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The contraindication ( Latin contra 'against' and indicare ' to show') or contraindication is a circumstance that forbids the use of a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure in any case for a given indication or allows it only after careful consideration of the resulting risks .

to form

  • The measure completely prohibits an absolute contraindication . For example, a patient who has had an allergic reaction to penicillin may no longer receive the substance .
  • A relative contraindication speaks against the measure, but allows it if it is likely to be of more use than harm in a specific individual case. For example, a patient who has had a stomach ulcer is not supposed to receive acetylsalicylic acid . If there is no sensible alternative and the benefits of treatment seem greater than the risk of developing a new gastric ulcer, administration of the drug is still indicated (appropriate). The “relative” contraindications are dealt with in the information for healthcare professionals in the sections “Special warnings and precautions for use”, “Interactions with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction” and “Fertility, pregnancy and lactation”.

Occasionally, certain circumstances are mistaken for a contraindication. Such “false” contraindications are described, for example, in connection with the implementation of vaccinations. Furthermore, especially in lay circles, the fear of side effects is often greater than the fear of the damage that will result if not treated. This is promoted by the long lists of side effects in the instruction leaflets, which name possible side effects of the application, but do not indicate the risk of completely foregoing therapy.

A responsible attitude always weighs the risks of therapy against the risks of possible alternatives and against the risks of refraining from therapy.

See also


  • Nicole Menche: Internal Medicine . Elsevier, Urban & Fischer Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-437-48130-4 , 2.1 Terminology, p. 25 ( full text in Google Book Search).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Contraindication In: Pschyrembel - Clinical Dictionary , 261st edition; Walter de Gruyter 2007.
  2. ^ Contraindication in Roche Lexikon Medizin, 5th ed., Urban & Fischer 2003, online
  3. ^ Otto Dornblüth : Clinical Dictionary. 13./14. Edition, 1927.
  4. ^ Message from the Standing Vaccination Commission at the Robert Koch Institute: Recommendations of the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) at the Robert Koch Institute / Status: July 2008 , in: Epidemiologisches Bulletin No. 30, July 25, 2008, page 249.