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Using a digital scale to measure doses - weighing


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brassmonkey

Considering that you have just started to taper the small variations in pill weight shouldn't make any difference for quite some time.  If you are doing a 10% Brassmonkey Slide you should be getting down to 15mgai in about nine months.  When you get to that level you will need to be paying closer attention to the small variations, but even then two or three milligrams pill weight shouldn't make much difference.  I'm not saying to be sloppy in making up your doses, but rather to not obsess over it quite yet.

 

So we can do some quick calculations what is the average weight of one of your pills? We usually use 10 pills to determine the average weight. I am assuming that the 30mg is the strength listed on the package.

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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Hi @magentila! Maybe you've figured it out already but I've read in the material on this site that it might be better to base the pill weight on 10 pieces instead of one. You can use the average weigh

If you look at the SERT Occupancy chart http://www.mediafire.com/view/opcitwztcu1x3sb/5HTT_occupancy_curve_-_clomipramine_and_fluvoxamine.jpg it really brings the taper into prospective.  Any dose ove

I did the powder method for my 4 year Lexapro taper.  I gave the pill a very good crush between two spoons then stirred the powder well before measuring a portion out into my capsule and it worked fin

PerAsperaAdAstra
On 3/29/2020 at 9:01 AM, brassmonkey said:

Considering that you have just started to taper the small variations in pill weight shouldn't make any difference for quite some time.  If you are doing a 10% Brassmonkey Slide you should be getting down to 15mgai in about nine months.  When you get to that level you will need to be paying closer attention to the small variations, but even then two or three milligrams pill weight shouldn't make much difference.  I'm not saying to be sloppy in making up your doses, but rather to not obsess over it quite yet.

 

So we can do some quick calculations what is the average weight of one of your pills? We usually use 10 pills to determine the average weight. I am assuming that the 30mg is the strength listed on the package.

 

Sorry for my late reply! Haven't seen you've replied until now. You're right about the 30 MGAI being the amount on the package. I started with that amount on 28 March.

I also read your advice about taking the average of 10 pills instead of 1, which I've applied.

 

According to the calculations in Excel I will be at 15,94323 MGAI at the beginning of December. At that moment I'm sort of 8,3 months tapering already. 9 months and 15 MGAI would therefore make sense. This reassures me I'm properly doing the Brassmonkey Slide. Thanks for providing these metrics to gauge I'm not doing any stupid things.

 

I've heard that below 20 MGAI (or somewhere thereabouts) one would need to be a little bit more careful because of the exponential effects tapering a certain amount has, right?

Antidepressant history

2001 - 2018: Paxil / seroxat (20 mgs), several failed c/t and taper attempts.

2018-September: last failed c/t attempt.

2018-October: reinstated Paxil (30 mgs)

2018-October thru 2019-January: Short-term Oxazepam & Diazepam use. Tapered off very slowly. Jumped 10Jan2019.

 

Brassmonkey Slide Method stats

Started taper in 2020-03-28. Currently in week 1 of slide 9. Down to 12,5912 mgai / 0,1499 mgpw. 58,03% done. 

 

Supplements: C, D, Magnesium, NMN, PQQ+CoQ10

Miscellaneous: low on alcohol (1/2 times/year). No substance abuse. Lower carb diet with cheat days. Wim Hof Method. Buteyko. Calisthenics. Hiking.

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brassmonkey

If you look at the SERT Occupancy chart http://www.mediafire.com/view/opcitwztcu1x3sb/5HTT_occupancy_curve_-_clomipramine_and_fluvoxamine.jpg it really brings the taper into prospective.  Any dose over 20mgai is pretty much wasted as it has very little affect. Between 20 and 10mgai there are noticeable differences with each reduction and from 10mgai on down things happen quickly with each reduction.  Our recommended 10% reduction plan and the Brassmonkey Slide have a reduction rate that pretty well matches the same curve. 

 

Because of this curve it is quite important to do reductions on  a percentage basis instead of by a set weight.  The set weight would give a straight line instead of a curve and an accelerating amount of reduction. The percentage base taper will match the curve and give a smaller decrease each reduction cycle making things much easier on the body.

 

In theory on can reduce a bit faster between 20mgai and 10mgai has to slow up a bit from 10mgai to 5mgai and then take things very carefully below that.  In practice it works better to take it slow and steady the entire way.  Even though the occupancy rate can be matched there are a lot of other things going on that need time to heal also.  If these are rushed then they have a bad tendency to build up and eventually cause a crash.  That crash can take months to stabilize and frequently leaves a person sensitized so they have to proceed with even more caution.

 

What is the average weight of one of your tablets? Who is the manufacturer?

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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PerAsperaAdAstra
19 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

If you look at the SERT Occupancy chart http://www.mediafire.com/view/opcitwztcu1x3sb/5HTT_occupancy_curve_-_clomipramine_and_fluvoxamine.jpg it really brings the taper into prospective.  Any dose over 20mgai is pretty much wasted as it has very little affect. Between 20 and 10mgai there are noticeable differences with each reduction and from 10mgai on down things happen quickly with each reduction.  Our recommended 10% reduction plan and the Brassmonkey Slide have a reduction rate that pretty well matches the same curve. 

 

Because of this curve it is quite important to do reductions on  a percentage basis instead of by a set weight.  The set weight would give a straight line instead of a curve and an accelerating amount of reduction. The percentage base taper will match the curve and give a smaller decrease each reduction cycle making things much easier on the body.

 

In theory on can reduce a bit faster between 20mgai and 10mgai has to slow up a bit from 10mgai to 5mgai and then take things very carefully below that.  In practice it works better to take it slow and steady the entire way.  Even though the occupancy rate can be matched there are a lot of other things going on that need time to heal also.  If these are rushed then they have a bad tendency to build up and eventually cause a crash.  That crash can take months to stabilize and frequently leaves a person sensitized so they have to proceed with even more caution.

 

What is the average weight of one of your tablets? Who is the manufacturer?

 

Massive thanks for the information brassmonkey! This is of great help! 🙂

I am now even more resolved to do it by the book, easy as she goes. But good to know where I need to start paying extra attention to reductions. I sure want to prevent stuff from building up too much, thereby sensitizing the CNS.

 

The tablets are from Aurobindo. One pill (30 MGAI, based on the average of 10 pills) weighs somewhere between 0,3663 mg and 0,3684 mg. The measurements differ however, but slightly.

Antidepressant history

2001 - 2018: Paxil / seroxat (20 mgs), several failed c/t and taper attempts.

2018-September: last failed c/t attempt.

2018-October: reinstated Paxil (30 mgs)

2018-October thru 2019-January: Short-term Oxazepam & Diazepam use. Tapered off very slowly. Jumped 10Jan2019.

 

Brassmonkey Slide Method stats

Started taper in 2020-03-28. Currently in week 1 of slide 9. Down to 12,5912 mgai / 0,1499 mgpw. 58,03% done. 

 

Supplements: C, D, Magnesium, NMN, PQQ+CoQ10

Miscellaneous: low on alcohol (1/2 times/year). No substance abuse. Lower carb diet with cheat days. Wim Hof Method. Buteyko. Calisthenics. Hiking.

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brassmonkey

Thanks for the numbers Per they really help.

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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PerAsperaAdAstra

I'm pretty lucky I'm not in serious withdrawal atm and can wrap my head around your instructions easily. 

(and it helps I'm well versed in Excel :-P)

Antidepressant history

2001 - 2018: Paxil / seroxat (20 mgs), several failed c/t and taper attempts.

2018-September: last failed c/t attempt.

2018-October: reinstated Paxil (30 mgs)

2018-October thru 2019-January: Short-term Oxazepam & Diazepam use. Tapered off very slowly. Jumped 10Jan2019.

 

Brassmonkey Slide Method stats

Started taper in 2020-03-28. Currently in week 1 of slide 9. Down to 12,5912 mgai / 0,1499 mgpw. 58,03% done. 

 

Supplements: C, D, Magnesium, NMN, PQQ+CoQ10

Miscellaneous: low on alcohol (1/2 times/year). No substance abuse. Lower carb diet with cheat days. Wim Hof Method. Buteyko. Calisthenics. Hiking.

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  • 1 month later...
phillyfan24

@brassmonkey

quick question regarding crushing the pills and using the scale. I am using trintellix, which has a film coating. Is this something to worry about? I am obv not getting the same amount of coating in each capsule. Should I avoid the coating all together when filling my capsules? I really want to make sure I’m doing things consistently. I am at the high dose as of now and think it may make more of a difference as I get lower 

~2013 - aug 7th, 2018 = ~5 years 20 mg lexapro   aug 7th - oct 4th 2018 = 15 mg lex

oct 5th 2018 Began switch to prozac (decrease lex by 5mg while increase prozac by 5mg)

oct 26th-Nov 10th 2018- 20mg prozac, reinstated 5mg lexapro

November 10th-November 30th 2018- 15mg lexapro (Switched back to lex as thought symptoms were due to prozac)

November 30th-dec 7th 2018= 17.5mg lexapro

Dec 7th- Jan 1st 2019- 20mg Lexapro and 10mg buspar (BEGIN BUSPAR)

Jan 1st-Jan 21st 2019- tapered off buspar, 20mg lexapro

Jan 21st - Apr 9th  2019= 20mg lexapro  ----- Apr 9th-May 1st 17.5mg ----------May-June =15mg

June 7th - July27th 2019= 20mg celexa ------- July 28th-jan 26th 2020 - tapered to 14mg celexa

jan 27th-feb 27 2020- 10mg trintellix; feb 27th - april 20 = 20mg trintellix; april 20-22 - 17.5mg trintellix; april 23rd-24th=20mg trintellix. April 24-present = 18mg trintellix

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brassmonkey

Consistency is a major key to a successful taper. The actual dose doesn't matter, but rather getting as close to the same dose as possible each time. Does the coating grind to a powder when you crush the pills?  If so try to mix it in as best as you can and not worry about it.  If it stays in big sheets then try to remove as much of the powder as possible from each piece and then discard the pieces of film.  The physical weight of the skin will be so small it's not going to change the dose unless you get big chunks of it at one time.

 

When working with powder/crushed pills and scales the weight of original pile of powder doesn't matter, It is basically a stockpile that you draw a specific weight out of. The weight you are measuring on the scale is the important one. I usually rushed up three or four pills at a time in one pile so I would have enough to work with.

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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  • 3 weeks later...
Timberline

Hi @brassmonkey...just started crushing pills to get ready for taper. I weighed 20 pills and got a weight of 2.581 grams. I divided that number by 20 and got .129 grams as an average weight per pill. I crushed up one pill and weighed the powder and got a weight of .089. With my first 10% cut, I will need a weight of .116 of powder. It seems as if I'll run out of my RX quicker, if it takes about 1 and 1/2 pills to get the correct weight of powder for 1 dose. Am I looking at this correctly?

 

Thanks!!

2004 - 20mg celexa for panic attacks

2006 - tapered off in 2 weeks. Fine for 3 months then anxiety and panic returned even worse but no other symptoms.

2006 - back on meds, lexapro 10mg this time (terrible symptoms when I have to go back on meds!! Nausea, insomnia, panic, agitation)

2008 - tapered off in 2 weeks. Fine for 5 months then anxiety and panic returned. Was able to stay off for 1 year with help of a naturopath but struggled with anxiety still every day. No other typical withdrawal symptoms.

2009 - back on lexapro 10mg (terrible symptoms when I have to go back on meds!! Nausea, insomnia, panic, agitation)

2012 - tapered off in 2 weeks. Fine for 3 months then went through a hard time and was far away from home. Anxiety and vertigo symptoms.

2012 - back on lexapro 20mg, eventually landed back on 10mg where I feel best. (terrible symptoms when I have to go back on meds!! Nausea, insomnia, panic, agitation)

2018 - decided to do a "slow" taper this time. Didn't know what slow meant though! Cut 10mg pills in half and stayed at 5mg for 3 months, assuming this was taking it slow. At 3 month mark, crazy intrusive thoughts began. Felt very chemically induced and triggered by a really bad therapist, after trying therapy for the 1st time! 3 days of intrusive thoughts and complete doom and gloom feeling, I decided to go back up to 10mg, not thinking it would be very hard to stabilize. Took 4 weeks to stabilize. Thoughts got louder, insomnia, terrible nausea.

2020 - 10mg lexapro

June 2, 2020 - 9mg....June 15, 2020 - 8.6mg

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brassmonkey

Interesting.  I can see a few milligrams being lost, maybe four or five, but 40 is quite a lot. The crushed tablet should have the same weight as the whole one. Have you tried it again and gotten the same result? How are you crushing them?

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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Timberline

Thanks @brassmonkey... I'm using this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MZ04NWS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It's crushes it in to a very fine powder and some gets left behind when I pour the powder out on to the scale. It's impossible to scrape the film of powder left behind. Maybe I should crush with a spoon instead?

 

I didn't want to try it again until I heard some suggestions... didn't want to risk losing another dose!

2004 - 20mg celexa for panic attacks

2006 - tapered off in 2 weeks. Fine for 3 months then anxiety and panic returned even worse but no other symptoms.

2006 - back on meds, lexapro 10mg this time (terrible symptoms when I have to go back on meds!! Nausea, insomnia, panic, agitation)

2008 - tapered off in 2 weeks. Fine for 5 months then anxiety and panic returned. Was able to stay off for 1 year with help of a naturopath but struggled with anxiety still every day. No other typical withdrawal symptoms.

2009 - back on lexapro 10mg (terrible symptoms when I have to go back on meds!! Nausea, insomnia, panic, agitation)

2012 - tapered off in 2 weeks. Fine for 3 months then went through a hard time and was far away from home. Anxiety and vertigo symptoms.

2012 - back on lexapro 20mg, eventually landed back on 10mg where I feel best. (terrible symptoms when I have to go back on meds!! Nausea, insomnia, panic, agitation)

2018 - decided to do a "slow" taper this time. Didn't know what slow meant though! Cut 10mg pills in half and stayed at 5mg for 3 months, assuming this was taking it slow. At 3 month mark, crazy intrusive thoughts began. Felt very chemically induced and triggered by a really bad therapist, after trying therapy for the 1st time! 3 days of intrusive thoughts and complete doom and gloom feeling, I decided to go back up to 10mg, not thinking it would be very hard to stabilize. Took 4 weeks to stabilize. Thoughts got louder, insomnia, terrible nausea.

2020 - 10mg lexapro

June 2, 2020 - 9mg....June 15, 2020 - 8.6mg

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brassmonkey

Yea, I'd try the two spoon method. Work over a piece of paper to catch any that falls and put a small piece of paper with a fold in it on the pan of the scales. The spoon method can leave things a little course, I just would put it on the paper and crush it some more with one spoon against the table top. When you measure out the dose be sure to save the leftovers, you end up getting "a free dose" that way.

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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  • 3 months later...

Milligram scales

I am looking for a reasonably priced milligram scale to weigh out my crushed pills. Does anyone have recommendations?

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg after triclyclic stopped working. 1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2010: Work stress led to increased depression/anxiety. Tried several SSRIs but tolerated none of them. Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Prozac increased to 80 mg. 2017: Started psychotherapy. Helped a lot. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. Lost weight. 2020 June: Added Wellbutrin to try and correct sexual dysfunction. Could not tolerate Wellbutrin.

Taper (Lithium 300 mg maintained until off Celexa):

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

 

 

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6 hours ago, Bruci said:

Does anyone have recommendations?

The scale most commonly used here is the Gemini-20 scale available on Amazon. It's not expensive.  I've used it for several years now with my Lexapro taper and also to weigh my Imipramine and Ativan doses.  

 

The GEMINI-20 Scale

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello @brassmonkey!

 

I have a question about my doses...iam not sure if someone can help me.

 

My mirtazapine tablets weight from 148 mg to 158 mg, right now iam taking 10 mg to stabilise.

I weight every tablet on its own and file to get to 10 mgai.

 

My concern is that if a have a tablet which weights 148mg...i have to file it down to 99mg (uprounded) to get 10 mgai.

And with a 158 tablet its 105 mg.

 

When i make the average of ten pills (made it and it would be 152,5) i would have to file all tablets down to 102 mg for 10mgai.

BUT the tablet with original weight of 158 mg , filed down to 102 mg, would give me a dose of 9,68 mgai. The 148 mg tablet,

filed down to 102 mg, would give ma a dose of 10,33 mgai. Thats too much of a variation i think. And with the normal inconsistency of the 

gemini scale it could be even worse...right now my CNS would react to that i guess.

 

I have thought about some options...:

 

- continue with weighting each tablet (also i feel i could need a change, improvement, hence why i ask)

- leave out the upper and lower end tablets, obviously i dont know how much there will be in one container

- sort the tablets and only use the average from tablets which (for example) differs 5-6 mg in weight, and use another 10 tablets next time with the same conditions

  (the last method seems kind of useful to me and came to my mind right now...)

 

Ive read the average weight is only used once (if there arent any other changes), but with a variation of 10 mg(pw) and possible doses changes of 9,68 to 10,33 mgai

per day it seems to much right now.

 

Greetings

 

Nomansland

IMPORTANT WITHDRAWAL PRINT-OUT: "Stopping Antidepressants" by Royal College of Psychiatrists

 

non-native speaker of english

3-March 2020 started Mirtazapine 15mg
3-March to 6-april aprx cutting to 0 mg
6-April to 20-April -> ~ 7,5 mg,

21-April to 31-April -> 15 mg,

1-May to 13-May -> ~ 10 mg (approx),

15-May to 19-July -> 15 mg (psychosomatic clinic)
started taper with scale and file: 19-July 2020 -> 14 mg (-6,6%), 08-August -> 12 mg (-14,3 %), 27-August -> 10 mg (-16,6 %), 15-September -> 8 mg (-20 %, bad idea, heavy WD) 23-September -> 10 mg (+20 %) from here windows and waves...holding

 

Supplements: 200-250 mg (=elemental) magnesiumbiglycinate, low histamin diet

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The actual dose is not as important as taking the same dose consistently. I would calculate the average weight for the tablets (you already did at 152,5) and use that to determine the dose weight required. (you already did at 102mg). Instead of trying to adjust each individual tablet by filing it down I would crush several of them into powder and use that as a "stock pile" to remove just the amount needed for each dose. It would be best to get a supply of size  "0" gel caps to put the powder in. This will lead to much more consistent dosing and a lot less work. I would allow six weeks after starting this method to get use to the change in format, then you could resume your taper by calculating your new dose as a percentage of your current dose.

 

I see you just flagged me in a post so I need to go and read that.

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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Thanks for you answer brassmonkey!

 

Well, i did a too fast taper and right now i want to stabilise.

So iam not even thinking of beginning to taper, sadly.

 

Also iam unsure if a change right now would be the best for my destabilised CNS...

but on the other hand a consistent dose is sooo important. Damn it.

 

I will read the powder and capsule thread again i guess...switching from

tablets to powder is usually not so drastic then changing to DIY liquid, right?

 

Always thought the "cut each tablet on its own and file it" was the most accurat way of dry cutting...

beside powder.

 

Greetings!

IMPORTANT WITHDRAWAL PRINT-OUT: "Stopping Antidepressants" by Royal College of Psychiatrists

 

non-native speaker of english

3-March 2020 started Mirtazapine 15mg
3-March to 6-april aprx cutting to 0 mg
6-April to 20-April -> ~ 7,5 mg,

21-April to 31-April -> 15 mg,

1-May to 13-May -> ~ 10 mg (approx),

15-May to 19-July -> 15 mg (psychosomatic clinic)
started taper with scale and file: 19-July 2020 -> 14 mg (-6,6%), 08-August -> 12 mg (-14,3 %), 27-August -> 10 mg (-16,6 %), 15-September -> 8 mg (-20 %, bad idea, heavy WD) 23-September -> 10 mg (+20 %) from here windows and waves...holding

 

Supplements: 200-250 mg (=elemental) magnesiumbiglycinate, low histamin diet

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I think the consistency is more important.

 

Generally we suggest doing a cross over when changing form of a drug because it is is gentler on your system.  Do each combo for 3-7 days holding longer if needed: 3/4 + 1/4, 1/2 + 1/2, 1/4 + 3/4

 

Note for members:  Do not make a reduction at the same time (Nomansland has already stated they will not be reducing)

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 6 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.328 mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Using a digital scale to measure doses - weighing
  • 1 month later...
nautical

Hi there! I am using a pill crusher and a scale and make sure the powder is very fine. But I am worried that perhaps the different parts of the powder (filler vs active ingredient) are not well mixed, leading me to fill up my gel capsule with just filler or just active ingredient rather than taking equal proportions of filler vs active ingredient. I assume this risk is also getting higher  the smaller the amount of powder is needed each time. What do other members do to make sure that they "stratify" filler and active ingredient to sample proportionally for both? Do you shake the powder each time to make sure all substances are equally distributed? Is there a way to tell whats filler and whats active ingredient and then sample proportionally from both? Thanks for your help!

Supplements: pregnacare before-conception, fish oil, probiotics, vitex agnus castus, chelated magnesium, vitamin D
Since mid-April 2019: 50mg sertraline

27 Nov 2020: started tapering using grinder method

27 Nov: 47mg sertraline, -5% of previous dose every 5 days.

27 Jan 2021: 29.9mg sertraline, now -5% of previous dose every 1/2 month.

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3 hours ago, nautical said:

What do other members do to make sure that they "stratify" filler and active ingredient to sample proportionally for both?

I did the powder method for my 4 year Lexapro taper.  I gave the pill a very good crush between two spoons then stirred the powder well before measuring a portion out into my capsule and it worked fine for me.  

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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brassmonkey

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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Hey guys!

I’ve been struggling a bit and wanted to check out my scale and make sure it’s still good. I have my trusty old Gemini-20 and purchased a new one to compare weights. 
 

I calibrated both of them with the weights tonight and the weights were +/- .002 or .003 different each and every time. The old scale has much more trouble settling. My dose weighs .025 and I take it twice a day.

 

Thoughts on what I should do? I’m afraid the old one is dying (I’ve replaced batteries) and the new one is great but weighing heavier. Appreciate it very much!

2005- 2008: Lorazepam (max dose- 1 MG daily)

2008- 2016: Lexapro (max dose-10 MG daily)

January 2017- March 2017- Pristiq (max dose- 100 MG daily)

April 2017- June 2017: Trintellix (max dose- 10 MG)

July 2017- October 2017:  Lexapro (max dose-10 MG daily)

November 2017- April 2018- Luvox (max dose- 100 MG)

May 2018- Zoloft (max dose- 18.75)

5/28/18- 3 MG Lexapro, 6/3/18- 3 MG Lexapro, 6/7/18- 3.5 MG Lexapro, 6/13/18- 4 MG Lexapro, 6/21/18- 4.5 MG Lexapro, 6/28/18- Present- 4 MG Lexapro  

 

"The Journey is The Reward"

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  • 4 weeks later...
Nomansland

Hello everyone,

 

iam having a question.

 

I know about the stock pile and that it doesnt matter in the end for a taper (if you use powder)!

Its just about the pills.

 

So...i have a tablet that weighs 148 mgpw and one that has 158mgpw. Both should be Mirtazapine 15 mgai.

Had a conversation with a friend. He told me that BOTH of them have 15mgai Mirt inside, while i told him

that the mgai is different because of the weight.

 

What we know about the process how tablets are made and assuming that everything is well distributed in a tablet,

is it more likely that the active ingridient in these tablets is DIFFERENT or the SAME?

 

Greetings

 

Nomansland

IMPORTANT WITHDRAWAL PRINT-OUT: "Stopping Antidepressants" by Royal College of Psychiatrists

 

non-native speaker of english

3-March 2020 started Mirtazapine 15mg
3-March to 6-april aprx cutting to 0 mg
6-April to 20-April -> ~ 7,5 mg,

21-April to 31-April -> 15 mg,

1-May to 13-May -> ~ 10 mg (approx),

15-May to 19-July -> 15 mg (psychosomatic clinic)
started taper with scale and file: 19-July 2020 -> 14 mg (-6,6%), 08-August -> 12 mg (-14,3 %), 27-August -> 10 mg (-16,6 %), 15-September -> 8 mg (-20 %, bad idea, heavy WD) 23-September -> 10 mg (+20 %) from here windows and waves...holding

 

Supplements: 200-250 mg (=elemental) magnesiumbiglycinate, low histamin diet

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PerAsperaAdAstra

Hi @Nomansland! I think it's difficult to give a precise answer to this. When I started my taper and tried to figure out the pill weight versus the active ingredient the fact I got different weights for individual pills quite bothered me.

But then I read the advice here it's better to take the average of 10 pills for the calculation so differences between pills become negligible.

 

But my hunch would be that every pill has the same amount of active ingredient. Seems to me that's one of the most important metrics in the production process.

Antidepressant history

2001 - 2018: Paxil / seroxat (20 mgs), several failed c/t and taper attempts.

2018-September: last failed c/t attempt.

2018-October: reinstated Paxil (30 mgs)

2018-October thru 2019-January: Short-term Oxazepam & Diazepam use. Tapered off very slowly. Jumped 10Jan2019.

 

Brassmonkey Slide Method stats

Started taper in 2020-03-28. Currently in week 1 of slide 9. Down to 12,5912 mgai / 0,1499 mgpw. 58,03% done. 

 

Supplements: C, D, Magnesium, NMN, PQQ+CoQ10

Miscellaneous: low on alcohol (1/2 times/year). No substance abuse. Lower carb diet with cheat days. Wim Hof Method. Buteyko. Calisthenics. Hiking.

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Nomansland

Hello @PerAsperaAdAstra,

 

so, i read alot about uniformity in the tabletting process. Here is an interesting link: https://www.gmp-compliance.org/gmp-news/causes-for-weight-variations-during-tableting

 

"Weight variations of the tablets produced is a relatively common problem of the tableting process. But each tableting process aims at producing tablets with a constant weight. The actual cause for this problem is the lack of weighing systems that are sufficiently fast to weigh or dose the required weight for each single tablet. Since this is not possible, each tablet press doses a certain amount of powder into the die and this powder is then pressed into tablets by the upper and lower punch. This means that a volume is dosed, but the quality requirement is the weight. Hence, weight variations in a limited extent are quite normal due to variations in the density of the powder material and to a partially incomplete filling of the dies.

The pharmacopoeias specify the acceptable level of weight variations. If the weight variations are too high the level of active ingredient in each tablet might be too high or too low and then the tablets don't comply with the specifications any more."

 

Then i checked for the tests that manufacturer has to make and what weight variation are allowed and found this pharmacopoeias : https://apps.who.int/phint/pdf/b/7.5.3.5.2-Uniformity-of-mass-for-single-dose-preparations.pdf

 

It states that for tablets which weigh from 80 to 250mg (my has an average of 153), the variation allowed is 7.5 % in weight (which fits in my weighting variation of 148 to 158).

 

Then we have the "even distribution" topic, which is true for my tablets, because they can be scored into 2 equal amounts.

 

As far as i know the weight of the tablet is the most important test that is done in tableting after they come out of the machine. At least for these simple coated tablets without extended release.

 

With the even distribution in mind and the allowed variations of weight and how the base material for making tablets (a big, mixed "mass" with a given ratio of filler and active ingridient) is made. Iam REALLY sure that these tablets (148mgpw and 158mgpw) have different contents of active ingredients. It may not be much, but they do (depends on the base material ratio of the manufacturer).

 

One tablet that comes out of a tableting machine has NOT a different ratio (active ingredient : filler) then the next one.

But they are allowed to have a slight variation of pill weight, because of manufacturing processes.

 

Pill weight differs  =  Active ingredient differs -> When its evenly distributed, which iam sure it is.

 

At least these are my thoughts. Brassmonkey is right to give the advice to get the average weight and then the AIC.

IMPORTANT WITHDRAWAL PRINT-OUT: "Stopping Antidepressants" by Royal College of Psychiatrists

 

non-native speaker of english

3-March 2020 started Mirtazapine 15mg
3-March to 6-april aprx cutting to 0 mg
6-April to 20-April -> ~ 7,5 mg,

21-April to 31-April -> 15 mg,

1-May to 13-May -> ~ 10 mg (approx),

15-May to 19-July -> 15 mg (psychosomatic clinic)
started taper with scale and file: 19-July 2020 -> 14 mg (-6,6%), 08-August -> 12 mg (-14,3 %), 27-August -> 10 mg (-16,6 %), 15-September -> 8 mg (-20 %, bad idea, heavy WD) 23-September -> 10 mg (+20 %) from here windows and waves...holding

 

Supplements: 200-250 mg (=elemental) magnesiumbiglycinate, low histamin diet

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Nomansland

Hello everyone,

 

i also read through all of the (german) package inserts and technical informations of the normal coated mirtazapine/remeron tablets (about 10 different manufacturers) Some of the tablets can be split into two equal doses and some cant. A score line does not always indicate equal dose splitting.

 

I would recommend that you read through YOUR package insert or google to get the information of your manufacturer.

 

If it says it can not be split into two equal doses, i would NOT recommend to split it with a pill cutter (of course) and

NOT file down a single tablet to a certain weight. Otherwise it would be no problem.

 

-> Instead, use powder to get to the pill weight you need or suspend them into liquid!

 

This is just MY opinion of course, but i think its very important. Dont know if you can find this information here in the forum.

 

Also, this should apply to every other drug tablet (if its not extended release or some other "special" form of medication). Remember, not every medication can be made into a liquid and some extended release meds will get immediate release if you break them.

 

 

Greetings

 

Nomansland

IMPORTANT WITHDRAWAL PRINT-OUT: "Stopping Antidepressants" by Royal College of Psychiatrists

 

non-native speaker of english

3-March 2020 started Mirtazapine 15mg
3-March to 6-april aprx cutting to 0 mg
6-April to 20-April -> ~ 7,5 mg,

21-April to 31-April -> 15 mg,

1-May to 13-May -> ~ 10 mg (approx),

15-May to 19-July -> 15 mg (psychosomatic clinic)
started taper with scale and file: 19-July 2020 -> 14 mg (-6,6%), 08-August -> 12 mg (-14,3 %), 27-August -> 10 mg (-16,6 %), 15-September -> 8 mg (-20 %, bad idea, heavy WD) 23-September -> 10 mg (+20 %) from here windows and waves...holding

 

Supplements: 200-250 mg (=elemental) magnesiumbiglycinate, low histamin diet

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