Side Effect

In medicine, a side effect is an effect, whether therapeutic or adverse, that is secondary to the one intended; although the term is predominantly employed to describe adverse effects, it can also apply to beneficial, but unintended, consequences of the use of a drug.

Occasionally, drugs are prescribed or procedures performed specifically for their side effects; in that case, said side effect ceases to be a side effect, and is now an intended effect. For instance, X-rays were historically (and are currently) used as an imaging technique; the discovery of their oncolytic capability led to their employ in radiotherapy (ablation of malignant tumours).

Use of drugs for unapproved indications—that is, for their side effects—is termed off-label use. For instance, opioids, which are approved as palliative treatment for pain, may also be used for their euphoriant properties as anxiolytics or antidepressants, whether medically or recreationally.

Off-label use of drugs, although similar in meaning to side effects, is not to be confused with them; side effects describe the mechanism of action that a drug used off-label takes, whereas off-label use implies the desired consequences of using a drug for its side-effects.

Off-label use of drugs is legal; the manner in which prescription medication is to be used is solely at the discretion of the prescriber. However, the marketing of drugs towards unapproved indications is illegal; in fact, several pharmaceutical development firms have been fined for unapproved promotion of their products.

Read more about Side Effect:  Examples of Therapeutic Side-effects

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Side Effect - Examples of Therapeutic Side-effects
... for manic depression and convulsions, but has side effects useful in treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, phantom limb syndrome ... approved for treatment of seizures and postherpetic neuralgia in adults, has side-effects which are useful in treating bipolar disorder, essential tremor, hot ... as a diet hormone as well because of the supposed positive side effects it has on weight loss ...
Pulmonary Toxicity Due To Radiation (radiotherapy)
... it also can lead to pulmonary toxicity as a side effect ... toxicity, and take a number of precautions to minimise the incidence of this side effect ... research efforts to possibly eliminate this side effect in the future ...
Pulmonary Toxicity - Semantic Difficulties For Non-healthcare Professionals While Searching For Information
... searching for information about pulmonary toxicity (or about any other side effect) ... Side effect = adverse event (AE) = adverse drug reaction (ADR) = adverse reaction = toxicity ... (a general term), the specific name of the specific side effect in question can be used, e.g ...
Side Effect (disambiguation)
... Side effect is an effect that is secondary to the one intended ... Side effect or side effects may also refer to ...

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