There’s no cure or direct treatment for mono, but there are several things you can do to manage symptoms, which can last for weeks.

Mono (mononucleosis) is also called infectious mononucleosis. This disease is sometimes referred to as the “kissing disease” because you can get it through saliva.

You can also contract mono by sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils, and through sneezes and coughs. Some kinds of mono are also transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids.

Mono usually affects teenagers and young adults, but anyone can get it.

Like the common cold, a virus causes mono. Similarly, there’s no specific treatment for mono.

This infection is usually less contagious than a cold. However, mono symptoms can last longer. You may have symptoms for four to six weeks or more.

It may take a few months before you completely recover from mono.

Viruses cause mono infections. This means antibiotics can’t effectively treat the condition. Some antibiotics, like amoxicillin and penicillin, can even cause a rash if you have mono.

Different kinds of viruses can cause mono. A research study that tested common antiviral drugs against the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) found they didn’t work well at all in clinical cases.

EBV is a virus that can cause mono. It’s responsible for up to 50 percent of all mono infections.

Treating symptoms

Treatment usually involves treating symptoms like fever or a sore throat. Mono can cause a person to be prone to secondary bacterial infections. In this case, antibiotics can treat a bacterial:

  • sinus infection
  • strep infection
  • tonsil infection

Mono usually causes swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, and groin areas. You may also have other common symptoms, like:

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • white patches on the throat
  • muscles aches
  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • skin rash
  • headache
  • poor appetite

Spleen symptoms

Along with other symptoms, mono can cause the spleen to get bigger. The spleen is an organ in your abdomen that stores and filters blood. Almost half of people with a mono infection have an enlarged spleen.

Enlarged spleen symptoms include:

  • left side abdomen pain
  • back pain
  • feeling full
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath

It’s important to rest if you have mono. An enlarged spleen can become more delicate, but you may not show any symptoms.

Working out, lifting something heavy, or other strenuous activity can cause the spleen to burst. Wait until you’ve fully recovered from mono before getting back to your normal activities.

Call 911 or go to an emergency room if you feel a sudden, sharp pain in your left, upper side. It may a sign of a ruptured spleen. This complication of mono is rare, but it can happen.

There’s no specific treatment for mono, but you can help ease your symptoms. Taking care of yourself with rest and at-home remedies can help make you more comfortable.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water, fruit juice, herbal tea, soup, and broth. Fluids help bring down a fever and soothe a sore throat. Drink as much as you can to raise your energy levels and prevent dehydration.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications

Use OTC pain relievers to help bring down a fever and ease headaches and muscle aches. These medications won’t get rid of the virus, but they can help make you more comfortable:

Take these medications only as directed. Taking too much can be harmful. You can also take OTC cold and flu medications that contain pain relievers, such as:

  • Benadryl
  • Dimetapp
  • Nyquil
  • Sudafed
  • Theraflu
  • Vicks

Throat gargles

Throat gargles can help soothe a sore throat. Gargle with these home remedies several times a day:

Cool down a fever

Cool a fever with wet towel compresses, a cool bath, or a cold foot bath. Also try eating something cold, like ice cream or a popsicle.


It’s very important to rest and relax if you have mono. Stay home from work or school. Cancel your appointments. Resting helps your body recover and prevent any complications. Not going out also helps prevent transmitting the virus to others.

Boost your immune system

Eat healthy whole foods to help your immune system fight the mono virus.

Eat more antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory foods, like:

  • green, leafy vegetables
  • bell peppers
  • apples
  • tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • whole-grain pasta
  • brown rice
  • barley
  • salmon
  • green tea

Avoid consuming things like:

  • sugary snacks
  • refined white bread
  • white rice
  • white pasta
  • crackers
  • fried foods
  • alcohol


Add these supplements to your daily diet for your immune and gut health:

If you contract the mono virus, you may not have any symptoms at all for four to six weeks. Symptoms may last for only a few days to two to six weeks. Here are some common symptoms and their usual duration:

  • A fever and sore throat may last for about two weeks.
  • Muscle aches and fatigue may last for two to four weeks.
  • An enlarged spleen may take up to eight weeks to go back to normal.

Mono may make you feel unwell for up to two months. However, it’s considered rare for symptoms to last longer than six weeks.

Rare complications of mono, like an injured or ruptured spleen, can take up to three months to heal. You may need other treatment for a ruptured spleen.

You can’t always prevent getting mono. Someone who has the virus and doesn’t yet have symptoms might not know they have it. Lower your risk for contracting mono and other viral illnesses with these tips:

  • Avoid sharing cups and other drink bottles.
  • Avoid sharing eating utensils.
  • Avoid kissing someone who has symptoms of a respiratory infection.
  • Wash your hands several times a day.
  • Avoid touching your face and eyes.
  • Boost your immune system with a healthy diet.
  • Get plenty of sleep every night.

You can get mono in more ways than just kissing someone. You may not be able to prevent getting this viral illness. Mono is contagious even if you don’t have symptoms. You may not know you have it.

Once you have symptoms, help your recovery and avoid transmitting mono to others by staying home. Rest and avoid strenuous activity to prevent spleen injuries and combat fatigue. Ask your doctor when it’s safe to get back to your normal activities.

Enjoy low-key activities, like reading and watching movies, as you recover. Eat plenty of whole foods and stay hydrated. Treat symptoms with OTC cold and flu medications and pain-relieving drugs.