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Using a digital scale to measure doses

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matt7777
27 minutes ago, brassmonkey said:

When it comes to doing a taper that amount doesn't even count.

 

Actually, it kind of does seem to me to matter. I have a 25mg pill of Seroquel. My objective is to taper 1mg a week. With the amount of error that seems to be going on with the scale, the error appears in range to whether I am indeed tapering at 1mg or say 1.5mg.

 

The only way I have come up with to deal with these various readings is to average them, and hope for the best.

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brassmonkey

What is the actual weight when you put a whole pill on the scale?

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matt7777

The weight of a 25mg pill varies, generally around .065....whatever metric that is for the scale.

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Songbird

If the scale is in gram mode (should be a little "g" showing) that would be 0.065g ( = 65mg). 

 

I understand your concern, matt, and taking an average sounds reasonable to me, if rather time-consuming.  I wouldn't worry too much about small variances as they're likely to even out over a few days, and overall your dose amount will be reducing over the weeks.

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ChessieCat

FYI - Great Britain members - Gemini 20 scale info:

 

On 12/30/2018 at 3:42 AM, eymen23 said:

Thankfully it looks like I may have solved my minor scale drama. I decided that if I could order a decent scale for next day delivery on amazon.co.uk (even if it wasn’t the Gemini-20), I’d go for it. 

 

Anyways, after doing a more in-depth search for over an hour, I found and ordered the Gemini-20 scale and I’ll have it tomorrow!

 

For anybody reading this from the U.K. who wants the scales often recommended here on SA and quickly, search in amazon.co.uk for ‘AWS American Weigh Scales’ and select the milligram option when the search results appear. 

 

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India

I have tried searching DIGITAL SCALES but nothing has come up. If I have missed a thread then please let me know.

The recommended American scales are not available for purchase in UK.

Are thess a viable alternative?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07G19DJZY/ref=sspa_dk_detail_5?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07G19DJZY&pd_rd_w=MIeXh&pf_rd_p=8e5be0e3-b258-4b06-8b6e-695b24f935a4&pd_rd_wg=MIzT3&pf_rd_r=J8VCNXFTTV32RMM6G679&pd_rd_r=290c9993-232e-11e9-86d5-2d0b37739c40

What are the best knives/pill cutters for cutting the pills?

I am going to start taking 6mg as a tablet.

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India

I have tried to read through the thread but have found it a bit disorientating. If I want to take 6mg of citalopram tablet without gelatine, is this possible? What instruments should I use to cut my 10mg pills. If I have missed any links detailing this let me know. I am trying to order what I need from Amazon but it's proving confusing and overwhelming.

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India
18 hours ago, India said:

I have tried to read through the thread but have found it a bit disorientating. If I want to take 6mg of citalopram tablet without gelatine, is this possible? What instruments should I use to cut my 10mg pills. If I have missed any links detailing this let me know. I am trying to order what I need from Amazon but it's proving confusing and overwhelming.

I re-read the first post in this link  and think I get it now. My brain has been slow to comprehend again. 

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meagain

Hi India,

 

I just use a basic razor blade to cut my pills, switching them when they become dull. It's a tedious path we're all taking on this board, but we must look at not what's in front of us but how we see ourselves in the near future.

 

Megain

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meagain

Would anyone here be interested of me posting a youtube video on how I use the Gemini scale and my Paxil taper?

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manymoretodays

That would be awesome meagain.  Much appreciated and the visuals may help a lot.

We've got a couple that we share......but yes, let us view yours.

 

.........drumroll.......

Ladies and gentlemen,

Here is meagain showing us how she works with her Gemini 20 scale........

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays

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BfromNJ

so it looks like I may have to go the scale route, we will see after I meet my psych nurse tomorrow regarding getting a compounding script. All this information overwhelmes me, as far as percentages and fillers etc.  I was going to just crush and weigh. Guess I have more reading to do.  :/

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brassmonkey

Once the initial calculations are made crush and weigh is about all there is to it. When you're ready any of the mods can help with the math. We just need a few numbers to got it started. 

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BfromNJ
8 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

Once the initial calculations are made crush and weigh is about all there is to it. When you're ready any of the mods can help with the math. We just need a few numbers to got it started. 

thank you. 

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BfromNJ
On ‎2‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 12:25 AM, meagain said:

Would anyone here be interested of me posting a youtube video on how I use the Gemini scale and my Paxil taper?

yes. :) 

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savinggrace

Brass monkey,

I am having a terrible time now and we are weighing all the options in how to get me more stable. We are going to try tapering benzo and I am super sensitive so I saved for 2 years to get an expensive scale that measures to .0001g so we have the option of micro cuts that the Gemini can’t measure. Right now we are just testing the scale and I am happy to report to all you Gemini users that the measurements are almost spot on between the two scales so most everyone is likely fine with that. We are trying to set me up for success by having the options of micro-dosing that go beyond the limits of the Gemini scale, as liquid tapering years ago was a disaster for me. 

 

I spent hours  and hours on the internet for two days trying to figure out just how much of a pill is active ingredient and how much is filler. I could not find anything. I am interested because we are wondering if the active ingredient is homogenously distributed in a pill, thus allowing for shaving off a bit to get an accurate weight versus crushing the pills into a powder and hoping to get a more  homogeneous mixture from which to cut. I ask this because even with a super accurate scale I am having drastic symptom variability and I haven’t cut anything in 3 months. (A tiny cut of trileptal). We have been using the Gemini and “shaving” for 4 years. 

 

i know you say the tiny variances dont matter, but even what I eat matters to my drug metabolism, so I would like to feel confident that we have chosen the safest, most accurate route. 

 

Thank you for any any insight into this you might have. My husband and I have done a lot of “head-scratching” on the best way for me. I realize that this may seem extreme. My life is at stake so extreme measures are necessary right now. 

 

Thank you. 

Grace

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Gridley
37 minutes ago, savinggrace said:

trying to figure out just how much of a pill is active ingredient and how much is filler. 

 

Here is a discussion on this question.  It doesn't give a definitive answer, but one member's method of crushing the pills worked for that member.

Even distribution of active ingredient in tablet - Tapering - Surviving ..

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matt7777
57 minutes ago, savinggrace said:

I saved for 2 years to get an expensive scale that measures to .0001g

I am curious the name of your new scale?  Gemini advertises their scale to be .0001g too.

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

The basic Gem20 scale just goes to a .001 g measurement, or 1/1,000 of a gram.

 

This is the approximate $20.00 US dollar version.

It seems to work just fine for most of our members, although it does get a bit tricky down at the lower dosages below 1 mg( of pill weight or mgpw- not to be confused with the actual dosage, which we like to refer to as mgai-or mg active ingredient). 

 

I think brassmonkey just eyeballed his doses at that point until he was comfortable jumping off, at a dose below 1 mgai(I'm not sure what the mgai was for him when he got to the 1mgpw) for his Paxil. 

 

He did a lot of work to identify, as well as manage his WD symptoms along the way too.......in other words got to know his patterns, and body in relation to tapers.  Amazing, as he managed to work on up through retirement as well as improve/maintain his relationship with his wife along the way.  Basically stayed more functional than many members do through the acute experience of WD.   He's a good example of how one can learn to manage this whole thing, eh?

 

There are ways to use the weight(tare) provided with the scale and then adding your pill fragment or powder to that too........then you subtract the tare weight, and may be able to essentially go below 1 mgpw or .001gmpw that way too.

 

Hope that helps.  I just googled it and even found a whole pdf document on the Gemini 20 scale.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
added in mgpw mgai terms

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savinggrace

Manymoretodays and Matt,

 

I have really puzzled this out with the help of my husband who was a chemistry/physics major and teacher for years so I sorta, kinda trust him. 😀  We may be old but when it comes to ones' field of expertise, that stuff tends to stay with you.

 

Matt7777, our scale is called U.S. Solid, accurate to .0001g, although as my husband says, you have to remember that for any scale, when you push the absolute limit of the scale, the accuracy decreases.  We looked at the data on both scales; you can actually find "readability" and "repeatability" which is very telling.  Even with this scale (which is NOT the most expensive one you can get...less than $500...some are $2000!), the repeatability is +/-  .0002 even though it says it is accurate to .0001.  I found the repeatability on the Gemini but it was written by someone who measures ammunition for guns and used terms I do not understand, so I cannot tell you about the approximate actual accuracy.  That said, this guy uses the Gemini20 scale and is/was very impressed with the scale.  I think it is fine for most people.

 

Manymoretodays,  even with adding the tare and powder or pill fragment, and subtracting the tare weight, you cannot measure accurately beyond the limits of the scale.  The limit is the limit for accuracy, which is why I took the leap and bought the analytical scale...yes, I have to be that careful, liquid tapering did not work for me,  and I am among the unfortunate few who are this sensitive.  MOST PEOPLE will do just fine with the Gemini20 or a scale that measures to .001g. or liquid tapering.   We are being super diligent and some might say, extreme, but extreme circumstances call for extreme solutions.  I will do anything to help me get off (or even lower) my toxic load of drugs.

 

I am hoping my question about active ingredients doesn't get lost here.  Thank you, Gridley, for the link, which I did read.  I did not find a link to the member who uses the crush and weigh method.  I think Brass Monkey mentioned that only 5% of a pill is active ingredient.  Given that, Brass Monkey,  do you think that means crushing the pill and mixing it diligently and then weighing is the most accurate way to get an accurate dose?  I know you didn't have to resort to such extreme measures but some of us need alternate paths.  I have so many ups and downs in my symptoms.  I have a spreadsheet with symptoms and patterns and there isn't anything that jumps out at us...ever!!!  It is like wave, wave, (dirty) window, wave, wave, wave, (dirty) window,  wave, (dirty)window,   rinse and repeat...no apparent other reasons...I try very hard to keep things consistent...as evidenced by the extreme measures we are taking.  I pay close attention and keep notes on symptoms and dosing any change that could possibly contribute (that is measurable)

 

Thank you to those who responded to my previous post.  I really do appreciate your time and thought.  I do not aspire to muddy the watersfor anyone else.  I think this is appropriate to post this here as it is primarily about digital scales.

 

Grace

 

 

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savinggrace

Hi Brass Monkey,

After I posted above, I went back a few pages and found that you indeed DID crush the pills and put them in gel caps, so you must think this is the most accurate way, and perhaps why you were pretty functional during your BrassMonkey slide?  So I gather you did this to ensure a more even distribution of mpai?

 

Grace

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manymoretodays
54 minutes ago, savinggrace said:

Thank you to those who responded to my previous post.  I really do appreciate your time and thought.  I do not aspire to muddy the watersfor anyone else.  I think this is appropriate to post this here as it is primarily about digital scales.

 

Your fine savinggrace.   I get it.

 

Yes, I understand about your sensitivities, as well as that your situation with multiple medications, makes it more complicated as well.  And do understand just WHY you want absolutes and guarantees.  You've been through a lot to date.  And it's also great that you are trying to work this all out prior to using the scale.

And yah.....I get what you are saying about using the tare with the Gemini20 as well.  As well as what you want to do as far as limiting your toxic load.  Great aspirations.  I'm also really glad that you clarified that your scale was not a Gemini20 after all.

 

We're not pharmacists nor do we claim to be.......and it's great that your hubs can help you with the math and calculations.

 

It may be a bit before brassmonkey can respond, just so you know.  I imagine that he just did the best he could to ensure the most even distribution of mgai.  

Even with compounding apparently.......there is a lot of discrepancy, and choices, and decisions to be made.  It does look like he is popping in and out as he can......

 

I'll just leave your posts here for now.  It's possible one of my associates may find it best, to eventually move some of this discussion back to your thread at a later date.

Thanks for the additional clarity around absolute limits, accuracy, readability, and repeatability too.  That might be helpful for some of our scale using members who are also really sensitive to dose changes.  Again......no problem.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

I tapered off trileptal......so we have that in common.....B):D  I just went liquid with that one though.  It all went pretty smooth and it was my final med/drug to come off of.  Yay.

 

@brassmonkey

If and when you might get a chance to get to the internets........a couple questions from savinggrace for you:

1 hour ago, savinggrace said:

Hi Brass Monkey,

After I posted above, I went back a few pages and found that you indeed DID crush the pills and put them in gel caps, so you must think this is the most accurate way, and perhaps why you were pretty functional during your BrassMonkey slide?  So I gather you did this to ensure a more even distribution of mpai?

 

Grace

 

3 hours ago, savinggrace said:

I spent hours  and hours on the internet for two days trying to figure out just how much of a pill is active ingredient and how much is filler. I could not find anything. I am interested because we are wondering if the active ingredient is homogenously distributed in a pill, thus allowing for shaving off a bit to get an accurate weight versus crushing the pills into a powder and hoping to get a more  homogeneous mixture from which to cut. I ask this because even with a super accurate scale I am having drastic symptom variability and I haven’t cut anything in 3 months.

Personally......I'm doubting that active ingredient is homogenously distributed......but Idk.  You could also ask a pharmacist sg.  I've had great luck discussing things and asking questions of pharmacists.  The ones I've dealt with love to be helpful.  And many do indeed "get" our plight.

 

Best.

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Gridley
1 hour ago, savinggrace said:

  I did not find a link to the member who uses the crush and weigh method. 

 

 

 Go back to the link I gave you and go to Aberdeen's post.  Hold the cursor over "Aberdeen" (do not click) and you will see where you can PM her if you want to ask questions about her crush and weigh method.

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savinggrace

Gridley,

 

Thanks! I shall “hover” over Aberdeen and see if it answers some questions. 

 

Grace

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savinggrace

MMT,

Thank you for your prompt and thoughtful responses today. 

 

I actually paid a compounding pharmacist $100 for a consult once. He used it as an opportunity to rant about Big Pharma and all its downfalls, and did consideration of my particular situation. I guess HE felt better when we were done! 😬🙃

 

I actually live in a university town with a med school . We are trying to get the attention of someone in the pharmacology department...even if they just “use”

me for research, I may learn something. 

 

Trilrptal jas really complicated my tapwr. It induces most drugs at a rate of 50-80% faster,  so I chose to reduce it by 50% after hitting a wall tapering Valium. It helped for a while as the Valium did not clear as fast and I got more therapeutic value. I kind of shot myself in the foot though. I think my Valium levels have accumulated on me and I am having side effects. I am in a very bad place. I know the options. None of them are good. 

 

Thanks again for your time. 

Grace

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Rabe

Hi Grace, 

Wanted you to know that I am one as well who has a really really badly sensitive system..to foods and meds and just about everything.  I never really know from one day to the next how I will react when I eat or take meds...some days pretty ok and others, like today, not good at all.  I empathize!

I have tried to use the Gemini scale but must be doing something wrong because the same capsule will weigh differently most every time.  And I did not do well with the liquid med compounded so it is frustrating for sure.  

Wanted to thank you for posting all you did about the scales and all.  It is really helpful.  I have thought about getting a different scale.  IDK.

Just thinking about you and wanted you to know.  Take care.💜

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savinggrace

Thanks Rabe. I am so sorry for your suffering. I had a particularly hard day today so I get it. I am glad that my efforts to sort out this weighing, measuring and scale thing might help

someone  else. I was a kindergarten teacher but I feel like a pharmacist/chemist now!  So sad we have to spend our time trying to save our own lives. 

 

Thank you for your kind words. 

Grace

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Rabe

And thank you for yours, Grace...yes, what you are doing and sharing is very helpful and what you have experienced along the way makes one feel not alone.  💜

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brassmonkey

The way the tablets are manufactured the ai is very evenly distributed in the filler. So when you crush them out is still evenly distributed in the powder. If there is a coating on the tablet it could throw the mix off by a miniscule amount. 

 

Working with the powder will be the easiest most accurate method. But remember that 0.0001g is an extremely small amount to work with. 

 

I jumped off at 0.08mgai. I could only accurately weigh to 1mgai so I did visual divisions from there. 

 

I have made several posts about these subjects that go into more detail but you'll have to search them out because I'm still lost in the out back of New Zealand and won't have a real computer for some time. 

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savinggrace

I am grateful, BrassMonkey, that you took the time to answer my question.  I hope you are in New Zealand for a good reason.  I have admired your work, and your attitude and your triumph over these drugs for a long time.

 

THIS IS NOT URGENT, so please, wait until you get back to a computer and have time.  If the mgai is indeed evenly distributed evenly through the pill, then why would you say that crushing and weighing is still the best way to go?  Do you just think it is easier than shaving off pieces?  Why would it be more accurate?

 

I know I won't be working with weights as low as .0001, but I wanted the option to make micro-cuts, as in liquid tapering. That was self-limiting with the standard scale everyone (including myself) has been using.

 

I am searching around for this topic.  I understand the "how to".  I just am not sure about the accuracy thing and I could not find anything anywhere about mgai accuracy/per pill anywhere.

 

Thank you.  Be well.

Grace

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brassmonkey

I'm on an extended holiday around the world. 

 

It's a lot easier to hit a specific weight with the powder than by shaving. 

 

Try a Google search on survivingantidepresants.org active ingredient distribution.

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BfromNJ

okay so I need help. Looks like I need to crush my tablets of Fluvoxamine 25 mg myself and taper using the scale.  I am soooo confused with all the math , etc.  I see also I need to be concerned about fillers, etc.  I just don't understand it all.  can someone please give me a link or directions on the simplest way to do this?   can I just crush, measure and put into the capsules? 

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Frogie
2 hours ago, BfromNJ said:

okay so I need help. Looks like I need to crush my tablets of Fluvoxamine 25 mg myself and taper using the scale.  I am soooo confused with all the math , etc.  I see also I need to be concerned about fillers, etc.  I just don't understand it all.  can someone please give me a link or directions on the simplest way to do this?   can I just crush, measure and put into the capsules? 

Hi:

 

What I did when I 1st started out with my Lexapro taper (before I got the liquid), was I put 10 tablets on the scale. Then weighed 10 pills. These numbers are not correct but will give you an idea.

 

10 pills weighed 1.501 grams so I divided that by 10 to get the average of each pill, which would be .150 grams.

 

Then I took the pills and crushed them with the back of a spoon on a plate.

 

I then took the .150 grams and multiplied it by .90 because I wanted to taper 10% which equaled .135 grams. I would take a small piece of paper or sticky note (without the sticky part) and pour the powder onto the scale until I got to .135 grams. You have to be careful not to bump the table or breath on the scale. You might have to use the tweezers that came with the scale to take powder away or put some in until you get the correct amount. And let the scale settle for a few seconds because it will move around on the numbers.

 

Once I got the correct amount, .135 grams, I poured the powder into a small piece of paper that had a crease in it and poured it into the capsule over a clean plate so if I spilled any I could pour it into the paper and back into the capsule. I got “0” vegetable capsules from Amazon.com. I think I paid around $15.00 for 1,000. They are pretty cheap.

 

 I would do a months worth at a time so I was only doing this work once a month. Then take the extra powder and put it in an empty brown or dark green medicine bottle. I marked mined “extra Lexapro powder”. Keep it in a cool dark place.

 

You will be surprised how the extra powder adds up.

 

Then the next month I did the same thing except I took the .135 grams and muliplied it by .9 which equals .121 grams because once again I was tapering 10%, and start the process over. I would start with the extra powder from the previous month and then crush more pills to make a months worth.

 

You will need to weigh your pills to get an average. I was just using an example.

 

 I’m sure the mods can explain it better or have an easier way to do it. I just wanted you to know how I did it.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

 

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BfromNJ
4 minutes ago, Frogie said:

Hi:

 

What I did when I 1st started out with my Lexapro taper (before I got the liquid), was I put 10 tablets on the scale. Then weighed 10 pills. These numbers are not correct but will give you an idea.

 

10 pills weighed 1.501 grams so I divided that by 10 to get the average of each pill, which would be .150 grams.

 

Then I took the pills and crushed them with the back of a spoon on a plate.

 

I then took the .150 grams and multiplied it by .90 because I wanted to taper 10% which equaled .135 grams. I would take a small piece of paper or sticky note (without the sticky part) and pour the powder onto the scale until I got to .135 grams. You have to be careful not to bump the table or breath on the scale. You might have to use the tweezers that came with the scale to take powder away or put some in until you get the correct amount. And let the scale settle for a few seconds because it will move around on the numbers.

 

Once I got the correct amount, .135 grams, I poured the powder into a small piece of paper that had a crease in it and poured it into the capsule over a clean plate so if I spilled any I could pour it into the paper and back into the capsule. I got “0” vegetable capsules from Amazon.com. I think I paid around $15.00 for 1,000. They are pretty cheap.

 

 I would do a months worth at a time so I was only doing this work once a month. Then take the extra powder and put it in an empty brown or dark green medicine bottle. I marked mined “extra Lexapro powder”. Keep it in a cool dark place.

 

You will be surprised how the extra powder adds up.

 

Then the next month I did the same thing except I took the .135 grams and muliplied it by .9 which equals .121 grams because once again I was tapering 10%, and start the process over. I would start with the extra powder from the previous month and then crush more pills to make a months worth.

 

You will need to weigh your pills to get an average. I was just using an example.

 

 I’m sure the mods can explain it better or have an easier way to do it. I just wanted ou to know how I did it.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

 

thank you.  makes sense.  im just confused because I want to do miligrams.  But I guess it doesn't matter the way you are explaining, 10% is 10% regardless. :) 

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Frogie
1 minute ago, BfromNJ said:

thank you.  makes sense.  im just confused because I want to do miligrams.  But I guess it doesn't matter the way you are explaining, 10% is 10% regardless. :) 

On the scale you will want to weigh in grams. I was confused on that at 1st too. But it does turn out the right way.

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BfromNJ
2 minutes ago, Frogie said:

On the scale you will want to weigh in grams. I was confused on that at 1st too. But it does turn out the right way.

So I am basically paying no mind to the milligram idea.  I weigh in grams and then do 90% of it.  does the scale not measure in miligrams? 

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