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Meowmeoww: Need some informative answers - Zoloft


Meowmeoww

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Hello,

 

I'm currently taking half of 12.5mg zoloft which is a little over 6mg. I'm researching on tapperimg and read the page about the 10% rule. Id like to have a solid plan but I'm not really good at math and wanted to ask about the dosages and the time. Can someone let me know how to calculate all that? I tried to wean off before without knowing about the 10% rule and had hard time..so I want to do it right this time when I'm ready. Also my doc said that there's a liquid for of zoloft which may be an option if it's gonna make this easier because right now the pill I'm splitting is tiny and no way I know how many mg I would be taking if I start cutting it to smaller pieces.

 

Also one more question. Is it normal when drinking alcohol to experience withdrawal like symptoms like sore throat, sneezing, sleepiness and weird thoughts? That happened twice and now Im concerned about drinking more than 1 glass of wine lol

 

Thanks

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Meowmeoww, welcome to SA!

 

I moved your topic to create an intro for you since you are new to us.  We always start with an intro for all new members.  This is your place to give your history, journal your progress, ask questions about your situation, and the like.  Bookmark this page so you can find it more easily.  By clicking "Follow" above, you will be notified of any responses to your thread.

 

We always ask members to fill out their signature block with their med history.  Please include all meds you are on, when you last tried to come off, with dates to the best of your knowledge.  Include all OTC and Rx meds.  Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

I am glad that you have already been educating yourself about tapering.  Here are the particulars for Zoloft:  Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

Yes, liquid taper will be your best bet, and I am glad that your doctor is willing to prescribe it.

 

Liquid Zoloft is very concentrated, 20 mg/ml.  With a 1.0 ml oral syringe, this would mean taking 0.625 ml and adding it to water.  I think it would be better to get some tubes like these and mix in:  https://www.amazon.com/Karter-Scientific-Centrifuge-30x115mm-Conical/dp/B005Z4S3ZU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1465858328&sr=8-2&keywords=50+ml+centrifuge+tubes

 

You don't need 50 but they're inexpensive enough, so you'll always have extras. 

 

I would put 1 ml of the Zoloft liquid in the tube, and then add water to the 20 ml line.  Use a large syringe to do this since it is easy to overshoot your target volume just pouring water in.  This would give you a 1 mg/ml solution.  Then, if you wanted to take 12.5 mg, you would take 12.5 ml.  It helps to have a larger syringe to draw off the extra and then perhaps add the rest to a glass that you can add more water or juice to.  Add rinse water to the glass and tube and drink those as well to be sure you are getting a consistent dose.

 

This spreadsheet can be helpful for the mathematically challenged:  Excel spreadsheet to calculate dose weights using a scale

 

Where it says "enter dose" in orange, enter 12.5 since that is where you are now.  Ignore the weight side of things.  Enter 6.25 where it says "enter starting dose" in yellow. Hit enter and the spreadsheet will spit out your 10% reductions.  If you want to change the size of the cuts, just enter the new percentage where it says 10%.  Now, each calculation will be for every four weeks, though you can change that interval to be every 3 weeks or 5 or 6, depending on how you handle tapering.  So, since you are using a 1.0 mg/ml solution, the dosages equate to the amount of mls you would take.

 

Start with 10% for four weeks (so take 90% of your previous dose).  Keep notes on paper about when you made the cuts, what time you take the meds, and when symptoms come up or go away.  This will give you an idea of how your system processes the cut.

 

Just in case you haven't seen these important topics, I'm including them here:

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

Preparing to taper

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Symptoms Checklist

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


 

We recommend members take Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil while tapering.

 

During tapering, you may experience the Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization which can lead to Neuro Emotions.  In that case we have tips for Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms.  This is also an important resource:  Symptoms:  Important topics about symptoms

 

How long were you on Zoloft, Meow?  It would seem you have already been reducing your dosage since you are on a relatively low dose at 12.5 mg.  What was the highest you were on and how long did you take to come down?  How was that process for you?

 

I'm glad you found SA - you will learn a lot, here, and find tons of support!

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Meowmeoww,

 

So glad you've found your way here, and on to the pages about tapering by 10%.  It can feel like a lot of information to take in at the beginning, but as with most things you'll soon feel more familiar with it.  Let's assume you are currently taking 6.25mg.  Your first calculation would look like this:  10% of 6.25 = .625 so then you would do:  6.25 - .625 = 5.625, which you would then take for a month (or more if your body is still feeling too unstable).  Keeping notes of your symptoms will be really useful further down the track.

 

For your second reduction, you would do this:  5.625 - .563 = 5.062

 

To be accurate enough, you will need to get the liquid.  There are more instructions about that here:  Tips for Tapering Zoloft  It is probably better to switch to liquid before you start tapering, as the switch itself can cause people to be a bit unsettled.

 

And yes, alcohol does cause more problems during w/d.  We suggest having none, or as little as possible, to make the w/d process easier.  It sounds like your system already does not like it in combination with zoloft anyway. 

 

Many people find Fish oil and Magnesium useful during withdrawal.  You could get a head start on these now. 

 

Would you be able to fill out a signature – drugs/dates/dosages etc - so we can see your situation easily whenever you post, and help you more accurately?  Thanks.

 

This thread can be your journal to record your tapering and healing progress, and to ask questions. 

Welcome to SA,

Karen

Edited by KarenB
posted at same time as SG, therefore some overlap of info

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Meowmeoww to SA! I'm glad you've found us as your Zoloft dose decreases.

Thanks for starting your own topic in the Introductions forum. This is where you can track your progress and symptoms, ask questions, chat with other members, etc.

Would you create a signature that includes your current drug(s) and dosages, withdrawal history -- your starting dose and how you've tapered to 6 mg? It gives the moderators a quick glance of what's going on with you and we'll be able to assist you more quickly. Here's a thread with details about creating a sig:Please put your withdrawal history in signature

To calculate your next dose, all you need is a calculator. Multiply your current dose by 0.9. Tada - new dose! The tricky part is making that dose out of the formulations available, e.g. 10 mg or 50 mg. To help with that, check out these topics:
Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules

Using a digital scale to measure doses

You may know that Zoloft is classed as an SSRI drug. Almost all of the SSRIs have moderate negative interactions with alcohol (ethanol). The manufacturer of Zoloft advises against alcohol consumption while taking the drug in the patient information. Individual sensitivity varies, it looks as if you're one of the lucky ones. You have symptoms of a negative interaction. When I say you're lucky, I'm not being sarcastic. Your noticable symptoms of a negative reaction have alerted you to something to avoid. Other people who don't have symptoms might drink and risk causing themselves all kinds of problems.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Looks like there's a lot of us on duty at the moment - we've all hit you up with the same links LOL!  

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Looks like there's a lot of us on duty at the moment - we've all hit you up with the same links LOL!

 

 

Thanks

SG

Thanks:) I needed info

I have one more question. I took 25mg Jan and reduced to 12.5 in February (without knowing abt tappering which was probably not a good idea) so I been on 6 and a half mg since March. Once I wean off will I be all leveled out and fine? I know I'm on a such a tiny dose and I'm kinda glad I am because the tappering process will we faster but I still wonder...

Edited by scallywag
to move Meow's question out of SG's quote
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It depends on several things, Meow.

 

1)  How long were you on Zoloft?  If you were on it less than a year you would likely be able to come off with fewer problems than those who were on it for years

2)  Was 25 mg the highest you ever went?

3)  How did you do with those 50% cuts?  Did you experience any withdrawal?

 

True, if you never went higher than 25 mg you were on a "low" dose, but as the article that I linked to shows, there's very little difference in receptor occupancy between 25 and 50 mg - they are both quite close to the maximum occupancy, so just because you were at the minimum dose doesn't mean it wasn't doing much.

 

If you were free of symptoms on previous big cuts and don't have any trouble with the first 10% cut from 6.25 mg, and 4 weeks goes by easily, then you may be able to taper every three weeks.

 

Whether you will be leveled out and fine after coming off completely depends on the above.  People can fast taper off and feel fine the first couple of months, only to get slammed with big time withdrawal syndrome, delayed. 

 

So, it will be very important to listen to your body closely as you make these next cuts.  Watch for physical and psychological symptoms.  To ensure success, it is best to go slower rather than faster, and not be wedded to the calendar, cutting just because a time interval has passed.

 

So, can you tell that I can't make any guarantees?  :-)

 

If you could fill in your signature block with your info it would be much easier for us to give you a better idea of what to expect, though no two people or cessations are the same.

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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I took 25mg for about 3 weeks in January then cut it in half and was taking that half until around mid February and around that time frame I tried to tapper so I went down to 6.25 for 2 weeks and then half of that for another 2 weeks and down to nothing and that week was rough so I reinstated. My doctor told me to just take xanax and eventually I'll level out but I reinstated. So ya I learned my lesson lol. Going slow is the way to go and when I am ready I'll go as slow as possible.

Then in April I tried to wean off from my current dose 6.25 thinking I can do it faster well I cut that 6.25 in half and was on for a while but then experienced some strange thoughts, woke up in my sleep from nightmare..so I went back up to 6 and a half mg. Also both times I tried to wean off I experience some sort of confusion on the road when I was driving thought for a second I was lost.

In January when I was on 25mg for abt 3 weeks and cut down to half of it I had some massive panick attacks followed by the ER. Was no fun. But again I had no idea not to do that cause my doctor just told me to quit it cold turkey.

Glad I found some helpful info on here. I just don't know if I'm ready to tapper yet..I need a solid plan. Wish I can find a scale to measure exactly the amounts I will need.. things seem complicated.. my doc said there's a liquid form of zoloft in 20mg so I may use that if it's gonna be easier..

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One more thing I forgot to add, both times when I tried to wean off without knowing much info I also experienced this unreal feeling like in a dream or something. That feeling I also experienced when 2 days in a row I had wine and the following day I had these withdrawal like symptoms. Now I'm afraid of drinking, I'm not starting to tapper yet but just afraid of drinking alcohol so I don't experience these weird symptoms again. Frustrating

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  • Moderator Emeritus

The experience you've described is called de-personalization/de-realization. Around here people use  dp/dr as a short form. It is a withdrawal symptom. You can read what others have posted about their experience of it here: Derealization or Depersonalization
 
Most psychiatric drugs come with a warning advising against consuming alcohol when taking the drug.  Zoloft is one of those drugs.  If you want to see the possible problems, enter "Zoloft" and "ethanol" in the Drugs-dot-com Drugs Interactions Checker.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Hello,

I will be going on out of town for a couple months and I will be changing time zone ( 3 hour difference - ahead )
I was wondering if I should continue taking my med (zoloft) the same time? I take it at 10am and when I relocate for couple months 10am will be 1pm ( west coast (USA) to east coast)

Thanks

Edited by scallywag
moved from Symptoms forum
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Sadly, though you weren't on the meds for long, you still ran into trouble with a faster taper, so these drugs truly are powerful.  It is wise to get well-prepared with a plan before tapering.  Since your doctor is wiling to prescribe the liquid, that would be the easier way to go.  Hopefully, he is willing to prescribe for as long as it takes.

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Hey Meow

 

I had some unreal feelings or strange changes in my vision when I withdrew from Zoloft and zyprexa in 2014.  I think mine had to do with not sleeping very much at all for a long time.  Sometimes my field of vision would speed up (for a couple of seconds things would move faster) and sometimes things seemed more real than usual.  It's kind of hard to explain.  Sometimes my vision seemed like an old time movie screen, if you have ever seen a movie from  a movie projector on a screen,  with weird fuzzy spots and squiggly lines on it.  There are all sorts of changes in perception that go along with wd and the sleep deprivation that occurs from a result of it.

 

PoetJester

Court committed to take Prozac, Paxci, and Respiradol from 8/95 to 3/96.   developed severe akithisia and brain damage.  Was unable to speak and walking in circles 15 hours a day.  Went in for 5 sessions of ECT during a 10 day period in March of '96 and my forced medication was discontinued at that time.  My akithisia and brain damage cleared up within a few days of stopping the meds.

 

On Zoloft (200 mg) and Zyprexa (17.5 mg) March 1998- Feb 2014

In between was placed on Effexor 200 mg and Abilify for six months in 2004.  Developed mild akithisia which went away once I stopped the Abilify.  Developed severe GI issues in Dec 2001 and from that time on suffered from fatigue and hypersomnia where I would sleep between 12 and 20 hours a day and rarely ever left my apartment. 

 

Had tapered to 100 mg of Zoloft and 7.5 mg of Zyprexa at the time of going cold turkey Feb. 2014

Went 5 days without sleep at the beginning while vomiting all over my apt.  Had brain zaps for a number of weeks and also lightheadedness which both eventually went away.  However 2 1/2 yrs later I still struggle with insomnia, depression, and fatigue.

 

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Meowmeoww: Because your question is about your specific situation, I've moved your post to your introduction thread.

Hello,

I will be going on out of town for a couple months and I will be changing time zone ( 3 hour difference - ahead )
I was wondering if I should continue taking my med (zoloft) the same time? I take it at 10am and when I relocate for couple months 10am will be 1pm ( west coast (USA) to east coast)

Thanks


You're in Michigan and going west, Eastern timezone to Pacific. Taking it around the same "body clock" time, so 7 am Pacific time, will minimize the risk of any symptoms.

Two ways to go about this: take it 30 minutes later every week (or whatever is manageable for you)
- before you go so you're taking it at 1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific,
- after you relocate, starting at 7 am pacific and working up to 10 am Pacific

Me, I couldn't do some adjustments before and some after, I'd get confuzzled
:unsure:.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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