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  1. FeralUrban

    Tips for tapering off Effexor and Effexor XR (venlafaxine)

    Oh dear. Effexor capsules do not contain the same amount of medication by weight in each capsule. I was counting beads as a means of removing 10% from my 37.5 mg brand name Effexor The beads are all different sizes, as noted by others on this site and therefore inherently impossible to accurately reduce by 10% since you could be removing a bead that weighs three times as much as another bead, etc. AND I HATE COUNTING, I suck at it. My brain can't do it easily. I have to have tricks and methods, making piles of 10, counting the piles over and over. So I got a scale. AWS ZEO-50 Jeweler's scale 50g x 0.001g with a wind shield and level, and rubber feet for minimization of vibration. I had gotten their less expensive scale but it had problems. This one does indeed work better, but I have to be very careful. Don't touch the table the scale is on, put the wind shield down. Put the weighing dish in the same place each time. Try to distribute the beads evenly in the tray. If you do all that it is very accurate. Care of course must be taken regarding bouncing beads, static cling beads, etc. BUT -- here is what this weeks Effexor capsules weighed: 0.156g removed 0.016 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.140 0.121g removed 0.012 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.109 0.137g removed 0.014 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.123 0.127g removed 0.013 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.114 0.138g removed 0.014 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.124 0.155g removed 0.015 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.140 0.129g removed 0.013 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.116 0.118g removed 0.012 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.106 Difference between highest weight and lowest weight 0.038g, significant enough when doing a taper % difference in weight of doses taken: 3.4%. So um, being sensitive this is not good. I'll see how it feels this week, see if it feels like I"m bouncing on Day 2 or 7. I do not know if the difference in weight is due to the different in the active ingredients or the time release and binder ingredients. But I would say that prior to tapering I occasionally experienced taking the pill and experiencing WD, which seemed to me to indicate what was in one capsule was not equal to another. Therefore I'm guessing that the active ingredient is not accurately measured in the capsule. Does anyone know if the active ingredient in each capsule of Effexor is the same -- or not? The unequal weights of each capsule means that when I do my next taper (which will be 5%) that I will have to do the calculation as follows. Forgive me if I have written the formula's incorrectly. I haven't used much algebra for past 40 years. Step 1: Capsule A weight Step 2: A*0.9 = New 10% reduced dose Step 3: 0.95*(A*0.9) = New dose, 5% reduction from previous dose Step 4: 0.95*(0.95*(A*0.9)) Step 5: 0.95*(0.95*(0.95*(A*0.9))) Step 6: 0.95*(0.95*(0.95*(0.95*(A*0.9)))) And so on, for each damn capsule. I will try to make a spreadsheet so I can make the machine make the calculations for me. Given that I will have to do this for each bead, and each time I reduce dose I will have to add another line to the formula, makes my blood boil and my brain freeze. I pray that a 5% taper works for me, as I can't imagine doing this with a 1% taper. I'm going to the garden now and deal with plants and dirt. So much easier than capsules.
  2. Hi all, I'm here to share my positive experience so far with tapering off 30mg Cymbalta. I reside in Australia where supply for me is prescribed in blister packs with one month supply per box and I've only been taking Cymbalta since April 2011. Initially I counted a few caps & found approx 300 beads in each 30mg cap so I started by removing 30 beads each day for ten days, then each ten days increasing the amount removed by 30 (100 day plan). My tapering plan has been more aggressive in timing than other research suggests & I've been lucky that this hasn't caused any ill effects (there are one or two days each week where I feel a bit dizzy / jetlagged but nothing debilitating). Also, I was not anal with the bead removal, some days the amount removed from each cap may have varied by 5 beads up or down. Once I got to the stage where I was removing half the beads & I only had a few caps left of my blister pack, I purchased some empty gelatin caps & started filling them each day using the beads I had saved from the previous daily removals & have continued with decreasing the amount by 30 beads every ten days. I'm currently down to an intake of 90 beads per day & I'm feeling good. Thanks to everyone else who shared their experiences that helped me to formulate my plan, good luck to everyone else who is in the process :-) Bead counting is laborious but it's worked for me so stick with it!
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