Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono) Medication

Updated: Jul 11, 2017
  • Author: Burke A Cunha, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
  • Print
Medication

Medication Summary

No effective antiviral therapy is available for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infectious mononucleosis in immunocompetent persons. Acyclovir and ganciclovir may reduce EBV shedding but are ineffective clinically.

Treatment of immunocompromised patients with EBV lymphoproliferative disease is controversial. Acyclovir has not been proven to be beneficial.

Short courses of corticosteroids are indicated for EBV infectious mononucleosis with hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, CNS involvement, or extreme tonsillar enlargement. However, corticosteroids are not indicated for uncomplicated EBV infectious mononucleosis. Corticosteroids should be considered in those with impending airway obstruction.

Patients with EBV infectious mononucleosis who have positive throat cultures for group A streptococci should not be treated because this represents colonization rather than infection (see Workup).

Treatment of group A streptococcal oropharyngeal colonization in patients with EBV infectious mononucleosis may result in a maculopapular rash.