Definition of Prophylactic
Prophylactic: A preventive measure. The word comes from the Greek for "an advance guard," an apt term for a measure taken to fend off a disease or another unwanted consequence.
A prophylactic is a medication or a treatment designed and used to prevent a disease from occurring. For example, prophylactic antibiotics may be used after a bout of rheumatic fever to prevent the subsequent development of Sydenham's chorea.
A prophylactic is also a drug or device, particularly a condom, for preventing pregnancy.Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013
Medical Dictionary Definitions A - Z
Search Medical Dictionary
- Being There for Your Child With Type 1 Diabetes
- Your Premature Baby: Milestones for the First 18 Months
- Are We Close to a Cure for Cancer?
- Early Care for Your Premature Baby
- What to Eat When You Have Cancer
- When to Take More Pain Medication