Measure precise amounts for controlled tapering with a digital electronic scale
Also see Excel spreadsheet to calculate dose weights using a 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....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!)
A plate with sections
The top of an eyedropper with the round part cut off
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 Altostrata, 25 December 2014 - 05:07 PM.