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https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/medthera

Medicines and Therapeutics Research

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Medicines and therapeutics are substances used in the treatment of illnesses or symptoms. They are available to individuals through physician prescriptions and for over-the-counter uses. Medicines and therapeutics may be found in many forms, such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, or powders. Medicines and therapeutics are not botanical dietary supplements.

NTP has received a number of nominations to study medicines and therapeutics from the public and other federal agencies because people are concerned about their safety. If a manufacturer wants to distribute a medicine or therapeutic, they must receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prior to putting it on the market. However, not all effects may be realized during clinical testing, there may be

  • indications for the medicine
  • off-label uses
  • side effects that may be deemed a necessary risk because the overall effect significantly improves an illness or disease
  • side effects that are only noted in a certain subpopulation

For these reasons, NTP is studying select medicines and therapeutics to identify potential harm from short-term and long-term exposure.