Suspected Meningococcal Disease

Doses are oral and for adults unless otherwise stated. Visit the Health Products Regulatory Authority website for drug SPCs, dosage, contraindications, interactions, or IMF/BNF/BNFC/MIMS. See guidance on dosing in children for quick reference dosage/weight guide. Letters indicate strength of evidence range from A+ (systematic review) to D (informal opinion). Statins can interact with some antibiotics and increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis. Amiodarone and drugs which prolong the QT interval can interact with many antibiotics. Many antibiotics increase the risk of bleeding with anticoagulants. Please refer to our Drug Interactions Table for further information.

Comments from Expert Advisory Committee

  • Transfer all patients to hospital immediately.
  • Administer benzylpenicillin prior to admission, unless history of anaphylaxis, B- NOT allergy. Ideally IV but IM if a vein cannot be found.
  • Prevention of secondary case of meningitis: Only prescribe following advice from Public Health Doctor.


Treatment Dose
IV or IM benzylpenicillin Adults and children
10 yr and over: 1200 mg
Children 1 - 9 yr: 600 mg
Children <1 yr: 300 mg

See guidance on dosing in children for quick reference dosage/weight guide.

Patient Information

The HSE Health A-Z website provides patient information on many hundreds of conditions and treatments.

We recommend patients use the website developed by HSE/ICGP/IPU partnership for tips on how to get better from common infections without using antibiotics, what you can do for yourself or a loved one and when to seek help.

Reviewed June 2016

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