SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A potentially life-saving drug that helps people who may have been exposed to HIV is now available at Upstate University Hospital’s Outpatient Pharmacy, the only one in our area.
Two years ago, New York state started allowing pharmacies to prescribe PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis, but doctors say not many pharmacies carry the drug because of the costs and the short shelf life.
Typically, if patients feel like they’ve been exposed to HIV, they have to get PEP from the Emergency Department, which means longer wait times.
But now, if someone thinks they were exposed to HIV, they can walk in to the Outpatient Pharmacy near the main lobby of the Downtown campus at Upstate and get a seven-day dose of PEP.
After the individual takes the seven-day dosage, he/she will get an HIV test at any clinic and from there he/she can be prescribed the remaining 21 doses of PEP, to be taken one to two times a day. PEP is a combination of anti-retroviral medications and can be prescribed within 72 hours of exposure to be effective in preventing the virus.
“It is a full cocktail, some people have heard that word associated with HIV medication, so this is three medications, so it is almost like taking a treatment for one month to prevent the virus from establishing itself,” said Elizabeth A Asiago Reddy, MD, MS, Medical Director of Upstate’s Immune Health Services.
To learn more, click here.
For the pharmacy’s hours click here.
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