Bacterial meningitis caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important cause of neurological morbidity and mortality in both children and adults. With increasing antibiotic resistance in pneumococci and documented microbiological failure in treatment of pneumococcal meningitis with cefotaxime and ceftriaxone, the need for alternative antibiotic therapy is critical. Of the currently available options, vancomycin has shown the most promise, particularly when used in combination with ceftriaxone or cefotaxime. Rifampin, also used in combination with either ceftriaxone or cefotaxime, has demonstrated encouraging preliminary results against antibiotic-resistant pneumococci as well. Chloramphenicol has unexpectedly yielded discouraging clinical results in children with infection caused by penicillin-resistant strains. Of the investigational antibiotics currently in clinical trials for the treatment of meningitis, meropenem, a carbapenem-class antibiotic, has demonstrated increased activity against penicillin-resistant pneumococci compared with that of other beta-lactam antibiotics, while having a safety profile similar to that of the cephalosporins.