A programming language construct that modifies the state of the system. The most common side effects are assignment, input and output. A language without side effects is purely-functional - execution consists of the evaluation of an expression and all subexpressions are referentially transparent.

(01 Feb 1995)

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<pharmacology> A consequence other than the one for which an agent or measure is used, as the adverse effects produced by a drug. Such effects result from action on normal or healthy cells, tissues or organ systems other than the one for which the drug was prescribed.

For example: hair loss, fatigue, nausea can be common adverse effects of anticancer therapy.

(14 Feb 2009)

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