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How do I Choose the Best Treatment for Mononucleosis?

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  • Written By: Lori Smith
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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Treatment for mononucleosis, a common viral infection, usually includes the use of over-the-counter remedies to ease symptoms until the infection subsides. Pain medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, are often recommended to treat a fever and ease the discomfort of headaches, body aches and a sore throat. Drinking fluids, especially water, helps avoid dehydration, which is a common complication. Generally, you should try to rest as much as possible during recovery. Doctors often advise their patients to limit strenuous activity, not just while symptoms are present, but for several weeks following the onset of infection to avoid long-term complications.

A sore throat is one of the most troublesome symptoms of the infection, especially during the first week. To ease the pain, you may want to try drinking hot liquids, such as tea. Some people find that gargling warm salt water often offers temporary relief. Others find throat lozenges, or cough drops, to be more soothing. There are several varieties on the market effective for the treatment for mononucleosis, many of which contain an anesthetic that numbs the throat. Some liquid remedies are available that can simply be sprayed into the mouth. These are often preferred when excessive swallowing becomes too painful.

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When choosing over-the-counter medications for the treatment for mononucleosis, it is important to read the ingredients carefully to make sure you are not double-dosing. Many cold and flu remedies designed to treat a variety of symptoms contain more than one medicine. Pain relievers, such acetaminophen, are a common ingredient. If you consume more than the recommended dosage, it may lead to serious health complications. When in doubt, it is best to consult a pharmacist.

In addition to medicine, the foods you eat can also make a big difference in how your body responds to the infection. Proper daily nutrition can determine the length of recovery time. Treatment for mononucleosis should include nutrients that help boost your body's immune system. Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables is frequently advised. Avoiding meats, especially those high in saturated fats, is often recommended because the infection may target various organs, such as the liver and spleen. Also, drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help thwart dehydration while flushing toxins from the body to aid in a quicker recovery.

During the course of treatment for mononucleosis, you may have people helping you get well. Keep in mind that the viral infection is generally spread through person-to-person contact. You should advise your caregivers to frequently wash their hands with antibacterial soap and avoid sharing utensils or drinking glasses. The sickness may still be contagious for several months after symptoms disappear, and therefore, you should also exercise caution when engaging in activities that could transmit the virus to others.

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