Seven Understandable Reasons Why You Might Want to Stop Taking Your Medication – 2024 Guide

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Prescription and over the counter medications are part of our lives. We reach for a quick pain killer when we have a headache and rely on our doctors to prescribe us medication for serious medical conditions.

Medicine can greatly improve the quality of our lives, but it can also cause some problems. It’s easy to feel uncomfortable with the amount of medication you’re taking or the type of medication you have to take on a daily basis. You aren’t alone if you want to stop taking one or more of your medications. Many people have many reasons for wanting to let some of their meds go.

Safety Concerns

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We like to assume that doctors prescribe us safe medications. We definitely assume if a medication is available over the counter, it must be safe. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

The safety of medication may be questioned over time, which means you may have been taking a medicine that is no longer safe. That’s the case with the popular medication Zantac, for example.

According to Dolman Law Group, “Some patients who take Zantac or its generic version, ranitidine, might develop cancer or experience cancer symptoms.” That’s because this medication has been found to contain unacceptable levels of probable cancer-causing impurities.

It’s not just Zantac. Other medications can be unsafe, and even taking too much Tylenol and other types of pain killers can be harmful too, which may cause you to rethink your medication regimen.

Too Many Medications

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Nearly half of the people living in the United States take at least one prescription drug. Nearly a quarter of people take at least three. A startling percentage of people take five or more prescription drugs, and you’re more likely to take more medication the older you get.

If you’re getting tired of taking multiple medicines each and every day, you may start to dream of a time when you didn’t have so many to take. That may cause you to reconsider whether or not you really need all of your medications. Depending on how many medications you take for which conditions, you may not need to take all those drugs.

Tired of the Side Effects

Some medications have severe side effects, but they’re worth it if it means getting rid of a larger problem. That’s definitely the case with things like chemotherapy for cancer. However, there are plenty of other medications that come with side effects that may not be worth dealing with.

Many common medications come with side effects that include:

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• Constipation
• Diarrhea
• Dizziness
• Drowsiness
• Headache
• Insomnia
• Nausea

Some drugs come with more severe side effects like suicidal thoughts, abnormal heart rhythms, and even cancer. If you’re dealing with one or more of these symptoms to eliminate another symptom, you may decide that dealing with the original problem is better than dealing with the side effects that come with the medicine that’s supposed to fix it.


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Healthcare is expensive, and so is a prescription medication. The average American spends $1,200 every single year on prescription medication, and that amount is only likely to increase as drug prices continue to go up.

Many Americans simply don’t have the money they need to pay for all of their medications. Some people lose their health insurance and have to get serious about deciding which medications to take and which ones to let go, while others simply may not want to spend that much because they’ve got better things to spend their money on.

We all have to take a close look out our budgets, and for some, cutting out certain medications could be a quick and easy way to save money.

Preference for Natural Alternatives

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Not everyone wants all of their problems to be solved by a pill. Some are much more comfortable turning to natural alternatives, especially when it feels like their medicine cabinet is getting out of hand.

There are many natural remedies that have the potential to replace common prescription drugs. Just a few examples include:

• Chiropractic care and acupuncture have the potential to replace strong pain medications
• Eating oats, garlic, olive oil, and red wine have the potential to replace cholesterol medications
• Supplements, like CoQ10, may be able to replace common blood pressure medications
• Herbal lozenges have the potential to eliminate the need to take acid reflux medications

Worry About Dependency

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Some strong medications can create scary drug dependency. Just a few drugs that are commonly abused include opioids, anti-anxiety medications, and stimulants. If you take one of these medications, you may want to look for alternatives in order to avoid potential drug addiction.

However, many other drugs can build up in your system and lose effectiveness, causing you to have to take more and more in order to feel the same effects. For example, you may want to kick your over the counter pain killer habit if you notice that you have to take three or four pills to feel relief when you should only be taking two.

Mistrust of Doctors

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Many of us see multiple health professionals. We also tend to spend more time in the waiting room than we actually spend talking to the doctor. It can feel like the doctor wants to throw pills at you just to get you to leave their office so they can move onto the next patient.

You aren’t alone if you question your prescription because you don’t trust your doctor. You may want to hold off on filling that prescription while you do your own research, or you may want to get another professional opinion if you are rethinking your current medications.

There are many acceptable reasons to consider discontinuing one or more of your medications, but you should never quit cold turkey. If you are thinking about getting rid of one or more of your pills, you need to talk to your doctor or your pharmacist. They can make sure you stop taking your medication safely.