Self-care is usually all that is needed if you have mono. Unless you have a serious complication of mono (which rarely occurs), no medicine or treatment will speed your recovery. Most people who have mono recover without problems. There are many steps you can take to ease the symptoms until you are back to normal.
- Listen to your body. Don't push yourself when you have mono. If you feel tired, it is important to rest and give your body a chance to heal.
- Rest in bed. You probably won't feel like working or going to school anyway, and rest is very important.
- Avoid contact sports and heavy lifting for several weeks after you become ill with mono (or until a doctor tells you it is okay) to reduce the risk of injuring your spleen.
- Take acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil) to reduce fever and to relieve a headache and sore throat. Do not give aspirin to anyone under the age of 20, because its use has been linked with Reye syndrome, a serious illness. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Soothe your sore throat with cool liquids and saltwater gargles [1 tsp (5 g) of salt in 8 fl oz (237 mL) of warm water]. Hard candies or throat lozenges might help too. If your child has a sore throat, candy or lozenges are okay if he or she is at least 4 years old. And most children can gargle at age 8 and older.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially if you have a fever. This will help prevent dehydration.
Your symptoms will gradually improve over 2 to 3 weeks. You should be able to return to your normal activities within about a month. Let your symptoms be your guide. You may need to adjust your school and work schedule to take advantage of times when you feel more energetic. If you feel better, try to get back to your routine sooner. But remember not to push yourself.