Health A-Z

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There is no medical cure for mononucleosis. It usually goes away on its own.

Most treatment focuses on making the person more comfortable. Recovery usually calls for getting plenty of rest and fluids and treating symptoms.

Cold drinks, frozen desserts and gargling with salt water can help to relieve minor sore throat pain.

Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be taken to fight fever and body aches.

Prednisone can shrink tonsils that are so swollen it is hard to breathe.

It is important to protect the spleen from rupture. Avoid strenuous activities, especially contact sports, for at least four weeks. You should wait even longer if your doctor finds your spleen is still enlarged.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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