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.
Counting beads in a capsule versus weighing
Excel spreadsheet to calculate dose weights using a scale
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....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, 27 June 2015 - 01:12 PM.