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Using a digital scale to measure doses

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JoLe

 

 

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Pill crusher:  see this post

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Admin note:
Measure precise amounts for controlled tapering with a digital electronic scale
 
The basic digital scale method:
 
To calculate your daily dosage, you need to know the weight of the beads or powder in one capsule.

 

The number of beads in a capsule varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and from dosage to dosage. There will even be a little variation in the number of beads among the capsules in one prescription vial.

 

This method will require you to keep notes about what you're doing.

 

At the beginning, for convenience, instead of weighing the contents of each capsule each day, I would take an average weight from several capsules and work with that.

  • Have large empty gelatin (or vegetarian) capsules handy into which to  put the beads.
  • Empty one capsule at a time and weigh the beads or powder. Note the weight on a piece of paper.
  • Put the beads or powder back in a large, empty gelatin capsule.
  • Add all your weights together and divide by the number of capsules you've weighed. This is the average weight of the contents of a capsule for that prescription vial.
  • If you wish to taper by 10%, multiply the average weight by 90%. This will give you the amount you need to weigh out for your first stage of tapering. Example: If you have been taking 100mg, multiply the weight by 90% to find the weight equivalent to 90mg.
  • For the next stage, subtract the prior decrement from the weight and then multiply the result by 90%. Example: You've decreased from 100mg to 90mg, now you want to take 90% of what the 90mg weighed. To find this, subtract the weight of 10mg from 100mg, then multiply by 90%.
  • And so forth. The amounts of the decrements should keep getting smaller as your dosage decreases.

Much later, when you're down to a low dose, you'll probably want to count beads instead. See Counting beads in a capsule versus weighing
 
Also see

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Counting beads in a capsule versus weighing
 
How to calculate dosages and dilutions - spreadsheets and calculators
 
Combining tablets or capsules with liquid to taper
 
How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules
 
Did I go wrong with my nailfile?
 


 


@JoLe Tapering off Cymbalta

This is the method I'm using. I'm not recommending it to anyone, I'm just delineating my methodology.

First I bought a bag of empty clear "1" gel caps. (They're the same size as my Cymbalta capsules, so later, when I lower the dose, I'm going to use half an original capsule and half a clear one, to differentiate the dosage.)

After I got frustrated with counting the grains in a capsule (because the numbers weren't the same from one capsule to the next), I bought this: Gemini-20 Portable Milligram Scale http://www.awscales.com/portable-precision-scales-01-gram/75-gemini-20-portable-milligram-scale I chose this one because it weighs down to milligrams, I found it at a good price on Amazon, and the shipping was free. Anyone who wants to weigh dosages will need to be able to weigh milligrams.

I also use these tools:
A tray with sides (those little grains bounce!)
post-162-0-88264200-1309921673_thumb.jpg
A plate with sections
post-162-0-33758200-1309921685_thumb.jpg
The top of an eyedropper with the round part cut off
post-162-0-35214600-1309921701_thumb.jpg
post-162-0-57847800-1309921714_thumb.jpg
post-162-0-84138000-1309921726_thumb.jpg



And I have a face mask like they were giving out during the bird flu scare.

My first step was to weigh the grains in several capsules. They all weighed the same amount. So I divided that number in half (because right now all I'm doing is breaking 60mg capsules down to 30mg--the dosage I'm supposed to be on).

First I put the electronic scale on the tray and calibrate the scale. The instructions for calibrating are included with the scale. Then I put on my face mask, stick an empty capsule half in the eyedropper top and put it on the scale. There's a tare button on the scale that will remove that weight from the display.

Then I open a capsule and pour in some grains. The number I'm looking for is 115, so I stop anywhere between 100 and 110. After that I use tweezers (that come with the scale) to add grains.

It's very important to do this on a level surface, and to calibrate the scale each time I start. Because the scale weighs to such small amounts, even breathing on it can effect the weight, which is why I wear the face mask.

The numbers will go up and down for a few seconds, but once it's stabilized and I'm at the right number, I turn off the scale, take out the capsule, make sure there aren't any grains on the scale itself (I have missed getting them in the capsule), and snap on the other end.

Then I start over.

The reason I turn off the scale is that it has an auto-shut off feature, which I find annoying. If I don't turn it off, I don't have time to do another capsule before it shuts itself off.

If anyone has questions, feel free to ask! I took pictures of my other equipment in case my descriptions weren't clear. I'm planning on buying a new tray, since there's a lot of white on the one I have, and those tiny, bouncy grains are white. Camouflaged little creeps!

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
fixed link for spreadsheets and calculators, CC pill crusher link

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

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Altostrata

More tips on using the inexpensive electronic digital scale JoLe mentioned above, the Gemini-20 Portable Milligram Scale -- these from the comments on Amazon:

 

1) Let the scale stabilize on a hard, flat and level surface.

2) Make sure the sample tray is properly seated inside the circular indent of the scale's metal measuring platform. Take care that the sample tray (as provided) does not touch the body of the scale, grossly throwing off the measurement.

3) Tap the table that the scale is on to help everything settle.

4) Calibrate as described in the manual.

5) Place and remove materials to be weighed consistently and carefully - don't drop them. Even the slightest impact can throw off the measurement.

6) Wait for ten seconds or so for the sample to settle.

7) For minuscule samples, use the ten gram weight in addition to the sample to put the scale in the middle of its operating range. With a little care, one will get closer to the performance of a lab-grade milligram scale than anything else for this price.

 

 

NOTE: If you a looking for a digital scale that measures milligrams, it must measure to at least .001g. A milligram is 1/1000 of a gram. A scale that measures to only 0.1g will not measure milligrams accurately.

 

Another reasonably priced digital scale that measures milligrams is the Grobet Precision Pocket Scale 10g x .001g Model 50.303, for about $55 here. I don't know how accurate or easy to use it might be. It's for weighing precious stones.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
updated gemini link

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Altostrata

Important note when weighing tablets and capsules: They contain filler

You will find, when you weigh a tablet or capsule, that the weight in milligrams is more that the dosage in milligrams. A 25mg tablet of Effexor weighs more than 25mg.

25mg means there's 25mg of active ingredient in the tablet, it's not the weight of the tablet.

All tablets and capsules have filler in them, that's why they weigh more on the scale.

Use a percentage, as Jole does up above, to calculate how much to take by weight.

For example, if you want to take 10mg of Effexor, it would be 40% of a 25mg tablet by weight (10 divided by 25 = .40 or 40%). Multiply the percentage by the weight of the whole tablet. If the tablet weighs 100mg before you cut it, you would want to 40% of it, or 40mg by weight.

A lot of people would crush the tablet into powder so they can measure these fine gradations in weight.

Nice big gelatin capsules (sizes 00 or 0) will help you deal with the powder.  Comparison picture with measurements  The capsule size doesn't have to be the same as your initial capsule of medication. Unless you have the fingers of a pygmy loris,pygmy loris.png it's easier to handle the larger capsule sizes and get the powder into them.

Edited by ChessieCat
Added link to capsule comparison

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Altostrata

Question: I would like to take 70mg of Effexor, which is 5 mg less than the 75mg I am now taking. How would I calculate the scale weight of a 70mg dosage to be taken from a 75mg tablet?

 

Answer: It's easier to calculate weight by using a percentage. Use a desktop calculator or the calculator on your computer.

 

(Usually we start with a percentage we want to decrease, such as 5% or 10%.)

 

1. Determine the percentage of your current dose that you want to take. If you want to drop by 5%, you'll be taking 95% of a tablet. If you want to drop by 10%, you'd take 90% of a tablet.

 

In this case, 70mg is 93.3% of 75mg (70 divided by 75), or a decrease of 6.67%.

 

2. Weigh your 75mg tablet. It will be more than 75mg because it contains filler, binder, etc. (75mg means it contains 75mg of the active ingredient, Effexor.)

 

3. Let's say your tablet weighs 105mg. Multiply that by 93.3% and you get 98mg, which will contain 70mg of Effexor.

 

4. Weigh out 98mg with your digital scale.

 

Keep extra tablet fragments in a clean medicine container, labeled with the dosage (example, 75mg). You may wish to use them later when your doses get smaller.

 

Question: How can I convert between grams, milligrams, etc.?

 

See this Unit Conversion Calculator http://easycalculation.com/unit-conversion/weight-factors.php

Edited by Altostrata
updated and expanded

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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InNeedOfHope

I have ordered some scales.

 

I just want to see what people think of my idea for weighing. I can't put the beads back in the capsule have tried that and it is too tricky.

 

I currently take out 134 beads, there are around 292 in a capsule. Some of the beads look stuck together some look like pin pricks. I work this out to around 16.2mg as 10 beads =9.73mg. or 1mg = 9.73 beads, my mind wont work right now but I've worked it out loads and had it checked at the beginning.

 

I intend to weigh 134 beads and see what they weigh, i will do that each day for a week, then i will average out what this comes to. My intention is to then use this weight (not beads) as an indication of what to remove each week.

 

I am worried that as I am getting lower the inaccuracy of fillers etc and ingredients is showing up, more and more, hence the worsening of symtoms.

 

I might need some advice when they arrive even after all the reading on here.


Sept 2010 - Citalopram 1 day

Sept 2010 - Zopliclone for ten weeks (paranoia ended a couple of months after coming off this and sleep settled down again until the last couple of months)

Ocober 2010 - Cymbalta 30mg

November 2010 - Cymbalta 60mg

February 2011 - 60mg to 30 mg (lasted 10 days)reinstated 60mg

March 2011 - Took 2 60mg tablets on one evening in error - paralysis of face, back of head, shoulder, stabbing in right kidney, lost 30% of hearing)

March - June 2011 went down quickly 1mg a day until I got stuck at 25mg, went up to 27mg, because couldn't breath.

26th June - 26mg

3rd July - 25mg

17th July - 24mg

24th July - 23mg

7th Aug - began reducing by a bead every couple of days or so went well at first then hit a wall

24th October - now on 18.5mg. Since the kidney infection at start of September, have been in constant pain and anxiety, no let up. Given Ciprofloxacin.

8th Jan 2012 17.8mg (currently reducing 0.2mg a week)

8th Jan 2012 17.6mg last reduction was 6 days ago.

15th Jan 17.4mg

21st Jan 17.2mg

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Altostrata

You may wish to put the tiny doses you weigh out with the digital scale into gelatin capsules, see

Using gelatin capsules to divide doses


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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Daisy

Hi,

 

This might be old news...but you can order empty gelatin capsules in different sizes on Amazon.com


Effexor XL 2009-2012. CT 150mg Effexor XR  2012, Effexor XR  75mg  2012  then rapid taper to 0, Reinstated Effexor XR 13mg then updosed to 20mg, Tapered to 18mg Effexor XR 4/9/12, Off Effexor XL ?Reinstated  Effexor XL 150 mgs  August  2012, Crashed in November 2012, Prozac 40 mgs 2012 to Feb 2018, Buspar 60  mgs 2012-stopped 2015, Remeron 7.5 mgs as needed for sleep-stopped Feb 2017, Prozac 50 mgs Feb 2018 to March 2018, Lexapro 5 mgs March 18 2018 to May 17th 2018, Lexapro 2.5 mgs  May 18th to May 26th 2018, Prozac 10 mgs May 15th 2018, Prozac 5 mgs May 19th 2018 to current day May 28th 2018,  Xanax 0.25 mgs to 0.5 mgs daily for over 15 years. Increased Xanax to 1.5 mgs Sept 2012, Tapered Xanax to 0 mgs  May 2013.Reinstated Xanax Feb 2017 at 0.125 mgs as needed, Gradual increase of Xanax to 1.5 mgs daily till May 22nd 2018, Xanax 1.25 mgs daily. Holding

 

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Altostrata

Thanks, EWF.

 

Just wanted to note: Get LARGE gelatin capsules (size 000 or 00), they will be easier for you to handle and to fill. You only need to fill them part way.


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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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jr1985

Hi

 

Someone has contacted me because they are wanting to taper off Prozac by breaking open the capsules and weighing the powder, doctors won't prescribe liquid and we've been through all the options for this. Can anyone recommend some accurate scales? she has already ordered one set of scales which turned out to be useless. This friend is in the UK not sure if that will make a difference, if it's something off Amazon it'll be fairly universal I would think.

 

Strawberry

 

This is the one I use, it seems fine - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Neewer-0-001g-20g-Digital-Jewelry-Diamond/dp/B007H4AR28/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346790326&sr=8-1

2003-2011: Paroxetine,Citalopram,Effexor; Aug/Sept 2011: Effexor to Mirtazapine; Oct 2011: C/T Mirtazapine back to Effexor; Nov/Dec 2011: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell; Feb 2012: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg; June 2012: Dropped to 35.6mg; Jan 2016: Propranolol 2.5mg per day for general anxiety; Feb 2016: Finasteride 0.25mg per week to slow hair loss; 18th May - 8th June 2019: Started Vyvanse 7.5mg and increased by 7.5mg weekly to 30mg (lowest “therapeutic” dose for adults).; 21st June 2019 - 12th July: Cross tapered from venlafaxine brand Rodomel to Efexor (1/4 > 1/2 > 3/4 weekly before ditching Rodomel); 13th July 2019: Cut Vyvanse dose to 15mg; 15th July 2019: Akathisia returned after years of being free; 16th July 2019: Went back up to Vyvanse 30mg

Supplements: Omega-3, Vitamin D, Zinc, Phosphatidylserine 

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strawberry17

OK so I hope someone can help with this one, a friend is embarking on breaking open Prozac capsules and weighing the powder. Her first cut is 39mg, her scales measure in 0.000g. What should she be weighing?


*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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Altostrata

She should

  • Empty a full Prozac capsule on the scale, note the weight. Example: 62.4mg (I have no idea how much the capsule contents weigh.)
  • Figure out her desired dosage as a proportion (percentage) of the full Prozac capsule dosage. Example: 39mg out of a 40mg capsule (39/40) = .975
  • Multiply the proportion times the weight. Example: .975 x 62.4mg = 60.84mg
  • Measure out 60.84mg as her dose

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Altostrata

You wouldn't weigh the capsule, you'd throw it away before taking the fractional dose. Weighing it would confuse the calculations.

 

A liquid preparation is somewhat easier to use.


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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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primrose

I have three questions please and some benzo information as I have a bit of benzo knowledge due to being on a taper for three years and counting

 

The questions

 

What do you use to transfer tiny bits of "pill-powder" from the scale to the capsule?

 

I cannot afford those scales mentioned and would like to know, would a cheaper scale that measures 0.001g be sufficient?

 

When the batteries run out on the scales, so they start deteriorating, or do they just switch off?

 

Thanks


pregan taper 600mg down to 240mg, daily cuts since xmas

valium, just over 75mg, tapering 0.1 a day, will keep this more udated, cos amounts going down

i have borderline personality, chronic ptsd, and suspected adhd and substance misuse as a symptom, which i am addressing with help of medical staff, drugs agencies & mh sta

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areyouthere

I have three questions please and some benzo information as I have a bit of benzo knowledge due to being on a taper for three years and counting

 

The questions

 

What do you use to transfer tiny bits of "pill-powder" from the scale to the capsule?

 

 

 

I use the very small cup cake or candy cups that you can get in most grocery stores. You have to zero the scale with the cup on it to be the most accurate.

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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music321

this scale has an accuracy of 1mg, and this is what the manufacturer says. for dealing with doses of 10mg or less, you'd be off by at least 10%. At 5 mg you'd be off by 20%.


various SSRI for years

 

20 mg Lyrica 2010

30 mg to 0 mg Prozac 2012

Reinstate 20 mg Prozac 2012

Drop to 19 mg Prozac 2013

Reinstate 20 mg Prozac 1 month later (2013)

Gradual decrease of Prozac dosage starting in late summer of 2015, currently at 11.2 mg/day

 

use of vitamin D3, fish oil, and magnesium at various times

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Altostrata

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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primrose

I have tested all of the surfaces in my home with a carpenters spirit level, and none of them are level.

 

Does this mean that scales are not an option for me?

 

Also, according to http://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB01224, seroquel is only moderately soluble in water, does this mean that the water method is not an option also for me?

 

If both of the above are not an option, how will I taper my seroquel?

 

Thanks


pregan taper 600mg down to 240mg, daily cuts since xmas

valium, just over 75mg, tapering 0.1 a day, will keep this more udated, cos amounts going down

i have borderline personality, chronic ptsd, and suspected adhd and substance misuse as a symptom, which i am addressing with help of medical staff, drugs agencies & mh sta

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Altostrata

Copied from http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/

 

More tips on using the Gemini-20 Portable Milligram Scale

-- these from the comments on Amazon:

 

1) Let the scale stabilize on a hard, flat and level surface.

2) Make sure the sample tray is properly seated inside the circular indent of the scale's metal measuring platform. Take care that the sample tray (as provided) does not touch the body of the scale, grossly throwing off the measurement.

3) Tap the table that the scale is on to help everything settle.

4) Calibrate as described in the manual.

5) Place and remove materials to be weighed consistently and carefully - don't drop them. Even the slightest impact can throw off the measurement.

6) Wait for ten seconds or so for the sample to settle.

7) For minuscule samples, use the ten gram weight in addition to the sample to put the scale in the middle of its operating range. With a little care, one will get closer to the performance of a lab-grade milligram scale than anything else for this price.


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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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mammaP

Quick question, sorry but I need a dummy proof answer! I have my micro scale,

it's in grams so if I need, say 1 milligrams, what do I look for on the scale?

is it 0.01, or 0.001? Annd half a milligram?

 

I'm embarrassed to be asking but I grew up with pounds and ounces, and am

a wee bit 'fick' lol.


**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Altostrata

mammaP, I moved your post here.

 

Do you have a manual for your scale? If each major division is 1mg, a half-milligram would be .5mg.

 

What kind of scale do you have? Can you post a photo showing the divisions?


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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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mammaP

Thank you for putting this where it belongs Alto. My brain is addled

the last few days and I couldn't find this post! The scales are Mercury.

I weighed half an empty capsule shell and it weighs 0.04. Was just testing it

and it was the empty shell that was to hand.

 

Posted Image

 

I'm going to stick to 3 beads for a while then try make liquid for the next drop.


**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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areyouthere

I have no idea what this is. I can't find a Mercury digital scale via Google.

 

This may be measuring in grams, which won't be accurate for milligrams.

 

Does it come with instructions?

 

I found the scale here Alto: http://www.juno.co.uk/products/mercury-pocket-micro-weighing-scales/411024-01/

 

It measures in grams. Depending on what MammaP is trying to accomplish it may suffice.

 

RU


Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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mammaP

That's the one, it says 0.05 minimum load but after that goes up by 0.01.

Am away for a week now so will play with it when I get back. :) Thank you.


**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Altostrata

Graduation 0.01g means it measures to 10s of milligrams. You cannot get an accurate measurement of anything less than 10mg with this scale -- not even 27mg, it will read it as 30mg (nearest tens of milligrams).


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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Jerome

More tips on using the inexpensive electronic digital scale JoLe mentioned above, the Gemini-20 Portable Milligram Scale -- these from the comments on Amazon:

 

1) Let the scale stabilize on a hard, flat and level surface.

2) Make sure the sample tray is properly seated inside the circular indent of the scale's metal measuring platform. Take care that the sample tray (as provided) does not touch the body of the scale, grossly throwing off the measurement.

3) Tap the table that the scale is on to help everything settle.

4) Calibrate as described in the manual.

5) Place and remove materials to be weighed consistently and carefully - don't drop them. Even the slightest impact can throw off the measurement.

6) Wait for ten seconds or so for the sample to settle.

7) For minuscule samples, use the ten gram weight in addition to the sample to put the scale in the middle of its operating range. With a little care, one will get closer to the performance of a lab-grade milligram scale than anything else for this price.

 

 

NOTE: If you a looking for a digital scale that measures milligrams, it must measure to at least .001g. A milligram is 1/1000 of a gram. A scale that measures to only 0.1g will not measure milligrams accurately.

 

Another reasonably priced digital scale that measures milligrams is the Grobet Precision Pocket Scale 10g x .001g Model 50.303, for about $55 here. I don't know how accurate or easy to use it might be. It's for weighing precious stones.

Alto: Another method for weighing higher in the scale range is to put a coin under (or in) the plastic pan. It's somewhat easier to handle, and so less likely to fall and damage the balance, than are the 10 g calibration weights. Also, if you can get even 5 min. access to an analytical balance you can weigh various sized pieces of Al foil and have a set of reference weights to check your accuracy at 5 points, like they do in commercial labs. But they don't use foil.

 

Jerome


No history of AD meds. Single dose 6-8 mg/day of Ativan (9 mg/d max!) for 7 years. Summer of 2012 I learned about IW sx and began the change to 3X day dosing, finishing in October. Big improvement in sx. Finally got under way with a hybrid [wet/dry] daily cut taper in Dec. 2012, at 0.0125 mg/day. I also take 5 mg/day of Valium and opiate pain meds. On medical hold, re-started taper 5/13. Cardiac sx {heart block) put taper on hold for summer of 2013. Some of what I thought were wd sx remitted when I had the heart problem corrected. > IW sx led to 4X/day dosing, again helpful. Fractured my left wrist in April, 2014, taper on hold again. Restarting 12/2016, at 1 mg 4 X day, ramping to a projected reduction rate of ~ 10 µg per day. Taper stopped again for increasing sx: insomnia, cognitive deficits, mood swings, severe fatigue. A testosterone level was very low. Tx with transdermal patches caused remission of many symptoms; many are still present but not as severe. I think they may be benzo-related. I'm looking for a doctor who will prescribe a small amount of liquid Ativan. This will make my taper faster and more accurate. I took my first reduced dose today, 2/2019; I'm under way, anchors aweigh! Reduction starting at 0.01 mg/day, hoping to ramp up.

My taper method, which will soon be further simplified and contain corrected information, is linked here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5037-jeromes-wetdry-taper-revised/?hl=jerome

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Abella

Not sure if the answer is here and i just missed it--how do you know to what decimal place to take your measurement of 10%? Like, I'm at 70mg doxepin, so eventually will I need to take the dosage out to the .001mg? or when do I round down/up, or does this depend on how I do?


1998-2002 Zoloft and Doxepin 

2007-2016 Klonopin (discontinued 2013), Wellbutrin, Doxepin, Prozac (2016)

As of 1/1/2017

  • Wellbutrin, 300mg
  • Doxepin 85mg
  • Prozac 20mg

9/2017 Doxepin dropped to 75mg

1/2018 Prozac dropped to 10mg (5ml of a 20mg solution)

9/2018-12/2018 Prozac taper, .2ml every 2 weeks

2/2019 Prozac at .6ml (2.4mg I think)

 

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areyouthere

If you want to decrease 70 mg of doxepin by 10% you first have to figure out what 10 % of 70 mg is. To do this you multiplply 70 mg by .10 or

 

70mg X .10 = 7mg      so  10 % of 70mg is 7mg.      To decrease by 10 %, then , you need to take 7 fewer milligrams of doxepin than you are now or…. 70 mg - 7 mg = 63 mg doxepin.

 

 

Another way to think about it is that 63 mg is 90 % of 70 mg. So if you take 63 mg of doxepin you will have decreased you previous dose of 70 mg by 10 %.

 

63 mg of doxepin would be your new dose assuming you want to decrease your previous dose ( 70 mg ) by 10 % ( or 7 mg). 

 

Hope this helps.

 

RU

 

 

To prove this …. 63mg / 70 mg = .90 X 100 ( for 100 %) =  90 %.  


Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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Altostrata

Abella, keep on figuring a 10% reduction on your last dosage. You are right, this will result in fractional amounts.

 

Round UP on the dosage so you will be making a smaller decrease rather than a larger decrease.

 

Depending on how you measure the dosage (digital scale, oral syringe, etc.), you may be able to measure the dose to hundredths of a milligram (0.01mg). You would round UP from a calculation in the thousandths (0.001mg).

 

If you cannot actually measure your dose to hundredths of a milligram, round UP calculations of your dose to tenths (0.1mg).


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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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altruist

Measure precise amounts for controlled tapering with a digital electronic scale

 

 

@JoLe Tapering off Cymbalta

 

This is the method I'm using. I'm not recommending it to anyone, I'm just delineating my methodology.

 

First I bought a bag of empty clear "1" gel caps. (They're the same size as my Cymbalta capsules, so later, when I lower the dose, I'm going to use half an original capsule and half a clear one, to differentiate the dosage.)

 

After I got frustrated with counting the grains in a capsule (because the numbers weren't the same from one capsule to the next), I bought this: Gemini-20 Portable Milligram Scale http://www.awscales.com/portable-precision-scales-01-gram/75-gemini-20-portable-milligram-scale I chose this one because it weighs down to milligrams, I found it at a good price on Amazon, and the shipping was free. Anyone who wants to weigh dosages will need to be able to weigh milligrams.

 

I also use these tools:

A tray with sides (those little grains bounce!)

attachicon.gifplatter.JPG

A plate with sections

attachicon.gifplate.JPG

The top of an eyedropper with the round part cut off

attachicon.gifeyedropper.JPG

attachicon.gifeyedropper2.JPG

attachicon.gifeyedropperwithpill.JPG

 

 

 

And I have a face mask like they were giving out during the bird flu scare.

 

My first step was to weigh the grains in several capsules. They all weighed the same amount. So I divided that number in half (because right now all I'm doing is breaking 60mg capsules down to 30mg--the dosage I'm supposed to be on).

 

First I put the electronic scale on the tray and calibrate the scale. The instructions for calibrating are included with the scale. Then I put on my face mask, stick an empty capsule half in the eyedropper top and put it on the scale. There's a tare button on the scale that will remove that weight from the display.

 

Then I open a capsule and pour in some grains. The number I'm looking for is 115, so I stop anywhere between 100 and 110. After that I use tweezers (that come with the scale) to add grains.

 

It's very important to do this on a level surface, and to calibrate the scale each time I start. Because the scale weighs to such small amounts, even breathing on it can effect the weight, which is why I wear the face mask.

 

The numbers will go up and down for a few seconds, but once it's stabilized and I'm at the right number, I turn off the scale, take out the capsule, make sure there aren't any grains on the scale itself (I have missed getting them in the capsule), and snap on the other end.

 

Then I start over.

 

The reason I turn off the scale is that it has an auto-shut off feature, which I find annoying. If I don't turn it off, I don't have time to do another capsule before it shuts itself off.

 

If anyone has questions, feel free to ask! I took pictures of my other equipment in case my descriptions weren't clear. I'm planning on buying a new tray, since there's a lot of white on the one I have, and those tiny, bouncy grains are white. Camouflaged little creeps!

 

 

Hi, alot of details have gone into this post, yet still I am left with many questions:

 

1) I have bought the Gemini-20 mg weigh scale 9http://www.awscales.com/portable-precision-scales-01-gram/75-gemini-20-portable-milligram-scale)

recommended on this thread, but how can this scale possibly be able to weigh a plastic plate when the only thing that can be put on the indented scale ,

that takes the measurement, is the small tray included? How do you physically weigh a plastic plate on an indented scale that is not able to weigh the plate itself?

Do I have to balance the plastic plate on the metal mini tray that comes with it?

 

2) When I press the 'tare' button on this scale, after about a minute the scale turns of and resets itself, so with this issue,

I have to repeatedly keep pressing tare to weigh the metal tray to zero.

So my question is, Is there a better way to weigh the beads when the weigh scale keeps turning itself off all of the time?

 

3) Why do I have to weigh the empty capsule? Why can't I just weigh the beads without the capsule

(especially when the scale keeps turning off and I have to keep pressing the tare button to reset an empty plate back to zero!

 

4) When you use the eye-drop container to hold the empty capsule, do you have to cut out the drip part of the eye-drop container so that it can rest evenly on the plastic plate?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 


1998-2003   Highest legal dose of Prozac

2003:2008   Zyprexa, Flupenthyxol, Seroquel, Lovan, Cymbalta (60mg)

2010-2014   Cymbalta (60mg) Solian/Amisulpride (400-800mg)

2014-2015   Cymbalta (60mg) Solian/Amisulpride (400mg)

 

History of withdrawals: Over the years I have gone days without all of my medication [in the first years of medication ('98-2005) therefore causing suicidal thoughts. 

 

Throughout my history above, I have had constant and recently intermittent thoughts of suicide ie 'Suicidal Ideation'.

 

For 18 years I have constantly and countlessly made attempts at going cold turkey and missing 2-7days without medication.
 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/user/3420-altruist/

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Altostrata

If you read the Amazon comments http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh-GEMINI-20-Portable-MilliGram/product-reviews/B0012TDNAM, you will see detailed instructions for calibrating.

 

It seems JoLe was filling the capsule with beads as she was weighing. This is not necessary. You can weigh the beads separately, then put them in a capsule. You don't need to weigh the empty capsule. You probably will have to figure out a way to keep the beads from rolling around on the platform.


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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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LovingSupport

Hi,

 

Someone previously mentioned in a thread a sort of tiny spoon for scooping out some beads in a capsule, but I can't find that info anymore. Can anyone tell me the name of this kind of mini-spoon?


Please note that I am supporting my PARTNER'S withdrawal process:

No previous history of prescription drugs

Early 2014:  Prescribed Ativan 1.5mg/day (on first ER visit), then Effexor XR to stablize (first 75mg then upped to 150mg after 2 weeks)

Summer 2014:  Did a 3 month titration off of Ativan (going down 10% each week), finished early fall 2014

No withdrawal symptoms

Nov 2014:  About to start reduction-toward-elimination of the Effexor following the precise 10% method that this SA site suggests; started w/4 week intervals 2x, then 3 week intervals 2x, now sticking with 2 week intervals per reduction

April 2015:  Down to 58mg Effexor XR (From 150mg) using slow tapering method recommended in SA; progressing at 2-week 10% reduction intervals of current dose.

Aug 2015:  22.5 mg Effexor XR

Dec 2015:   9.7 mg Effexor XR Continuing the above 10% reduction schedule every 2 weeks (no withdrawal symptoms)

June 2016: switched to beads when weight of current dose was approx. equal to number of beads (10) and scale became inconsistent measuring at this low weight

Aug 2015: down to 4 beads, reducing by 1 bead every 2 weeks

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tgirl

Alto,

Say I'm at 5 mg. And I need to reduce by 10% down to 4.5mg. Or .0045 grams.how can you measure it on the scales above that only go to .001 gram incraments. They only measure to the nearest milligram not 1/2 milligram required.

Thank you

tgirl


April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0

Currently

Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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Altostrata

Reduce by the lowest thousandth, in your case, .004 grams.

 

(This is why we recommend using the liquid to taper.)


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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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ladybug

Alto,

Say I'm at 5 mg. And I need to reduce by 10% down to 4.5mg. Or .0045 grams.how can you measure it on the scales above that only go to .001 gram incraments. They only measure to the nearest milligram not 1/2 milligram required.

Thank you

tgirl

If you want to use a scale to measure your doses you need to find the average weight of the pill you are using. I weighed a whole bottle of pills (30), then added up all the weights and then divided that number by 30 to find the average weight of one 20mg pill, which for me was .350g. I have been using this average weight for my entire taper down to where I am at now 5.9mg. Let's say you are using 10mg pills that weigh an average of .150g. 5mg would then weigh .075g. If you want to reduce by 10% then take a calculator and type in .075-10% and that will give you the weight you need to shave down to. It sounds complicated but is really easy once you get the hang of it. I've been doing the scale method for years with no issues, and I am pretty sensitive.


a.k.a JMarie

Paxil since Mar.1998

2006-2007:40-20mg
2009: 20mg to 14mg 2010: 14mg to 10.5mg 2011: 10.5 to 7.6mg  2012: 7.5 to 6.8mg

2013: 6.7-6.3mg 2014: 6.2mg-5.8mg 2015: 5.7 to 5.15mg 2016: 5.1-4.6mg

1/19/17: 4.5mg 3/17/17: 4.4mg

6/15/17: 4.35mg 8/10/17: 4.3mg

1/29/18: 4.1mg 5/07/18: 4.0mg

7/31/18: 3.9mg

 

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Altostrata

Thanks, Ladybug. That sounds like it would work well for tablets rather than capsules (the weight of the gelatin capsule itself might confound the percentages). The tablets are weighed without the bottle, of course!


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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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ladybug

Thanks, Ladybug. That sounds like it would work well for tablets rather than capsules (the weight of the gelatin capsule itself might confound the percentages). The tablets are weighed without the bottle, of course!

Good point! I suppose with capsules you could dump all the powder out of one capsule to get the general weight of the gelatin capsule by itself and then subtract that weight from each pill weight.

 

I also forgot to mention I did not weigh the whole bottle at once, I weighed each pill one by one until I had weighed the whole bottle and then added up all those weights and divided by 30 to get an average weight. The pan on the scale is far too small to weigh 30 pills at once. :)


a.k.a JMarie

Paxil since Mar.1998

2006-2007:40-20mg
2009: 20mg to 14mg 2010: 14mg to 10.5mg 2011: 10.5 to 7.6mg  2012: 7.5 to 6.8mg

2013: 6.7-6.3mg 2014: 6.2mg-5.8mg 2015: 5.7 to 5.15mg 2016: 5.1-4.6mg

1/19/17: 4.5mg 3/17/17: 4.4mg

6/15/17: 4.35mg 8/10/17: 4.3mg

1/29/18: 4.1mg 5/07/18: 4.0mg

7/31/18: 3.9mg

 

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