Strep and mono are both infectious illnesses. However, they occur for different reasons. Strep throat is a bacterial infection, so treatment may involve a course of antibiotics. Mono is a viral infection, so antibiotics will not cure it.

Mono typically gets better on its own, though it can take time. Treatment generally consists of supportive measures, such as rest and hydration, to help relieve symptoms.

This article discusses strep and mono coinfection treatment, including how quickly it can work and tips for recovery.

A woman with running mascara holding her throat due to having strep and mono.Share on Pinterest
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Yes, it is possible. A 2012 case study states that strep throat and mono can occur at the same time. However, it notes that coinfection is uncommon.

Strep is an informal name for Streptococcus, which is a type of bacteria. There are many species of Streptococci. group A Streptococcus is the type most commonly responsible for strep throat.

In contrast, mononucleosis (mono) is a viral infection. It typically occurs because of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), though other viruses can also cause the disease. Other names for the disease include kissing disease and glandular fever.

It is possible for a person to get both mono and strep throat around the same time, or they may develop strep throat secondary to mono.

Below are the standard treatments for mono and strep throat.

Strep throat

Treatment of strep throat involves antibiotics. An older piece from American Family Physician suggests that antibiotic treatment is appropriate when a person has mono and strep throat at the same time.

Antibiotics can:

  • shorten the course of strep throat
  • reduce symptoms
  • help prevent the bacteria from spreading to others
  • help prevent serious complications, such as rheumatic fever

However, if a person contracts strep throat and does not have symptoms, they typically will not need antibiotics.


Antibiotics will not help with mono. If a person has both mono and strep throat, antibiotics will ease the strep throat.

There is no prescription medication that can cure mono. The illness typically gets better on its own. In the meantime, treatments to ease symptoms include:

People should avoid contact sports until they recover fully from mono, as the infection can sometimes cause spleen enlargement. This increases the risk of a rupture if a person receives a blow to the abdomen.

Most courses of antibiotics for strep throat last 10 days. After starting an antibiotic prescription, individuals with strep throat should begin feeling better in 1–2 days. It is important to take the entire course of antibiotics, even if the symptoms go away.

If a person’s symptoms do not start reducing after 48 hours, the person should contact a doctor.

If antibiotics do not work, there are a few potential explanations.

Firstly, a person may need a different type of antibiotic. There are several doctors use for strep throat. They may suggest trying another type or taking it for a longer period of time.

Another reason antibiotics may not work is if a person only has mono. Mono can cause a sore throat, fever, and other symptoms that are similar to a throat infection. If a virus such as EBV is the cause, antibiotics will not treat it.

It is also possible that something else is responsible for the throat symptoms. A 2022 article states that aside from bacterial and viral infections, many other conditions can produce symptoms similar to strep throat. Some examples include:

If strep throat-like symptoms persist, a doctor may run additional tests to determine the cause.

Recovery from strep throat typically takes 5–7 days. In contrast, recovery from mono may take 2–4 weeks. Sometimes, mono symptoms may persist for 6 months or longer.

Below are some tips for recovery:

  • rest as much as possible
  • drink plenty of fluids, especially those that are warm
  • eat a nutritious diet, wherever possible
  • if eating solid food is painful, try soups, smoothies, or soft food
  • suck on ice chips or popsicles
  • try a cool mist vaporizer or humidifier
  • try throat lozenges
  • gargle with salt water

Do not give throat lozenges to children ages 2 years or under. Always use OTC medications according to the instructions.

Strep and mono coinfection treatment may include antibiotics for strep throat. However, antibiotics will not help with mono. Instead, doctors advise getting plenty of rest and fluids until the virus clears on its own.

Antibiotic treatment for strep throat typically lasts 10 days. Once treatment begins, the strep throat will likely get better quickly. Even if symptoms go away, it is still important to finish the course of antibiotics.

Recovery from mono can take longer than recovery from strep. Mono can also cause a sore throat and swollen glands, which may seem similar to strep throat. If prescribed antibiotics do not work, a person should speak with a doctor about their options.