Post-exposure prophylaxis

Post-exposure prophylaxis

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is any prophylactic treatment started immediately after exposure to a pathogen (such as a disease-causing virus), in order to prevent infection by the pathogen and the development of disease.


PEP is commonly and very effectively used to prevent the outbreak of rabies after a bite by a rabid animal.

The treatment consists of repeated injections of rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin.cite web |url= |title=WHO | Guide for post-exposure prophylaxis |accessdate=2008-03-05 |format= |work=]


In the case of HIV infection, post-exposure prophylaxis is a course of antiretroviral drugs which is thought to reduce the risk of seroconversion after events with high risk of exposure to HIV (e.g., unprotected anal or vaginal sex, needlestick injuries, or sharing needles).

To be effective, treatment should begin within an hourcite web |url= |title=Ignorance of post-exposure prophylaxis guidelines following HIV needlestick injury may increase the risk of seroconversion -- Diprose et al. 84 (6): 767 -- British Journal of Anaesthesia |accessdate=2008-03-05 |format= |work=] of possible infection, and no longer than 72 hours post-exposure. Fact|date=March 2008 Prophylactic treatment for HIV typically lasts four weeks.cite web |url= |title=HIV/AIDS Bureau - HIV Care Pocket Guide 2006 - Occupational HIV Postexposure Prophylaxis (PEP) |accessdate=2008-03-05 |format= |work=]

While there is compelling data to suggest that PEP after HIV exposure is effective, there have been cases where it has failed. Failure has often been attributed to the delay in receiving treatment, the level of exposure (i.e., the viral load received), or both. However, for non-occupational exposures, the time and level of exposure are based on patient-supplied information; absolute data is therefore unavailable. PEP can also slow down the development of antibodies, potentially causing false negatives on a later HIV test. Doctors will advise patients who received PEP to get a test at 6 months post-exposure as well as the standard 3 month test. In certain cases PEP has been known to slow the development of antibodies by beyond 12 months.

The antiretroviral regimen used in PEP (see highly active antiretroviral therapy) requires close compliance and can have unpleasant side effects including malaise, fatigue, diarrhea, headache, nausea and vomiting.cite web |url= |title=HIV/AIDS Bureau - HIV Care Pocket Guide 2006 - Occupational HIV Postexposure Prophylaxis (PEP) |accessdate=2008-03-05 |format= |work=] Pleasant side effects have been reported within the first 4 days of treatment which mimic anti-depressant properties, however these are rare and none of these effects are known to have been reported past this period.Fact|date=March 2008

See also

* Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Post-exposure prophylaxis — A treatment administered following exposure to a harmful agent which attempts to block or reduce injury or infection. Prophylaxis means a defense or protection. Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP), for example, might concern the treatment of a health …   Medical dictionary

  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis — (PrEP) is the long term use of a prophylactic treatment for a disease prior to exposure to the cause of that disease, so that the prophylactic treatment will already be in place when exposure occurs, and may either be able to prevent the disease… …   Wikipedia

  • Prophylaxis — (Greek προφυλάσσω to guard or prevent beforehand ) is any medical or public health procedure whose purpose is to prevent, rather than treat or cure a disease. Roughly, prophylactic measures are divided between primary prophylaxis (to prevent the… …   Wikipedia

  • Exposure — can refer toIn biology: * A condition of very poor health or death resulting from lack of protection over prolonged periods under weather, extreme temperatures or dangerous substances ( see also: hypothermia, hyperthermia, radioactive… …   Wikipedia

  • Tratamiento profilaxis post-exposición para el VIH — El Tratamiento profilaxis post exposición para el VIH es un tratamiento profilactico comenzado imediatamente después de la exposición al patogeno VIH. Mecanismo Si hay una transmisión conocida por algún error p.ej. penetración de una aguja en un… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Preventive medicine — or preventive care refers to measures taken to prevent diseases,[1] (or injuries) rather than curing them or treating their symptoms. The term contrasts in method with curative and palliative medicine, and in scope with public health methods… …   Wikipedia

  • AIDS — For other uses, see AIDS (disambiguation). Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) Classification and external resources …   Wikipedia

  • HIV — Classification and external resources Diagram of HIV …   Wikipedia

  • Needlestick injury — Classification and external resources ICD 10 W46 ICD 9 E92.05 MeSH …   Wikipedia

  • Rabies — eMedicine2|ped|1974 MeshID = D011818Rabies (from la. rabies, “madness, rage, fury.” Also known as “hydrophobia”) is a viral zoonotic neuroinvasive disease that causes acute encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in mammals. It is most commonly… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”