What happens if my PrEP pills are broken or damaged?


Have you ever wondered about what happens to medication when it’s damaged?

There have been reports of some generic PrEP in Australia splitting, separating, or becoming damaged.

An investigation into splitting PrEP is underway, but at the time of posting we don’t know the exact reason. It is likely due to PrEP pills being taken out of their packaging and exposed to moisture.

After consultation with the Medical Information team at Mylan, one of the generic PrEP manufacturers we can advise the following if you experience any damaged PrEP pills.

Mylan has recommended;

  • Do not take the tablet if the visual appearance is not normal (ie there is a spilt down the length of the tablet).

  • Return the defective tablet along with the original bottle or blister to the pharmacy. If the tablet was in a pack and you do not have the original pack, then just take what you have back to the pharmacy.

  • Get a replacement. The pharmacy should provide the patient with a replacement bottle and seek a refund for the defective stock.

  • The pharmacist should contact Mylan to arrange return or destruction of the defective stock. Mylan might decide to destroy the medication or have it returned to them to investigate further.

  • Mylan will organise to reimburse the pharmacy for the defect stock so the pharmacy will not be out of pocket.

  • If the pharmacy does not issue you a replacement bottle, you can contact the Pharmacy Board of Australia

  • Mylan have said they will provide a copy of the report from the investigation once it has been completed, and PAN will be happy to update this post as new information arises.

If you have ANY questions, concerns, or issues relating to your PrEP contact PAN at info@pan.org.au or call/txt/WhatsApp/WeChat us on O420364621


Just the tip…

Keep your PrEP stored in the bottle, or another secure location. Minimise exposure to moisture and heat. If you keep your PrEP on the bathroom sink, perhaps put it on your bedside table or by your coffee mug.

If you divide your PrEP pills up, look at an air/watertight organiser, If there’s room for a silica tablet in a spare compartment - add one from an old PrEP pill bottle.

For backups grab a sealed pill holder keychain.

If you keep your pills in the bottle, leave the moisture stopping silica sachet or tablet in the bottle.  

Generic PrEP also comes in blister packs, meaning each pill is individually sealed - and can easily be cut up so you can take the required number of pills with you when you go on holiday.

Don’t expose your PrEP pills to high temperatures. Read the bottle for manufacturers recommendations, but generally below 25C is recommended.

Be aware of leaving your PrEP in the car or windowsill on a warm day.

Check out this video from Melbourne GP Dr. George Forgan-Smith on storing your PrEP!