Can Urgent Care Prescribe Pep? Expert Answers & Guidance

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By Mark Webber

When it comes to potential exposure to HIV, seeking timely medical intervention is crucial. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is a preventive treatment that can reduce the risk of HIV infection after potential exposure. But can urgent care facilities prescribe PEP?

Requirements for Prescribing PEP

Medical Evaluation

Before prescribing PEP, healthcare providers at urgent care centers conduct a thorough medical evaluation to assess the individual’s health status and any potential risks.

HIV Exposure Risk Assessment

An essential step is the evaluation of the level of HIV exposure risk. Based on this assessment, the healthcare provider determines the need for PEP treatment.

Background Health History

Understanding the patient’s background health history is vital in determining the appropriateness of prescribing PEP and selecting the most effective treatment.

Administering PEP Treatment

Prescribing Medications

If deemed necessary, urgent care providers can prescribe the appropriate antiretroviral medications as part of the PEP treatment regimen.

Providing Instructions

Clear instructions on how to take the prescribed medications and information about potential side effects are provided to the patient to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.

Follow-up Care and Monitoring

After initiating PEP treatment, it’s important to follow up with healthcare providers for monitoring and evaluation to track the progress and ensure the patient’s well-being.


Urgent care facilities can indeed prescribe PEP, following a comprehensive evaluation process. Seeking prompt medical attention in cases of potential HIV exposure is essential for timely intervention and reducing the risk of infection.


1. Can I get PEP from any urgent care center?

Not all urgent care centers may offer PEP. It’s advisable to call ahead to ensure the facility provides this service.

2. How soon should PEP be started after potential exposure?

PEP treatment should ideally be started within 72 hours of potential exposure to HIV for optimal effectiveness.

3. Will I need follow-up appointments while on PEP?

Yes, regular follow-up appointments are necessary to monitor your progress, check for any side effects, and ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.

4. Is PEP treatment the same as PrEP?

No, PEP is taken after potential exposure to HIV, while PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is taken before exposure to prevent HIV infection.

5. Are there any potential side effects of PEP?

Common side effects of PEP may include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and headaches. It’s essential to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.

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