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.

  • What is wrong with the words "get" and "off"? Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 22:56
  • GEdgar - that's the best so far +1 :)
    – khosrow
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 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. Commented Jan 17, 2012 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. Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 15:06
  • Is this a trick question?
    – user22542
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 22:18

5 Answers 5


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.


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".

  • 1
    Hmm, but in the UK wouldn't most people say "medicine"?
    – slim
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 0:12
  • 1
    @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!". Commented Jan 17, 2012 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. Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 0:41

"I would like to stop taking that medication"

.. or...

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

  • 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.
    – khosrow
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 22:54

Everybody's reply, although possible to use, meaning the English speaker will understand what you want, isn't correct.

The correct term is Tapering or Weaning.

  • I would like to taper off this medication.

  • I would like to wean myself from this medication.


Wean off the medication?

Gradually reducing the dependency

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