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Healthcare Glossary

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Adverse reaction

An adverse reaction (also known as an adverse effect) is an undesired or harmful effect occurring after taking a medication or receiving surgery. Onset may be sudden or develop over time. If this reaction is minor, it may be referred to as a side effect.

Adverse effects are sometimes referred to as "iatrogenic" because they are generated by a physician or treatment. Occasionally adverse effects occur when starting, increasing or discontinuing a treatment. Using a drug or other medical intervention which is contraindicated
may also increase the possibility of adverse effects. Adverse effects commonly cause medical complications of a disease or procedure and negatively affect its prognosis.

See also:
Adverse event
Contraindication

Pharmacovigilance

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