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A guide to reducing or stopping mental health medication - notes for consumers

For some people, reducing or stopping mental health medication can be difficult. The purpose of this guide is to give you information that can help you to come off your medication. It does not deal with the decision to reduce or stop taking medication, which ideally should be made in collaboration with your health care workers and key support people.

It is important to discuss whether you should reduce or stop your medication with your doctor and/or pharmacist. They will be able to give you valuable information about the pros and cons, how to reduce or stop safely and how to reduce discontinuation symptoms. However, it is ultimately your choice whether or not to reduce or stop your medication, unless you are on a compulsory treatment order.

This guide has been produced with the support of Te Pou and the Equally Well Collaborative. Where possible, it is based on research evidence. However, as there isn’t a lot of research available, much of it is based on the personal experience and clinical opinions of people with expertise in the area. Everyone’s experience of reducing or stopping medication is different, and care must be taken not to assume one person’s experiences and opinion are true for everyone.

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