Remembering to take your PrEP
There are lots of ways you can help yourself remember to take your PrEP. You can:
- build it into something you already do every day, like cleaning your teeth or taking your vitamins
- use a weekly pill box
- have your PrEP or weekly pill box somewhere you will see it, like on your bedside table
- set yourself reminders on your smartphone or with an app
Fibre supplements, such as Metamucil, can affect how well medications work. If you use these fibre supplements, you should take them at least two hours before or two hours after taking your PrEP, otherwise they might affect the drug absorption into your body and you might not get the full protection.
Taking your PrEP with or just after food can help if you are having any side-effects, including those experienced by some people when they are starting PrEP.
Storing your PrEP
Moisture and heat can damage your PrEP pills, so make sure you store them somewhere cool and dry (under 25°C). Check the instructions on the bottle or package. Some manufacturers recommended leaving the pills in the bottle with the sachet that absorbs moisture to stop the pills from splitting.
PrEP comes in different colours and sizes
PrEP pills come in a range of colours and sizes, and in slightly different formulations of the same drugs. So, no matter if you get your PrEP from your local pharmacy through the PBS, or if you import it from an overseas pharmacy, as long as they are any one of these formulations, they all work the same way to prevent HIV:
- Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate 300mg and Emtricitabine 200mg
- Tenofovir Disoproxil Maleate 300mg and Emtricitabine 200mg
- Tenofovir Disoproxil Phosphate 291mg and Emtricitabine 200mg
Products with variations of these formulations, only one of these ingredients, or formulations with additional ingredients are not suitable for PrEP.
PrEP and people of trans experience
People of trans experience can take PrEP if they are also taking transition-related hormones. There are no known negative interactions of PrEP on levels of transition-related hormones. If you’re a man of trans experience having front hole or vaginal sex, or a woman of trans experience taking feminising hormones, daily PrEP is recommended, and it’s really important to take PrEP every day to make sure you get full protection.