con·​tra·​in·​di·​ca·​tion | \ ˌkän-trə-ˌin-də-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce contraindication (audio) \

Definition of contraindication

: something (such as a symptom or condition) that makes a particular treatment or procedure inadvisable

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For doctors, an indication is a symptom or circumstance that makes a particular medical treatment desirable. Serious anxiety, for example, is often an indication for prescribing a tranquilizer. A contraindication, then, is a symptom or condition that makes a treatment risky, such as taking certain other medications at the same time. Drugs and conditions that are contraindicated for a medication are listed on its label, and reeled off at high speed in TV ads. Patients can guard against the dangers of drug interaction by reading labels carefully and making sure their doctors know what else they're currently taking.

Examples of contraindication in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The only major contraindication to the vaccines listed by the CDC is a severe allergic reaction to the first dose. Ivan Pereira, ABC News, 15 Sep. 2021 For those who have a medical contraindication to vaccination, a reasonable accommodation could be made by having the worker mask. Judy Stone, Forbes, 28 June 2021 Scynexis lists pregnancy as a contraindication, citing the potential for harm to the developing fetus based on animal studies. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, 3 June 2021 Administering a vaccine with a live virus, thought to possibly pose a risk to the growing fetus, is the only contraindication. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, 29 Dec. 2020 There’s no contraindication, and breastfeeding has been shown to protect your baby from other issues along they way. Molly Longman,, 27 Aug. 2020 And then, just before his hospital started Covid-19 sample testing, Bapat came across the contraindications of hydroxychloroquine, which, at the moment is being considered as one of the drugs to prevent and treat Covid-19. Priti Salian, Quartz India, 8 May 2020 According to the American Refractive Surgery Council, absolute contraindications (aka, reasons not to use a medication or procedure) to LASIK include cataracts, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Claire Gillespie,, 15 Nov. 2019 This is a really thorny area that isn’t set in stone, because this contraindication may be based on outdated advice. SELF, 14 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contraindication.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of contraindication

1623, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of contraindication was in 1623

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Cite this Entry

“Contraindication.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for contraindication



English Language Learners Definition of contraindication

: something (such as a symptom or condition) that is a medical reason for not doing or using something (such as a treatment, procedure, or activity)


con·​tra·​in·​di·​ca·​tion | \ -ˌin-də-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce contraindication (audio) \

Medical Definition of contraindication

: something (as a symptom or condition) that makes a particular treatment or procedure inadvisable


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