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re: PEP

Apr 10, 2009

What is the "experation date" (period of potency/effectiveness/safety) of PEP meds? Surely, if ARVs need refrigeration they wouldn't maintain effectiveness for "next time." Even if they do not need refrigeration, they are still fairly reactive agents, are they not?

Could PEP meds, stored (properly or improperly) for long periods of time, actually become toxic or harmful (adverse, unpredictable side effects, etc)? Or, if properly "bottled", could a person actually have a PEP rack in their wine cellar? Are we approaching the day when people keep ARV's in their medicine cabinets? Frankly, I would rather have a few days of Latex rash than a few weeks of PEP heaves.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Each medication in a PEP regimen (sometimes two and other times up to three different antiretroviral medications) will have its own expiration date depending on when the pill was made. The expiration date should be on the prescription bottle. Have a look. Outdated medications should not be used, as they may well be ineffective. (They would not become "toxic.")

PEP rack in the wine cellar? Nah, not a good idea.

Are we approaching the day when folks will keep ARVs in their medicine cabinet? Nope. These drugs are far too potent and have way too many side effects. Most folks wouldn't know when or how to take them appropriately. Misuse could have disastrous consequences.

If latex gives you a rash, try a non-latex condom. Polyurethane condoms are just as effective as latex condoms!

Dr. Bob

Switching from Atripla
wound-to-wound contact

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