Start the Conversation About Your Medication Management

“Freedom of choice” is a typical value in the US. So when my health care provider prescribes me a chronic disease medication for, say, high blood pressure, do I yield the rest of my life to a medication? No! This article is about the difficult conversation, asking your health care provider “How can I get off this medication?”

medication chronic disease management

The Gameplan

The majority of you ingest iron naturally through foods you eat – spinach, bread, lentils, dark chocolate, etc. As you grow older your body may become less adept at absorbing iron – (1) an iron deficiency develops. So in a routine check-up your health care provider (2) prescribes a supplemental iron medication.

 In addition to the iron supplement, for the following months you (3) make a concerted effort to get more iron naturally from your diet. It’s not a big deal to take a prescription medication, but if you want to get off the medication you must earn it by adapting your diet. (4) At your next appointment you’re back to your age-appropriate iron levels. (5) Then your provider may reduce the dosage or wean off the medication entirely. GOOD WORK! So, let’s break it down into a step-by-step list.

  1. You developed a deficiency

  2. You earned a prescription to keep levels in check

  3. You made an adjustment to your diet

  4. You earned your age-appropriate level

  5. You weaned off the prescription medicine

This same process can be applied to many prescription drugs related to chronic disease management – like blood pressure or cholesterol medications. Schedule an appointment with your referring health care provider today. Ask if and how you can earn your way to a reduction in dosage. Or better yet, how to wean off the medication completely. Most likely the answer can be found in changing current behaviors. Remember, if you want to wean off a chronic disease medication, you must earn it.


J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2014;44(5):388. doi:10.2519/jospt.2014.0504

The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with Heather Lane Physical Therapy or another qualified healthcare provider. 

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