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Counting beads in a capsule versus weighing

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CharlieBrown
19 hours ago, drugged said:

Thanks Charlie Brown.  

You're welcome. I think I may have gone a little fast. I can remember taking out more every morning. Until I felt side-effects later in the day from withdrawal, then I would wait those 4-7 days.

 

Because of the shorter half-life, and the length of time you have taken Venlafaxine. If it were me, I would only reduce once I felt that I was "stable" on the slightly lower dose. And then continue to step down, as my blood levels of Venlafaxine "level off" after each reduction... But then again I can't give medical advice! Talking to a Dr. is always good.

 

Also I should mention, as you know. There are more than just "Large and Small" spansule beads. So you might want to categorize the beads into 3 or 4 sizes. I think 3 is fine. S,M,L.

 

The time release difference of a small VS a very small bead, might not be worth counting. I counted mine on a sheet of paper. After separating and discarding beads, I then folded it into a tight V shape funnel, to fit back into the capsule. Pouring back my dose into the capsule, over a bowl to catch any droppings. Any that dropped, after I finished pouring, I would lay down the paper and pour them from the bowl to the paper and then into the capsule again. That way, I was always holding the larger capsule half with my left hand, over the bowl while pouring. (I'm right handed)

 

Then again if you start feeling ill, it would take more time to do the counting... but wouldn't hurt to change to 4 sizes of beads. The beads are usually pretty consistent. As in, they seemed to have set sizes. Like a gravity coin sorter. During production each bead falls through holes to determine their size and how much XR coating is on each bead.

 

Well at least every generic, spansule bead capsule medication I have ever seen in Canada.

(Fluoxetine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline, Dexedrine and Adderall, I'm probably forgetting a couple. Almost generics entirely in fact. Nova, Apotex, Teva and [PMS, Pharma Science Canada] Mostly APO and PMS)

I would assume the medications in the United States have the same or nearly the exact same, standards as Canadian meds. I wouldn't doubt they have the same industrial medical machinery for production.

 

Good luck!

Edited by CharlieBrown
Spansule counting on paper method

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Superwoman

Also, does anyone know why the drug companies claim that the capsules should not be opened and the beads should not be divided?  Is there a valid reason for this?

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ChessieCat

Probably for legal reasons.

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CharlieBrown
12 hours ago, Superwoman said:

Also, does anyone know why the drug companies claim that the capsules should not be opened and the beads should not be divided?  Is there a valid reason for this?

 

8 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Probably for legal reasons.

 

Yes, "Tampering" with medication is what it is considered.

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ktp

who exactly are "the drug companies" saying don't mess about with capsule contents?  please be aware there are multiple mfrs and more than one way to achieve "extended release".  one is making all the 'drug' beads the same size, and then add one or two or three 'buffer' coatings to delay drug release.   a variation on this adds 3 coatings, one or two or three of them dissolving at faster & slower rates, so you get all the same size beads but you can't tell which are fast and slow.   another is jawbreaker style, in which drug and inert ingredients are mixed then made into 3 different size beads, achieving about the same result.  another, my favorite with venlafaxine is caps from TEVA, which are apparently slow jawbreaker style but all the same size, meaning consistent beads.  (and those TEVA beads happen to come 75 beads in a 75mg capsule, making counting the easy way to go.)  i suggest being very careful to avoid being fooled into believing you have one style when you actually have another.  yes it boils down to legal reasons but not evilly so.
 

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Altostrata

Interesting, ktp. Yes, the generic drug makers have to make tweaks in the formulation. Please post that detail in the Tips for Tapering Effexor topic.

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Superwoman

How can we be sure that we have a consistent release of drug if the some beads are slow release and some are fast release and you don’t know which is which?  Or if the beads have different amounts of extended release coatings?  Does Effexor from the manufacturer Teva provide a consistent release of Effexor because the beads are all the same size?  KTP can you please clarify what “slow jawbreaker” is?  I am a little confused.  Thanks

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ktp

> KTP can you please clarify what “slow jawbreaker” is?

By jawbreaker I mean a homogenous solid rock which dissolves continuously and by slow I mean slowly enough to last 24 hours, so you get drug at a pretty continuous rate.
As opposed to tootsie-pop  - a drug 'core' coated with one or more layers of buffer.  like a tootsie pop.

 

[despite my utter failure at weaning from venlafaxine  (see my tedious sig - I got excited at the end and weaned way too quickly), I do believe TEVA's venlafaxine beads are slow jawbreaker style.  the additional fact that they consistently contain as many beads as there are alleged milligrams of drug, TEVA caps make it easy to count your doses down to 9mg, at which point you need to switch to liquid to enable <=10% reductions.]

 

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Superwoman

Ktp,

Are the Effexor beads still currently the same size?  I see that the company was bought out a few years ago. I didn’t know if they changed anything.  

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ktp

 

3 hours ago, Superwoman said:

Ktp,

Are the Effexor beads still currently the same size?  I see that the company was bought out a few years ago. I didn’t know if they changed anything.  

Effexor is Pfizer's registered trademark for Venlafaxine; I believe they own the drug's patent.  I've never seen it, so I don't know.

TEVA is (was?) a popular manufacturer of the generic drug Venlafaxine, and TEVA's caps contain(ed?) the same number of beads as milligrams of drug.  I haven't seen that since I quit taking V and switched to Fluoxetine (Prozac).

  

I suggest seeking out TEVA and find out if they still make venlafaxine and if yes then the next question is are the beads still homogenous and all the same size.  and are they available to you.  if all are yes, I would recommend them for easy dose reductions down to 9mg.  Beware that my opinion is only that of a slightly experienced layman.  

 

[my current battle is vs Fluoxetine (Prozac), having switched due to trusting a shrink who claimed to understand weaning.  Oops! well he was aware of the need, but nowhere near as aware as users who've tried quitting.  He was simply paying lip service to "prozac bridging" and "longer half-life means easier to wean"; both are poppycock imho.  Knowing what I know now, I wish i'd stuck with the venlafaxine, which had less side effects than fluoxetine.]

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Superwoman

What kind of empty capsules should we get?  I see gelatin capsules and veggie capsules on Amazon.  Some are colored and some are clear.  Would the colored ones be better so that the light does not effect the bead properties?

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drugged
On 7/20/2018 at 11:51 PM, WantoffVen said:

I am very confused by this bead thing. Hypothetically let's say I want to take ten beads. Can I just swallow those ten beads or do they have to be in a capsule? If they must go into a capsule, where do I get empty capsules? Thanks for help.

 

I just count out the number of beads I need and swallow them with water.  I don't know whether that's the right way or the wrong way but my former psychiatrist told me that a capsule wasn't necessary and that I could just take the beads.  I double checked with a pharmacist and was told the same thing.  fwiw

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Gridley
20 minutes ago, drugged said:

I could just take the beads.

 

Correct.

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Superwoman
On 9/27/2019 at 10:23 PM, Superwoman said:

Also, does anyone know why the drug companies claim that the capsules should not be opened and the beads should not be divided?  Is there a valid reason for this?

I emailed the drug company Aurobindo and asked them this question.  See below...

 

Me:

“I have had an extremely difficult time tapering Effexor xr.  Why does the drug pamphlet say that the capsules should not be opened up and the beads divided?  I think that opening up the capsules and dividing the beads would make it easier to taper Effexor xr, with less withdrawal.“


Aurobindo’s response:

 

Hello,

 

As per our manufacturing unit, Venlafaxine ER capsules are Extended release and should be taken whole.  Venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsule contains spheroids, which release the drug slowly into the digestive tract. Opening the capsules can disrupt the release of the medication. Hope this information helps.

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sunnysideup69
12 minutes ago, Superwoman said:

. Opening the capsules can disrupt the release of the medication. Hope this information helps.

 

Oh my god, that is SUCH A STUPID ANSWER!!!  😂 HOW, exactly, does opening a capsule disrupt the release....it makes absolutely no sense. Aurobindo are idiots.

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brassmonkey

For some drugs the capsule itself is part of the time release mechanism. The capsule can be formulated to dissolve at a specific rate so the medication is delivered to the correct part of the digestive tract.  Some medications can not be exposed to stomach acid and have to be delivered to the intestine before they can be absorbed correctly.  Otherwise they react badly with the acid and don't function properly. So removing them from the capsule can greatly change their effectiveness.  Also it is the type of response that is expected from a drug company.  It's a matter of CYA.  People messing about with their medications opens them up to a lot of legal problems which they don't want.

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Superwoman

@brassmonkey

 

I thought that the extended release mechanism of Effexor xr is in the coating of the beads not the capsule itself?

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brassmonkey

That's part of the system too.  It is more common to have it as part of the bead themselves, which is why you shouldn't cut or crush the beads. It all depends on the medication as to how the delivery system is devised.

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drugged
13 hours ago, Superwoman said:

@brassmonkey

 

I thought that the extended release mechanism of Effexor xr is in the coating of the beads not the capsule itself?

I can't speak to the specific brand mentioned but, before starting my first Effexor XR taper, I asked my pharmacist this very question and was told that the capsule was just a conveyance and it wouldn't make a bit of difference if I took the beads out and threw the capsule away.  I was taking capsules made by Pfizer at the time.

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