Dictionary Definition

contraindication n : (medicine) a reason that makes it inadvisable to prescribe a particular drug or employ a particular procedure or treatment [ant: indication]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A factor or symptom which makes the prescribed treatment inadvisable.


that which makes prescribed treatment inadvisable

Extensive Definition

In medicine, a contraindication is a condition or factor that increases the risks involved in using a particular drug, carrying out a medical procedure, or engaging in a particular activity.
Some contraindications are absolute, meaning that there are no reasonable circumstances for undertaking a course of action. For example, a baby with a fever should never be given aspirin because of the risk of Reye's syndrome, and a person with an anaphylactic food allergy should never eat that food.
Other contraindications are relative, meaning that the patient is at higher risk of complications, but that these risks may be outweighed by other considerations or mitigated by other measures. For example, a pregnant woman should normally avoid getting X-rays, but the risk may be far less than the risk of not diagnosing or being able to treat a serious condition such as tuberculosis or a broken bone.

See also

contraindication in German: Kontraindikation
contraindication in Spanish: Contraindicación
contraindication in Italian: Controindicazione
contraindication in Norwegian: Kontraindikasjon
contraindication in Swedish: Kontraindikation

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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