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MNgal1960

Anyone successfully dry cut?

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MNgal1960

I am wondering if anyone has successfully dry cut through their taper using a milligram scale.

 

I have been dry cutting my Seroquel. After reading quite a bit, I discovered these consumer-grade scales may say down to .001 grams (1 mg?) but that is with an accuracy of +/- .005 grams (5mg?). Wow. So I think I am down to a certain cut and I could be off by that much? I want to hold my Q now and get back to trying to taper my benzo but I don't know if I am really holding the Q or wavering all over the place.

 

BTW, my 25mg tablet actually weighs 100mg. So, that means I'm not potentially off in my med by as much as I think? I'm only off on the total weight of the pill by .005. I'm having trouble getting my head around the math and deciding if dry cutting is still OK.

 

Would like to hear if anyone has successfully dry cut through their taper. Would also like to hear if what I am doing is dangerously inaccurate given that I can't afford a better scale than an amazon.com scale.

 

Thanks.

 

 


Prior meds: Trazodone a few years ago. Low dose for sleep. Didn't work. Tapered off. I don't remember any details.

2012-2013 Prescribed Xanax for severe insomnia. Became dependent quickly. Dose up to 1.8mg. 

Nov. 2014 New doctor anti-benzo but thought a 4-month taper was safe. Failed and stopped due to extreme symptoms. Added 25mg Seroquel for sleep. Also take gabapentin (400mg x 2).

June 2015 Crossed to Valium. 30mg V (3 x 10mg). 

August 3, 2019 .01mg V. Last dose tonight.

July 2020 Now taking 100mg gabapentin 3x/day and 20mg of Seroquel at night for sleep.

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blazesboylan

Hello,

 

I dry cut pills. I find it to be quite hard and painstaking to obtain an extremely precise weight. I normally prepare 5 days worth of pills in one go. Some will be a little heavier and some may be a little lighter after cutting. However, the average of the 5 will be about right I would assume.

 

Something to consider is that not all pills are exactly the same weight though. What I do is to weigh perhaps 5 of them and then divide the total weight by 5 to obtain an average weight per pill. Then I use the average weight as a basis for the calculation of how much to shave off.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about the accuracy of the scale though. In my opinion, they are accurate enough. Sometimes the result may be a little high and sometimes a little lower that it should be. However, on the overall average I would imagine that it will be all right. I would imagine.

 

Of course, at very low doses the accuracy of the scale might be a factor though. That's micro-taper territory and I don't really know much about that because I am not there yet.

 

Good luck  :)


Previously - zopiclone, risperidone, lyrica (pregabalin), ativan (lorezapam)
 
01/Aug/2016 -  65mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
12/Aug/2016 -  75mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
03/Oct/2016 -  70mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
29/Oct/2016 -  65mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
25/Nov/2016 -  65mg effexor, 4mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
25/Dec/2016 -  60mg effexor, 3.6mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
18/Jan/2017 -  60mg effexor, 5.25mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
27/Mar/2017 -  54mg effexor, 5.25mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
23/Apr/2017 -  54mg effexor, 7.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
09/May/2017 -  75mg effexor, 7.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
08/Jun/2017 -  75mg effexor, 6.75mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
18/Jul/2017 -  75mg effexor, 6mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
 
Sometimes valium. Not daily. Supplements - Sterols and Stanols.
 
Note : I would really hope that nobody uses my tapering history as a guideline. It might not work well for somebody else tapering similar medications.

 

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MNgal1960

Thanks, Blaze. I guess I must be very lucky because I've weighed many pills and almost every one of my Q tablets is actually 101mg with rare exception. And I always special order so I get the same brand every time.

 

Looks like you've come quite a long way dry cutting. I'm leaning toward dry cutting the Q until I'm very low on it. I tried to make a suspension once which just stressed me to death. Now I'm back to cutting again. But I see your point about maybe needing to switch to liquefying when I get very low. No worries about that happening soon, though! ;)

 

MN


Prior meds: Trazodone a few years ago. Low dose for sleep. Didn't work. Tapered off. I don't remember any details.

2012-2013 Prescribed Xanax for severe insomnia. Became dependent quickly. Dose up to 1.8mg. 

Nov. 2014 New doctor anti-benzo but thought a 4-month taper was safe. Failed and stopped due to extreme symptoms. Added 25mg Seroquel for sleep. Also take gabapentin (400mg x 2).

June 2015 Crossed to Valium. 30mg V (3 x 10mg). 

August 3, 2019 .01mg V. Last dose tonight.

July 2020 Now taking 100mg gabapentin 3x/day and 20mg of Seroquel at night for sleep.

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SquirrellyGirl

MNgal, I have dry cut mirtazapine from 30 mg down to 15 mg or so and then switched to liquid titration.  I am still dry cutting venlafaxine, though weighing beads, really, and am currently weighing 58 mg actual weight.  Like blazesboylan, I do multiple doses in one session, 14 days in fact. This keeps the weighing consistent for that session.

 

I place the 10 g weight on the weigh pan and then weigh my sample.  If the scale doesn't read 10.000, then I tare or recalibrate if necessary.  The weight keeps the scale in its more accurate range.  I imagine when I get below 10 mg actual weight that it might be time to switch to a liquid titration, but I will worry about that later!  I'm a bit OCD so will actually reweigh each sample to be sure I get the same weight at least twice.  Makes weighing 14 doses take a LONG time but then I am done for two weeks.

 

So, what is the actual weight of your 17 mg dose?

 

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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MNgal1960

Thanks, SG. The actual weight of my cut tablet 68mg. And I will hold there while I taper my V. V can be dissolved, so I think I will make a liquid. As far as I can tell, Q can't be dissolved, so that's why I'm nervous about liquefying it. It will only be a suspension. I also don't want to be trying to liquefy 2 different meds at the same time. I get confused and overwhlemed.

 

When you were dry cutting mirtazepine, was it a tablet? And did you cut 2 weeks at a time? I wonder how far ahead it is OK to cut and store tablets.

 

Thanks.

 

MN


Prior meds: Trazodone a few years ago. Low dose for sleep. Didn't work. Tapered off. I don't remember any details.

2012-2013 Prescribed Xanax for severe insomnia. Became dependent quickly. Dose up to 1.8mg. 

Nov. 2014 New doctor anti-benzo but thought a 4-month taper was safe. Failed and stopped due to extreme symptoms. Added 25mg Seroquel for sleep. Also take gabapentin (400mg x 2).

June 2015 Crossed to Valium. 30mg V (3 x 10mg). 

August 3, 2019 .01mg V. Last dose tonight.

July 2020 Now taking 100mg gabapentin 3x/day and 20mg of Seroquel at night for sleep.

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brassmonkey

Hi MN--  I've been dry cutting my entire taper. I started at 40mg and as of this morning I'm at .48mg. I have only been having difficulty weighing the doses since I went under 1.8mg because the pill weight is so close to the bottom of the scales range.  

 

I've used lab scales for many years at work and really researched the one I use for my meds.  The Gemini-20 is the best scale for the money. The next step up runs in the 150USD range and has the exact same tolerances, so is no more accurate.  It's not until you start paying 2500USD that the accuracy improves.  It ends up being one of those cases where we use what we can get and make the best of it.

 

With your pills weighting 100mgpw (pill weight) and your full dose being 25mgai (active ingredient) that gives you .25mgai per 1mgpw.  So in theory if your scale is off by 5mg your dose could be off by over 1mgpw.  BUT, (notice that's a big but) when scales are inaccurate they tend to be inaccurate in the same way each time they're used.  So over time, even though they may be inaccurate, they're consistent. Meaning that, although the dose you're weighing isn't what you think it is, it's the same day to day. Which is more important than the actual weight of the dose.  As you do your reductions you're still reducing by 10%, only it's not 10% of the number you think it is.  In effect all you end up with is a record keeping error, the difference between what you record and what is actually weighed.  The consistency of the taper is the important thing, not the actual number.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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SquirrellyGirl

Certainly I wouldn't be trying to switch to two liquids at the same time.  It's hard enough monkeying with tapering since the mind misbehaves due to that.  I made up 15 ml of liquid mirt, drew off the amount I would NOT be taking and put it in another vial, and put that in the cabinet where I store the pills, rather than in the fridge!  Only discovered that the next day so had to toss it LOL!  

 

Yes, I did cut two weeks' worth and store in gel caps in an opaque bottle in a  dark cabinet, seemed to not be a problem at all. When in doubt, "store in a cool, dark place."  

 

Mirt is not soluble and the OraPlus does a fine job of keeping it suspended, even when cut by 50% with water, which the manufacturer says you can do.

 

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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MNgal1960

Thanks Brass. My scale's box says SmartWeigh GEM20 on it. Is that the scale you use?

 

I understand what you're saying. If I'm always using the same scale and setting it on the same counter, and using the same method of weighing, the off-ness will be the nearly the same every time, so I will get consistency. I will get nearly the same dose every time, just maybe no the exact does I think. And It won't be off as much as I think. I'm hoping it's the same thing with the manufacturer. If I use the same manufacturer every time, I will get nearly the same off-ness with every pill.

 

I'm holding my Q now. Feel a need to try the V again now that I know what I'm doing. My doctor had me on way too fast a taper that ended in backing up to the beginning and thinking I had to give up. I see some people are cutting more than one med at a time, but I don't have the nerve to do that. So I will be dry cutting my Seroquel to .068 for a very, very long time. Ugh. But onto the V!

 

BTW, I read a suggestion somewhere that when you get to very small pieces of pills, you put the 10g weight on the scale first and then add the little piece of pill. That's supposed to help somehow.

 

MN


Prior meds: Trazodone a few years ago. Low dose for sleep. Didn't work. Tapered off. I don't remember any details.

2012-2013 Prescribed Xanax for severe insomnia. Became dependent quickly. Dose up to 1.8mg. 

Nov. 2014 New doctor anti-benzo but thought a 4-month taper was safe. Failed and stopped due to extreme symptoms. Added 25mg Seroquel for sleep. Also take gabapentin (400mg x 2).

June 2015 Crossed to Valium. 30mg V (3 x 10mg). 

August 3, 2019 .01mg V. Last dose tonight.

July 2020 Now taking 100mg gabapentin 3x/day and 20mg of Seroquel at night for sleep.

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MNgal1960

SG, You are so right! My brain gets so confused when I try to make the smallest change to my routine. I am really struggling to keep up with the yard work in this rental house we moved into after my divorce. So many people have suggested I should move. I think a move would kill me. I can barely go through my routine and my day in this familiar place with my things in all their familiar places. Pack up and move? It's beyond my comprehension. Besides, there's room here for my daughter to live with me and I need her.

 

When I cut my pills, I put them in tiny, sealable plastic bags. I think the bags are actually for those itty bitty beads because I got them at a craft store in the beading section. I mark each one with the day of the week. Then I put all of the bags in a little cup and store it on a shelf in the basement. It is a cool, low-light area. That's not quite as sealed as putting them in gel caps. Do you think it's good enough to store 2 weeks worth of cut tablets with my system or would I be safer getting gel caps?

 

I've heard of Ora Plus. I may have to resort to that some day, but it looks kind of pricey.

 

MN


Prior meds: Trazodone a few years ago. Low dose for sleep. Didn't work. Tapered off. I don't remember any details.

2012-2013 Prescribed Xanax for severe insomnia. Became dependent quickly. Dose up to 1.8mg. 

Nov. 2014 New doctor anti-benzo but thought a 4-month taper was safe. Failed and stopped due to extreme symptoms. Added 25mg Seroquel for sleep. Also take gabapentin (400mg x 2).

June 2015 Crossed to Valium. 30mg V (3 x 10mg). 

August 3, 2019 .01mg V. Last dose tonight.

July 2020 Now taking 100mg gabapentin 3x/day and 20mg of Seroquel at night for sleep.

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brassmonkey

Hi MN-- Mine is an AWS Gemini-20, so they're different scales but probably exactly the same inside.  A lot of manufacturers sell the same product under different names. I don't think it's anything to worry about.

 

Yes, putting the calibration weight in the pan at the same time you're weighing your dose is a good idea.  This puts the sensor into the middle of its range where it is most sensitive. Put the weight in the pan before you turn on the scale and it automatically takes it into account. otherwise put it in the pan and press TARE to "0" the scale.

 

You should be able to store the cut up pills in that manner for several months.  When you get to the smaller amounts it might be a good idea to switch from the little bags to the gel caps so you don't loose any little pieces.  But for now this is fine.  Do you do beading as a hobby?


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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MNgal1960

Ah, good idea to switch to the capsules as holders when the pieces get really tiny. I'm glad to hear I can cut up the tablets weeks ahead of time. If I'm having a good day, I like to do as much as I can.

 

My daughter was the original beader until she started college and got too busy. She did earrings and necklaces for outfits she had. I tried for a little while with her but I am not really very artistic. Then I tried a Native American beading class. This was before I got so ill. They work with the most amazingly small beads and thread them onto the thinnest, tiniest needles. When I got on these meds, my hands and eyes could no longer get the beads onto the needles. To tell the truth, my work was all lumpy even before I got drugged up. I don't know how they do it. Such intricate patterns with such tiny beads.

 

MN


Prior meds: Trazodone a few years ago. Low dose for sleep. Didn't work. Tapered off. I don't remember any details.

2012-2013 Prescribed Xanax for severe insomnia. Became dependent quickly. Dose up to 1.8mg. 

Nov. 2014 New doctor anti-benzo but thought a 4-month taper was safe. Failed and stopped due to extreme symptoms. Added 25mg Seroquel for sleep. Also take gabapentin (400mg x 2).

June 2015 Crossed to Valium. 30mg V (3 x 10mg). 

August 3, 2019 .01mg V. Last dose tonight.

July 2020 Now taking 100mg gabapentin 3x/day and 20mg of Seroquel at night for sleep.

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