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When a drug has effects other than on its target within the body – may induce side effects.

Use in clinical context

Sometimes a drug used to treat a particular condition or symptom can have effects on other pathways or tissues within the body in addition to the intended target. These are termed as off-target effects and can lead to side effects ranging in severity from mild to life threatening. During the development of drugs, attempts are made to reduce off-target effects and increase the efficacy of the drug. Information from a person’s genome can be used to inform whether they may be at risk of off-target effects from a treatment.

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Last updated on 31st May, 2019