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PrEP and side effects

Just like with any new medication, you can experience side effects when you start taking oral PrEP. But research has shown that people have very few side effects if they experience any.

Only 2 in 10 people who start PrEP have side effects. These side effects are mild (they are not too bad) and go away within a few weeks.

Common side effects

The most common side effect is that people may feel a little bit nauseous (the feeling that you want to throw up or be sick). Other common side effects are headaches, vomiting, dizziness, and changes in appetite (e.g. not feeling hungry or not wanting to eat anything).  

If you’ve already started oral PrEP and you have any side effects that you’re worried about, go back to your clinic, and talk to your healthcare provider about these. They’ll be able to advise on how to manage these side effects and sometimes you may require  medication to help you stop the side effects. 

Remember: Don’t just stop taking oral PrEP. The side effects usually last only two weeks and keeping yourself HIV negative when you’re at high risk of infection, will make a big difference for the rest of your life.

Check out what these young people have to say about side effects from taking PrEP:

Click here to find your nearest clinic offering PrEP.

Want to find out the difference between PrEP, PEP and ART? Click here

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