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serving to avert the occurrence of; prophylactic.


1. Preventing disease; relating to prophylaxis. Synonym(s): preventive
2. An agent that acts to prevent a disease.
[G. prophylaktikos; see prophylaxis]


/pre·ven·tive/ (pre-vent´iv) prophylactic.


(prĭ-vĕn′tĭv) also


1. Intended or used to prevent or hinder; acting as an obstacle: preventive measures.
2. Carried out to deter expected aggression by hostile forces.
3. Preventing or slowing the course of an illness or disease; prophylactic: preventive medicine; preventive health care.
1. Something that prevents; an obstacle.
2. Something that prevents or slows the course of an illness or disease.

pre·ven′tive·ly adv.
pre·ven′tive·ness n.


Etymology: L, praevenire, to anticipate
pertaining to hindering the occurrence of an illness or decreasing the incidence of a disease.


1. Preventing disease; relating to prophylaxis.
Synonym(s): preventive.
2. An agent that acts to prevent a disease.
3. Colloq. used to mean condom, and to a lesser extent, a method of birth control.


1. Preventing disease; relating to prophylaxis.
Synonym(s): preventive.
2. Agent that acts to prevent disease. e.g., a condom
[G. prophylaktikos; see etymology of prophylaxis]


adj avoiding occurrence.
preventive dentistry,
n the procedures in dental practice and health programs that prevent the occurrence of oral diseases.
preventive maintenance,
n a manner of avoiding future potential dental diseases or oral problems by practicing good oral hygiene on a regular basis.
preventive medicine,
n the branch of medicine that is concerned with the prevention of disease and methods for increasing the power of the patient and community to resist disease and prolong life.
preventive orthodontic treatment,
n the dental services intended to prevent the development of a malocclusion by maintaining the integrity of an otherwise normally developing dentition. Typical services include dental restorations, temporary prostheses (space maintainers) to replace prematurely lost primary teeth, and removal of primary teeth that fail to shed normally to allow the permanent successors to erupt satisfactorily.
n a genus of gram-negative, anaerobic, non-spore-forming, nonmotile rods. Organisms of this genus were originally classified as members of the
Bacteroides genus but overwhelming biochemical and chemical findings indicated the need to separate them from other
Bacteroides species; hence, this new genus was established.
P. intermedia
n a bacilli found in gingival crevices that is believed to be responsible for gingivitis, chronic periodontitis, and other infections of the oral cavity.


serving to avert the occurrence of; prophylactic.

veterinary preventive medicine
science aimed at preventing disease in animals. Preventive medicine has been a large part of general practices for many years and is currently expanding the sorts of services that it provides by the inclusion of such items as herd health programs, cytogenetic surveillance, embryo transfer.
veterinary preventive screening
see screening test.
veterinary preventive therapeutics
the positive aspects of repair of nutritional deficiencies; the provision of therapeutic agents as part of a preventive medicine program. Daily administration of small doses of anthelmintics, treatment of the trypanosomiases are examples.

Patient discussion about preventive

Q. Is there something I could do in order to prevent headaches? I have headaches often and somebody told me that there're steps to be taken in order to prevent headaches so often... Please help...

A. I just read your question on headaches. I have them occasionally as well. I don't like to take over the counter medication for headaches, so I rely on herbal supplemnts. You are ayoung man so I'm assuming you are very healthy. This herbal supplement shouldn't hurt you. It's very safe. I take at least 2 Valerian root capsules before going to bed. It relaxes your body abd it helps to eliminate headeaches.It also lowers the blood pressure which can sometimes cause headaches. Be sure you rule out any oraganic problems which can also cause headaches. You can find Valerian root at any health food/ organic markets.Also look at your diet MSG in food gives me headaches as well. I can always tell if it's present in foods right after I eat something processed. I stick with whole foods and I do yoga which helps as well. Let me know how if this works.

Q. How to prevent diverticulitis? I am a 43 year old man. I just had colonoscopy and my Doctor said I have diverticulosis and am at risk in developing diverticulitis. How can I prevent developing diverticulitis?

A. You have Diverticulosis, which means you have diverticulas (small pouches) on your digestive system. These diverticula are permanent and will not go away. No treatment has been found to prevent complications of diverticular disease. Diet high in fiber increases stool bulk and prevents constipation, and theoretically may help prevent further diverticular formation or worsening of the diverticular condition. Some doctors recommend avoiding nuts, corn, and seeds which can plug diverticular openings and cause diverticulitis. Whether avoidance of such foods is beneficial is unclear. If you develop unexplained fever, chills or abdominal pain, you should notify your doctor immediately since it could be a complication of diverticulitis.

Q. How to prevent Hemorrhoids? My brother is suffering from Hemorrhoids. I am very worried about getting them to and want to know how can I prevent them?

A. it's time to change to a healthier with fibers and vegetables.avoid causes like: Increased straining during bowel movements,portal hypertension, Obesity and Excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeine.

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