Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Glandular fever treatments

1-minute read

There is no specific treatment for glandular fever. It is a viral illness, so antibiotics do not work (they work only against bacterial infections).

The main treatment is to get plenty of rest, look after yourself and drink plenty of fluids. Painkillers such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help to relieve pain and fever. Children under the age of 16 years should not take aspirin, because it may cause a serious condition called Reye's syndrome.

People with glandular fever should avoid contact sports, vigorous activities and heavy lifting while unwell to reduce the risk of rupturing their spleen.

Most people recover from glandular fever after a week or two, but in some people tiredness and swollen lymph nodes can persist for several weeks. Some people may not fully recover for a few months.

A person who has had glandular fever usually becomes immune to it for the rest of their lives, so a second bout of it is unlikely.

Last reviewed: May 2017

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Glandular fever - myDr.com.au

Find out about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis) - sometimes called the kissing disease.

Read more on myDr website

Kids' Health - Topics - Glandular fever

Glandular fever, or Infectious Mononucleosis (say in-fex-shus mono-new-klee-o-sis), 'mono' for short, is caused by a virus. The virus is called the Epstein-Barr virus after the two medical researchers who first discovered it.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Glandular fever

Glandular fever is an infection caused by the Epstein Barr virus (EBV). It is also called Infectious Mononucleosis and sometimes the Kissing Disease. Once a person catches Epstein Barr virus, it is believed that the virus remains in his or her body for life, though it usually does not cause further illness. By adulthood, 90 to 95% of people in Australia have been infected with EBV.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Glandular fever - including symptoms, treatment and prevention :: SA Health

Glandular fever - caused by the Epstein Barr virus (EBV) - spread from person-to-person by saliva and stays for life usually with no further illness

Read more on SA Health website

Young Adult Health - Health Topics - Glandular fever

If you have a very sore throat, swollen glands in your neck or in other parts of your body, and if you have been feeling very tired and unwell, you may have glandular fever. Go to your doctor to get it checked out.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Teen Health - Health Topics - Glandular fever

If you have a very sore throat, swollen glands in your neck or in other parts of your body, and if you have been feeling very tired and unwell, you may have glandular fever. Go to your doctor to get it checked out.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Glandular Fever

Read more on Queensland Health website

IM screening test - Lab Tests Online AU

Why and when to get tested for heterophile antibodies

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Epstein-Barr Virus Antibodies - Lab Tests Online AU

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) are a group of tests that are ordered to help diagnose a current, recent, or past EBV infection

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV; glandular fever) information | myVMC

Epstein-Barr virus infection causes glandular fever. It is transmitted through saliva and causes fever, sore throat and swollen glands.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo