Suspected Meningococcal Disease

Comments from Expert Advisory Committee

  • Transfer all patients to hospital immediately. Do not delay transfer to hospital to administer parenteral antibiotics.
  • Administer benzylpenicillin prior to admission, unless history of anaphylaxis, NOT allergy. Ideally IV but IM if a vein cannot be found.
  • GPs or advanced paramedics are not expected to carry an alternative antibiotic to benzylpenicillin. However, if available, a third generation cephalosporin (cefotaxime or ceftriaxone) can be used and is an acceptable alternative to benzylpenicillin for the empirical treatment of suspected meningococcal disease prior to transfer to hospital.
  • Prevention of secondary case of meningitis: Only prescribe following advice from Public Health Doctor.


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Safe Prescribing (visit the safe prescribing page)

Reviewed May 2021

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