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How would you say "I'd like to get off the medication" not using the colloquial phrasal verb "get off"? I.e., something that you'd hear someone well-versed in the English language say.

For example, can someone fill in a word or phrase to complete the following sentence:

I'd like to be ___ medication by next month.

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What is wrong with the words "get" and "off"? –  Peter Shor Jan 16 '12 at 22:56
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I'd like to discontinue the medication. –  GEdgar Jan 16 '12 at 22:57
    
GEdgar - that's the best so far +1 :) –  Cyrus Jan 17 '12 at 0:06
    
If you just say "discontinue the medication" and not "discontinue taking the medication", it means (at least to me) that the speaker would like to cease the manufacture of the medication. –  David Schwartz Jan 17 '12 at 11:23
    
@David Schwartz: To me, discontinue in this context is suggestive of "unnaturally careful / pseudo-sophisticated" speech - a bit like when people affect a "telephone voice". So it might occur more often than you'd expect because many/most people are a bit intimidated when talking to doctors. Firstly because they're generally perceived as highly educated, secondly because sometimes they hold the power of life and death over you. –  FumbleFingers Jan 17 '12 at 15:06

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Discontinue, drop, cease, quit, among other terms, can be fitted into sentences for the desired effect:

  • I want to discontinue that medication.
  • I want that medication to cease.
  • I want to drop that medication.
  • I want to quit taking that medication.
  • I don't need that medication anymore.

Note, I see that GEdgar already suggested a sentence like the first.

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In the UK at least, come off [the] medication has been getting a lot more common recently...

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...but I can't say whether the usage applies in America as well. I think it's probably because increasingly the patient is involved in certain "clinical decisions". A cynic might say that's partly to lessen the chances of the doctor being sued if it all goes horribly wrong. Whatever the reason, it means there are more real-world contexts where the patient might say something like this, rather than the doctor saying he'll "Take you off the medication".

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Hmm, but in the UK wouldn't most people say "medicine"? –  slim Jan 17 '12 at 0:12
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@slim: I think for longer-term prescriptions (the kind you might speak of "coming off"), medication became the dominant form quite a while back. Although having health professionals in the family I may have a skewed view there. Certainly we still use "medicine" in the metaphoric cliched variants of "Just take your medicine!", but I suspect "Keep taking the medication!" is gaining ground on "Keep taking the tablets!". –  FumbleFingers Jan 17 '12 at 0:21
    
@Slim: Actually you're right. But the trends suggest I'll be right in a couple of decades. Plus it might be that when doctors are talking to (esp elderly) patients they still use medicine thinking it sounds less "clinical" and intimidating. –  FumbleFingers Jan 17 '12 at 0:41

"I would like to stop taking that medication"

.. or...

"I would like to end my dependency on that medication".

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Sorry I should have been more clear; I'm after a verb to replace "get off" - i.e., I would like to <leave> from medication"; if there is such a thing. –  Cyrus Jan 16 '12 at 22:54

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