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Mononucleosis (mono) is an infection caused by a virus. It is spread through saliva.



  • Acetaminophen: This medicine decreases pain and fever. You can buy acetaminophen without a doctor's order. Ask your primary healthcare provider how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


  • Rest: Rest as needed. Slowly start to do more each day as you feel better.
  • Liquids: Liquids will help decrease your fever and prevent dehydration. Ask your primary healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
  • Soothe your throat: Suck on hard candy or throat lozenges. Eat popsicles or frozen drinks. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and gargle.
  • Avoid exercise and contact sports: Ask when you can return to your usual activities and contact sports.
  • Return to work or school: Ask your primary healthcare provider when it is okay to go back to work or school. Do not return until your fever is gone and you feel better. This usually takes about 2 weeks.

Prevent the spread of mono:

Do not share food or drinks. Do not kiss anyone or donate blood. The virus may be in your saliva for several months after you feel better. Wash your hands often. Use soap and water. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom, change a child's diapers, or sneeze. Wash your hands before you prepare or eat food.

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms get worse, even after treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You urinate very little or not at all.
  • You have severe pain in your abdomen or shoulder.
  • You have trouble swallowing because of the pain.
  • You have shortness of breath.
  • You are confused or have a seizure.
  • Your arms or legs are weak.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Mononucleosis (Discharge Care)

Associated drugs

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