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Using a digital scale to measure doses

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ChessieCat
10 minutes ago, Raye said:

 

Im confused with my scale because my pill is a 25mg and when I weigh it it says its 0.130 grams. Is this inaccurate because shouldn’t it be 0.025mg? 

 

25mg is the dosage of the drug in the tablet (mgai = milligram active ingredient).  The tablet weighs 130mg (mgpw = milligram pill weight).  The tablet contains fillers.

 

Here is an example.  I've shown your own tablet and dose in green (however please double check that my calculations are correct).

 

On 14/02/2018 at 2:27 PM, brassmonkey said:

Hi Gardenlady--  Trying to make sense of the numbers can be really frustrating, especially when we are worried that any little slip up could cause a lot pf pain.  For the sake of our other readers a "microtaper" is achieved by doing reductions that are very small, frequently less than 1%.  This is often done using the liquid version of the drug in question, but can be done very nicely using the scales that we are all use to using.  A microtaper done using the scales can not be as finely tuned as one done with liquid, but with a little care surprisingly small reductions can be achieved.

 

The key to doing a microtaper with scales is to use the Active Ingredient Concentration as the basis for your calculations.  The Active Ingredient Concentration is the weight of the pill divided by the strength of the full dose.

 

If we use the numbers that Gardenlady provided above it would look like this;

 

411mgpw / 48.3 mgai = 8.5  (it's best to use the weight of a whole pill and the listed strength from the bottle, but this will get us surprisingly close.)

(so for Raye that would be 130mgpw / 25 mgai = 5.2)

 

This means that for every 8.5mg (Raye: 5.2mg) of pill material you get 1mg of active ingredient.  To take it one step further, we divide that 1mgai by 8.5 mgpw and get 0.12 (divide 1mgai by 5.2 mgpw  = 0.1923). Which means that every 1mgpw contains 0.12mgai (0.1923mgai).  That's just over 1/10 of 1mgai or written out in long form 0.00012mgai.  However you write it, there's not a whole lot of active ingredient in 1mgpw of pill material.

 

This is telling us that the small fluctuations in the scales accuracy don't make a whole lot of difference in the actual dose that you weigh out.

 

You can figure out the weight of a specific dose using the Active Ingredient Concentration.  Again  I will use the numbers Gardenlady provided above for an example.  Say she wants to do a 1/2% drop for her next taper.  She is currently taking 48.3mgai for her dose. We would multiply that by .995 to get the new dose.  48.3mgai X .995 = 48.0mgai

 

We then multiply the new dose by the Active Ingredient Concentration of 8.5.    48.0 X 8.5 = 408  So the weight that we measure out on the scale for the new dose is 408mgpw. The only tricky part now is manipulating the little beads to get the correct weight.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Brassmonkey

 

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brassmonkey

Recently there have been several questions about how to read milligrams using the Gemini-20 scale.  This is the reply I gave to one such question:

 

The display on the Gemini-20 will show either four or five digits depending on how much an object weighs. The scales do not have a milligram setting, but rather rely on the decimal point on the gram setting.  The maximum is 20grams which shows as 20.000.  The calibration weight should give a reading of 10.000.  Anything weighing less will give a reading of  X.XXX.  Even if the decimal point is hard to see, which it can be, the three digits on the right of the display will be the milligrams.  So a display of 0123 or 00123 is going to be 123mg.

 

Most of the other scales people use here are going to be clones of the Gemini-20 and should read in a similar manner.  

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DMV64

I am wondering what to do as I taper  down from a 1.2 mg sublingual dose. As I get into single digits I can’t go any smaller with the cuts. Help 

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mia
On 12/18/2013 at 7:54 PM, areyouthere said:

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 %.  

Can you please tell me how you came out with 63mg,what math did you use please?

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brassmonkey

Hi DMV64  Would you please give us some more information about how you are working your taper currently.  Are you using a scale? What is the weight of a whole tablet? What dose weight are you currently taking? How are you making up your dose, cutting the tablets, crushing them etc? Would you object to making and using a liquid? I have several ideas but need some input to figure which to suggest.

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brassmonkey

Hi Mia-  the easiest way to get the 63mgai is:  Previous dose times .9.  Using the numbers above that would be 70 X .9 = 63

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mia
2 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

Hi Mia-  the easiest way to get the 63mgai is:  Previous dose times .9.  Using the numbers above that would be 70 X .9 = 63

Thank you.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed duplicate post

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Hibari
On 11/4/2017 at 11:20 PM, ChessieCat said:

 

You will need to use gram because this is what mg (milligrams) is.

 

The tablet contains 25mg of the drug Lamictal (lamotrigine).  The tablet will weigh more because it has fillers in it.  To get a more accurate weight of a single tablet, weight a larger quantity of tablets and then divide the number of milligrams by the number of tablets.

 

Please do not use the figures below, they are an example only:

Once you have the weight of one tablet you will need to divide that by 25mg.  So as an example if the tablet weighs 30mg and the dose of the tablet is 25mg, divide 30 by 25.  Each 1.2mg of tablet weight will contain 1mg dose of drug.  Now multiply 1.2mg (tablet weight) x 15 (wanted dose) = 21.6mg tablet weight that you need to measure on the scale. 

 

Tapering Calculator - Download

HI Chessie, this was so helpful to me and I just want to double check something.  I've been trying to use the 10mgs soluble tablets but I never (and have written about the before) feel they contain the same amount of meds that regular tablets do.  (this could be my obsessive withdrawal brain but so be it). 

 

I now want to go back weighing and cutting from my 25mg tablets. 

 

Using your formula above, could you check my calculations?

The average weight of my 25mg tablets are 40mgs.   I divided 40mgs by 25mgs and got 1.6.  Each 1.6mg of tablet weight has 1mg of the drug.   I then multiply 1.6 by 10 (current dose)  which = 16mg tablet weight on my scale. 

 

Would that be correct? 

 

Thank you. 

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brassmonkey

That would be correct Hibari. If you are going to switch from one form of pill to another it would be a good idea to make the switch and then hold for a few weeks before attempting to taper further.  This will allow your body to adjust to any differences between the two types of pills before it has to adjust to a new dosage.

 

For everyone reading this, we are trying to start using clearer weight notations on the measurements we are writing down.  It makes it a  lot easier to keep track of what is being talked about.  So for the weight of the active ingredient, i.e. the strength on the bottle or the strength of the dose we are using "mgai" as the unit of weight.  This would make the tablets Hibari is talking about  25mgai in strength.  Then we are using "mgpw" for the actual weight of the tablet or powder that is measured on the scales.  The tablets mentioned above would weigh 40mgpw and the dose he measured would be 16mgpw.

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Hibari

Thank you Brass.   This makes it clear.

 

Because of how badly I am feeling from this last cut, I actually am contemplating up dosing and would definitely hold no matter what.  

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Rabe

Brassmonkey,

wondering if I ought to order a scale so that soon after my move I can start to slooooowly taper the viibryd which I think is causing lots of problems after I take it...about 4 hours or so after I am so agitate and it lasts till late evening.  Thank you.

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brassmonkey

Sounds like a good idea Rabe.  That way you can get settled into your new place and start when the time feel right and not have to wait to get supplies.

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Jesse12

I'm a bit confused. I'm tapering off 100mg Zoloft. I measured it on my scale and it's 3.03 mg (super accurate by .000mg. Know b/c I tested it with the buprenorphine I have to cut). Any way I round it off to 3mg because when I broke it in half, serrated, some of the capsule orange coating came off. I know it's not medication. 

My question is how do I break it so I get 90%? I used my pill cutter to cut the half more but it's crumbling.

On 9/10/2012 at 10:59 AM, Altostrata said:

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

 

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Jesse12

I'm a bit confused. I'm tapering off 100mg Zoloft. I measured it on my scale and it's 3.03 mg (super accurate by .000mg. Know b/c I tested it with the buprenorphine I have to cut). Any way I round it off to 3mg because when I broke it in half, serrated, some of the capsule orange coating came off. I know it's not medication. 

My question is how do I break it so I get 90%? I used my pill cutter to cut the half more but it's crumbling.

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Jesse12
On 1/1/2012 at 3:38 PM, Altostrata said:

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.

I'm sorry (must be fibro fog) but this is confusing me

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brassmonkey

Hi Jesse-- making up a dose can be pretty frustrating until you get the hang of it, but you're really close.  Trying to break a tablet and hit a specific weight is really, really hard. Many people find it easier to break the tablet and then carve off a little bit with a razor blade or sharp knife or nail file until they get the right weight. Personally I crushed the tablets and weighted out the desired amount and put it into empty gel caps I got at the health food store.  That was a lot easier than cutting and filing.

 

I don't see zoloft listed as a current drug in your signature, would you please update things.

 

Brass

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Jesse12

Thanks for the info. I purchased gel caps for when I got to lower dosages.

 

I'm going to check my signature because I'm sure I added it when I became a member. Thanks for letting me know :-) 

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Jesse12
On 11/29/2014 at 12:38 AM, ladybug said:

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.

 

26 minutes ago, brassmonkey said:

Hi Jesse-- making up a dose can be pretty frustrating until you get the hang of it, but you're really close.  Trying to break a tablet and hit a specific weight is really, really hard. Many people find it easier to break the tablet and then carve off a little bit with a razor blade or sharp knife or nail file until they get the right weight. Personally I crushed the tablets and weighted out the desired amount and put it into empty gel caps I got at the health food store.  That was a lot easier than cutting and filing.

 

I don't see zoloft listed as a current drug in your signature, would you please update things.

 

Brass

Just checked my signature. It's the 2nd medication on my list

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brassmonkey

Okay, to me it just looked like you had been on it for a bit and then changed it out for a different drug.

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Centime

Would it work to weigh a Paxil tablet on a digital scale, then use a nail file to remove 10%, using the scale to measure exactly? And further remove small percentages as my taper progresses? Thank you!

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brassmonkey

That's one of the typical ways to do it.  The biggest problem is hitting the weight exactly, it can be really easy to take off too much,then you have to start over with another tablet. It's also hard to save the "waste".  In the beginning there isn't a lot but the further a person decreases the more there is so you'll soon be getting a "free dose" each week. Many of us have found that crushing the tablets, weighing the power and putting in into gel caps is the easiest way to go.

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Centime

Thank you again. 

 

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Hibari

I've been weighing my pills over the past few months and cutting them to make a measurement of 8.8.

 

The Gemni Scale is definitely sensitive but I calibrate it each time I start.

 

My 5 mg pills weigh between 101mg -104mg.   Currently I weigh each one and then caculate what I need to based on the weight.

For example, if the pill is 102mg, I divide by 5, which gets me to 20.4 and then I multiply that by 3.8, which gets me to 77.52 and I round that up to 78.

If the pill is 103 mgs, I divide by 5 and that me to 20.6 and then I multiply that by 3.8, which gets me to 78.28 and I try to hove between 78 and 79

 

I then take one 5mgs pill and the broken off pieces that I have weighed.

 

Do you think this is accurate enough?  Of should I weigh 10 pills,  get the total and then divide by 10?  I did just buy gel caps.

 

H

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brassmonkey

For working with the gelcaps the best thing to do is take the average weight of a bunch of pills (10 or more) and work with that.  Grind up several pills at once and then just measure out the calculated weight from the supply pile.  this will be more accurate in the long run than trying to calculate each individual dose.  When you change over to doing it this way treat it like you would do any taper making a change in the way you're measuring things counts as a dose change event because there will be a very slight change in the dose weight and the new delivery system so you need to  allow things to stabilize.

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Hibari

You weigh all 10 pills at one time, yes? 

 

 

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brassmonkey

and divide the total weight by 10 to get the average.  Or you could weight each one individually and add then together and divide by ten.  Weighing them all at once is easier.

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Hibari

Thank you!  The pills will be easy to crush as they are the dissolvable ones. 

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Hibari
On 8/21/2018 at 9:46 PM, brassmonkey said:

For working with the gelcaps the best thing to do is take the average weight of a bunch of pills (10 or more) and work with that.  Grind up several pills at once and then just measure out the calculated weight from the supply pile.  this will be more accurate in the long run than trying to calculate each individual dose.  When you change over to doing it this way treat it like you would do any taper making a change in the way you're measuring things counts as a dose change event because there will be a very slight change in the dose weight and the new delivery system so you need to  allow things to stabilize.

I am definitely feel the dose change and am very ill at this time.  I'm hoping this levels out soon.  Taking part of my medication in crushed up powder and the other part in a pill form.  Don't think I could handle all powder at this time. 

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carefulprayerful

Question about a digital scale (0.1 mg scale)

 

The minimum weight on this scale is 10 mg.  I am thinking about what I would do if I wanted to measure less than 10 mg of powder.  For example, putting a pill weighing 114 mg on the dish and then adding 1 mg of powder.  So the weight on the scale would be 115 mg.  Then I would just throw away the pill and take 1 mg powder.  That way I could measure 1 mg of powder even though the minimum weight on the scale is 10 mg.

 

Is there anything wrong with doing this?

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carefulprayerful

Actually I just tried it, and it is difficult to handle such small amounts of powder.

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primekittycat

Hi all, wanted to post here since I've been having some scale headaches. I have used the Gemini-20 scale since I began tapering over 3 years ago. Now that I'm down to about 7mg Effexor per day, it's getting harder to get my scale to be consistent.  I can weigh the exact same beads and have it to come to 0.018mg - 0.021mg.  This is not helpful when my cuts are now about 0.001mg each (decreasing from 0.022mg to 0.021mg, for example).  I have begun to not only weigh, but count the beads for better consistency.  I have tried compounding before but that requires me to switch to Effexor IR and my body did not react well to not having XR.  Any thoughts from others once they got to low doses? 

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Alanmane
6 hours ago, primekittycat said:

Hola a todos, quería publicar aquí ya que he tenido algunos dolores de cabeza de escala. He usado la escala Gemini-20 desde que comencé a disminuir hace más de 3 años. Ahora que he bajado a aproximadamente 7 mg de Effexor por día, cada vez es más difícil lograr que mi escala sea consistente. Puedo pesar exactamente las mismas cuentas y tener que llegar a 0.018 mg - 0.021 mg. Esto no es útil cuando mis cortes son ahora de aproximadamente 0,001 mg cada uno (disminuyendo de 0,022 mg a 0,021 mg, por ejemplo). He comenzado no solo a pesar, sino a contar las cuentas para una mejor consistencia. He intentado componer antes, pero eso me obliga a cambiar a Effexor IR y mi cuerpo no reaccionó bien al no tener XR. ¿Algún pensamiento de los demás una vez que llegaron a dosis bajas? 

7 mg, wow! That is very little, I am 55mg from 150mg and it is not very difficult. I do not imagine arriving where you are, until I am out of effexor and without depression I will not be able to believe it. What advice could you give me to improve my experience? I have been 3 years in effexo

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ChessieCat
8 hours ago, primekittycat said:

Now that I'm down to about 7mg Effexor per day, it's getting harder to get my scale to be consistent. 

 

I suggest you check out this topic:  Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

And have you read this topic (using digital scales) from the beginning?

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primekittycat
16 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

I suggest you check out this topic:  Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

And have you read this topic (using digital scales) from the beginning?

 

Thanks Chessie, I have and got some good tips. I also just re-read the Effexor tips since it had been a while. I was lucky enough to find a compounding pharmacist that has dealt with this a lot and was willing to make me pills at say, 6.9mg.  But, I was having issues taking 2 IR pills per day versus 1 XR.  It seemed like my levels were bouncing around all day and my brain was too used to taking XR. I'm very sensitized to it unfortunately.

 

Anyway, I think I will keep doing my method of weighing plus counting as a double check. It sucks, but I knew it was going to get difficult at this low level. It will be nice once I'm down to say, 5 beads. 

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ChessieCat
5 hours ago, primekittycat said:

But, I was having issues taking 2 IR pills per day versus 1 XR.

 

To split your dose it may work better if you move one dose by 1 hour each day.

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