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How do you treat encephalitis?

A:

Quick Answer

Antiviral drugs, supportive care and follow-up therapy are among the treatment options available for encephalitis. Encephalitis is basically an inflammation of the brain that usually occurs due to an infection, notes Medline Plus.

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Mild cases of encephalitis may sometimes be mistaken for the flu, which is why proper diagnosis is important. Doctors often record the patient's history before carrying out a physical examination. In the initial stages of diagnosis, the doctor is likely to inquire about the symptoms, and lab and imaging tests may equally be used to ascertain the condition.

For mild cases of encephalitis, the doctor may encourage the patient to get a lot of rest and drink plenty of fluids. The doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as acetaminophen, naproxen sodium or ibuprofen. These drugs help in managing inflammation and reducing headaches and high body temperatures.

When a patient is diagnosed with viral encephalitis, the doctor may have to provide treatment through intravenous antiviral drugs. Examples of such drugs include acyclovir, ganciclovir and foscarnet. Antiviral drugs may produce side effects such as nausea, muscle or joint soreness and diarrhea.

Supportive care treatment options may include intravenous fluids, breathing assistance, anticonvulsant medications and other anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce selling and pressure within the skull, notes Mayo Clinic.

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