Mononucleosis (mono) treatment available online today

Request mononucleosis treatment today from our trusted, board-certified online doctors and find relief. Our licensed doctors can evaluate your symptoms and order blood tests, including a monospot test, to the lab nearest you.*

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Commonly affects children, teenagers, and young adults

Symptoms tend to develop gradually

Ease symptoms with OTC pain relievers

*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor's discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how to save up to 80% with our prescription discount card. PlushCare doctors cannot treat all cases of mononucleosis. Our primary care physicians can conduct an initial evaluation of your symptoms but may need to refer you to a specialist or for in-person treatment. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Learn about mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis, also called the "kissing disease," is a viral illness that commonly affects children, teenagers, and young adults, although it can affect people of any age. Viruses and infections, most commonly the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), can cause mononucleosis.

Mononucleosis (mono) is commonly spread through the saliva while kissing, but you can also get it by sharing food or drinks with someone who has mono. However, infectious mononucleosis isn't as contagious as some other infections, such as the common cold.

Mononucleosis causes

  • The most common cause of mono is the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). According to Cleveland Clinic, over 90 percent of mono cases can be attributed to EBV infection.

    Other viruses and infections can also cause mono. Mononucleosis symptoms may develop because of:

    • Adenovirus

    • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

    • Hepatitis A, B, and C

    • Herpes simplex virus (HSV)

    • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

    • Rubella

    • Toxoplasmosis

    In most cases, these viruses spread through bodily fluids, especially saliva. However, they can also spread through blood and semen during sexual contact, blood transfusions, and organ transplants.

Mononucleosis symptoms

  • The signs and symptoms of mononucleosis will vary from person to person, and they can range from mild to severe.

    Mono symptoms tend to develop gradually. Due to the virus' longer incubation period, it takes 4–6 weeks to develop mono symptoms after coming into contact with the Epstein-Barr virus.

    The most common symptoms of mono include:

    • Extreme fatigue

    • Headaches, muscle aches, and body aches

    • Sore throat

    • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpit

    • Swollen liver or spleen, or both

    • Rash

    The Epstein-Barr virus can cause the body to produce an excessive number of white blood cells (lymphocytes). EBV also leads to a weakened immune system, making it harder for the body to fight infections.

How to treat mononucleosis

There's no cure for infectious mononucleosis. Antibiotics to fight bacterial infections and antiviral medications to kill other viruses do not work against infectious mononucleosis. Instead, mono treatment aims to relieve symptoms.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your treatment might include:

  • Rest: Many people with mono experience extreme fatigue. Sleep helps your body fight infection so you can feel your best.

  • Hydration: Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

  • Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help ease symptoms. Ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen can provide relief from headaches and body aches.

  • Sore throat soothers: Cough drops and saltwater gargles can help soothe a sore throat.

  • Avoiding sports: Strenuous activities, especially contact sports, can put pressure on an enlarged spleen, increasing the risk of rupture. Be sure to avoid contact sports and strenuous exercise while you're sick with infectious mononucleosis.

Medication for mononucleosis

  • In most cases, mild symptoms will go away by themselves. Some people may take over-the-counter medications, such as NSAIDs, to relieve common symptoms.

    If your symptoms don't improve after a few weeks, your healthcare provider can prescribe medication to treat mono symptoms. Because the symptoms of mononucleosis are similar to other illnesses, physicians will typically administer a physical exam and blood test to confirm your diagnosis.

    After you've been diagnosed with infectious mononucleosis, your doctor may prescribe:

    • Medication to treat secondary infections and other complications: Sometimes, a streptococcal (strep) throat can develop alongside mono. Some people may develop a sinus infection or swollen tonsils (tonsillitis). If so, your healthcare provider can provide specific treatment for other health conditions.

    • Corticosteroids: If you have trouble breathing, you might be experiencing airway obstruction. Your healthcare provider may recommend a corticosteroid injection, such as dexamethasone, to reduce swelling in the throat.

How to prevent mononucleosis

There is no vaccine to protect against infectious mononucleosis. However, it's possible to protect yourself by taking some precautionary measures:

  • Avoid sharing food, straws, drinks, utensils, inhalers, and cigarettes

  • Avoid sharing personal items, such as toothbrushes, with an infected person

  • Avoid close contact, including kissing and sexual contact, with people who are sick

Taking care of your overall health is also important. When your body has the resilience it needs to fight off viruses, you'll be better prepared to cope with illness when exposed.

When to see a doctor for mononucleosis

You should call your doctor if you have infectious mononucleosis and experience:

  • Trouble breathing or swallowing

  • Dizziness or fainting

  • Extreme muscle weakness in the arms or legs

  • Intense headaches or body aches

  • Persistent high fever (over 101.5 °F)

  • Sudden pain in the upper left abdomen

In most cases, a swollen spleen does not cause immediate health problems. However, sharp pain in the upper left part of the abdomen may indicate a rupturing (splitting) of the spleen.

A ruptured spleen is a medical emergency that may require emergency surgery. You should visit the emergency department if you think your spleen may have ruptured.

Mononucleosis treatment FAQs

  • What is the best treatment for mononucleosis?

    The best treatment for infectious mononucleosis is often rest and over-the-counter medication. Because no medications can treat mono, the goal of mono treatment is to ease symptoms and treat complications.

  • How long is mononucleosis contagious after treatment?

    After your symptoms subside, you can pass the viral infection to other people through your saliva for up to 3 months. Some studies suggest that you may still be contagious for up to 18 months.

    Sometimes, the dormant virus can "wake up" and find its way into an infected person's saliva. Even though the infected person may not feel ill or show any symptoms, they can still spread the virus to other people. There's a small chance that people who have developed infectious mononucleosis in the past can pass it to others—even when they're symptom-free.

    In other words, it's hard to prevent mono from spreading. Because the Epstein-Barr virus can "wake up" after being dormant, infections are common, especially among college students and young adults.

  • How long does mono usually last?

    Infectious mononucleosis typically lasts 2–4 weeks. Fortunately, these symptoms often improve with at-home treatment.

    Some people experience lingering fatigue for several months after mono. During this time, be sure to protect your health by getting enough rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding strenuous activity.

  • How long does it take to recover from mono?

    Most people recover from mono within 2–4 weeks. Flu-like symptoms, such as sore throat and body aches, typically lessen within a few weeks. In rare cases, infectious mononucleosis may last for 6 months or longer, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

    Fortunately, after infectious mononucleosis, your immune system develops antibodies to provide life-long immunity. In other words, you're unlikely to develop mono twice.

  • What is the best medicine for mono?

    There's no specific antibiotic or antiviral therapy to treat infectious mononucleosis, and medication for mono focuses on relieving symptoms. People react differently to different drugs, and the best medication will depend on the individual case.

    If you're experiencing mono symptoms, some medications that can help relieve symptoms include:

    • Tylenol (acetaminophen)

    • Advil (ibuprofen)

    • Aleve (naproxen)

    • Aspirin

    • Dexamethasone (for airway obstruction)

3 simple steps to request mononucleosis treatment

Step 1

Book a mononucleosis treatment appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your mononucleosis symptoms.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3

Get tested and pick up a prescription if necessary.

We can order tests including the monospot test to the lab nearest you and send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Related conditions to mononucleosis

  • According to a 2018 study, the Epstein-Barr virus increases the risk of other major conditions, including:

    In addition, infectious mononucleosis may be related to other conditions, such as:

  • Reye syndrome

    Reye syndrome is a rare but serious illness that causes swelling in the liver and brain. It affects children and teenagers recovering from viral infections, such as mono or the flu.

    Aspirin has been linked with this condition, so be sure to exercise caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Talk to your child's doctor for guidance on mono treatment options.

  • Tonsillitis

    Tonsillitis refers to the inflammation of the tonsils, leading to swollen glands at the back of the throat. Typically, tonsillitis happens suddenly, and swollen glands can be caused by bacterial or viral infection.

  • Strep throat

    While infectious mononucleosis is a viral infection, strep throat is a bacterial infection. Both conditions present with similar symptoms, but since one is viral and the other is bacterial, they require different treatments. Strep throat can be treated with antibiotics.

Mononucleosis treatment pricing details

How pricing works

To request mononucleosis treatment and get a new or refill on a prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits.

Paying with insurance



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30 days of free membership

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  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

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  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

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  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • Cigna

Paying without insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

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If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.


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PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.