How do you stop taking prescription drugs?

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A:

After I got to know a patient, and his life was relatively stable, I would start reducing medication – between 10% and 25% at a time. I would warn him that the medication reduction might cause reappearance of earlier symptoms, and it was his choice whether to try to weather this or to return to the original dosage level. If the dosage reduction was successful, I would then try to reduce dosages again - another 10% - 25% - six or eight weeks later. If the initial dosage reduction did not succeed, I would try a smaller reduction after several weeks. I made it clear to the patient that continuing on medication could harm him, so that reducing it became our joint task. I have no specific figures on success, but I believe this dosage reduction plan helped the overwhelming majority of my patients – perhaps 80% or more.

Dr Lehrman


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