Definition of Post-exposure prophylaxis
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 care worker exposed by a needle stick to HIV with a drug such as AZT to protect them from being infected with HIV.
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox FREE!