Jump to content
JoLe

Using a digital scale to measure doses

Recommended Posts

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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: week 1 of 6th slide. Down to 17,27 mgai / 0,2111  mgpw. 42,43% 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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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: week 1 of 6th slide. Down to 17,27 mgai / 0,2111  mgpw. 42,43% 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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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: week 1 of 6th slide. Down to 17,27 mgai / 0,2111  mgpw. 42,43% 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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bruci

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.

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.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gridley
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.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Oct. 21, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy