Journal of Neurology

, Volume 257, Issue 3, pp 433–435

Early onset probable linezolid-induced encephalopathy

  • Jeffery Fletcher
  • Laura E. Aykroyd
  • Eric C. Feucht
  • James M. Curtis
Original Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00415-009-5340-y

Cite this article as:
Fletcher, J., Aykroyd, L.E., Feucht, E.C. et al. J Neurol (2010) 257: 433. doi:10.1007/s00415-009-5340-y


Linezolid is increasingly being utilized for the treatment of Gram-positive pathogens. While neurological complications with linezolid are rare, long-term exposure can be associated with neurotoxic effects. Patients with pre-existing neurologic sequelae or risk factors, such as alcohol abuse, diabetes, or concomitant administration of chemotherapeutic agents and/or antiretroviral therapy, may be more susceptible to the development of linezolid-induced neurotoxicity. We describe a 41-year-old male who developed early onset encephalopathy after a day and a half of linezolid therapy. Our patient had at least one significant risk factor (alcoholism), making linezolid-induced encephalopathy probable based upon the Naranjo probability scale. Clinicians should be aware of the potential for early onset linezolid-induced neurotoxicity, particularly in patients with concomitant risk factors.


LinezolidEncephalopathyAlcohol abuse

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffery Fletcher
    • 1
    • 2
  • Laura E. Aykroyd
    • 3
  • Eric C. Feucht
    • 4
  • James M. Curtis
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1. Department of Neurology (Neurocritical Care)Bronson Methodist HospitalKalamazooUSA
  2. 2.Michigan State UniversityLansingUSA
  3. 3.Clinical PharmacyFerris State UniversityBig RapidsUSA
  4. 4.Bronson Methodist HospitalKalamazooUSA
  5. 5.Department of PharmacyBronson Methodist HospitalKalamazooUSA
  6. 6.College of PharmacyFerris State UniversityBig RapidsUSA