and neurological sequelae. Baseline findings were similar across all groups, except that many children had prior antibiotics in the acetaminophen group and many were anemic in the acetaminophen and glycerol group. Outcomes were similar for all groups. We found no benefit from oral glycerol or rectal acetaminophen in, mostly pneumococcal, meningitis in Malawian children.

Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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