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Case report
Meningitis due to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: an often-overlooked complication of a widely used medication
  1. Florian Desgranges1,
  2. Nathalie Tebib2,
  3. Olivier Lamy2 and
  4. Antonios Kritikos1
  1. 1 Infectious Diseases, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland
  2. 2 Internal Medicine, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Florian Desgranges; florian.desgranges{at}


A 40-year-old man developed aseptic meningitis after ibuprofen consumption for tension-type headaches. After a thorough diagnostic workup and lack of improvement on empirical therapy for common aetiologies of meningitis (bacterial and viral infections), we suspected non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) induced meningitis due to the temporal relationship between drug administration and symptom onset. Two days after NSAID suppression, the evolution was progressively favourable with complete resolution of fever and symptoms. On follow-up, symptoms did not recur and there was no neurological sequela. This article summarises the clinical picture and the complementary exams that led to the difficult-to-make diagnosis of NSAID-induced acute meningitis, in parallel with a brief review of the literature.

  • headache (including migraines)
  • contraindications and precautions
  • meningitis

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  • Contributors FD and NT: coauthors for manuscript writing (equal level of authorship). OL: manuscript reviewing. AK: supervision and manuscript reviewing.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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