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Definition of Chemoprophylaxis

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Updated November 03, 2009

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition: Chemoprophylaxis is the administration of a drug to prevent a disease when the disease has not yet occurred.
Examples:
Patients with certain high-risk conditions (like asthma) or who are in high-risk groups (like nursing home residents) may be given antiviral medications to prevent development of the flu. This is because of the risk of complications in high-risk groups.

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