A side effect refers to an unwanted effect of a drug. When determining if a medication is suitable for a patient, a medical professional will weigh the side effects against the therapeutic effects to assess whether the benefit of the drug outweighs the risk. For example, a side effect of cold and flu tablets is drowsiness; however, the therapeutic effects of these medications, such as clearing the nose and head, often outweigh the disadvantage of feeling drowsy.

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