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Using a digital scale to measure doses

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peggy

Pulverizing or dissolving Effexor XR beads will remove the time-release coating. Then you have immediate-release Effexor.

yes, i realise i would need to dose twice daily

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Altostrata

If I were you, I'd experiment with beads that are not pulverized. Offhand, that seems like an unnecessary step to me.

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csm2014

Hi everyone

Does anyone know where I can order Satorious Az313 from? Would love this item ASAP but don't know if u can buy it in Australia. I watched the youtube video the it's the 1 on the right. Awesome

 

Thanks guys

 

This description shows it only measures in the gram range and rounds off to 1mg (.001g) which is no different than with the much cheaper (and less accurate) Gemini: https://www.scalesgalore.com/product/?product_id=25469#Features

Although Sartorius is the Rolls Royce of balances and has an excellent reputation, I was able to find a dual-action balance that measures in the sub-milligram range (.0001g) for about the same amount of expense (see my posts upthread for details). This would give you an even more accurate weighing during a taper, but it all depends on your needs and the type of med(s) you are tapering. Hope this helps.

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csm2014

Hi csm2014 Hi. Could you please kindly tell me the exact name of the scale you are using? I'm having trouble finding your thread. I'm not very great with this technology apologies! If it's working for you id like to buy the exact one and give it a try. Thank you so much. Much appreciated!

Sure. It's on this same thread, page 3, post #101, and here is the link to the model. Took me some time to use it, but so far, so good:

http://radwagusa.com/en/as-82-220r2-analytical-balance,w1,IN4

If you get it, let me know how it works for you.

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hardy86

Hi all

Not happy with the 2 scale I bought smart weigh only had it for a few weeks going up and down at times only by 0.01 most times and 0.05 only 2 times so far. But I want it perfect any ideas what the best scale would be. Don't worry about the cost as my health is vital.

Cheers

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Skyler

Hi all

Not happy with the 2 scale I bought smart weigh only had it for a few weeks going up and down at times only by 0.01 most times and 0.05 only 2 times so far. But I want it perfect any ideas what the best scale would be. Don't worry about the cost as my health is vital.

Cheers

 

I successfully tapered 2 meds (not at the same time) over the past 4 years using the directions on this forum for making a liquid.  Liquid preparations are generally more accurate, simpler, and less of a headache to prepare.  Go to the upper right hand corner and enter 'liquid' into the search for this thread.. you will find a lively and informative discussion on the pros and cons of both options.  

 

You seem to have an aversion to making your own liquid which is not based on any real world experience. Perhaps it's time for you to give this method a try to see if it works better for you.  As you are probably aware, among forum members, making a liquid suspension is much more popular than using a scale.  This for some of the very reasons you have described above.

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scallywag

I checked on the scale listed in post #1 of this thread. For those still looking to buy the scale, it's now listed on Amazon as the American Weigh Scales Gemini G-20 Portable Scale.

 

A risk with that scale and others available for less than 1,000 USD: It is probably not sufficiently precise for measuring pharmaceutical doses.

 

Explanation

 

Measurement systems have several important characteristics, among them accuracy and precision or repeatability. Although we sometimes use those two words interchangeably in everyday language, they have different meanings here.

Accuracy is the ability of the scale to weigh the true value.  

Precision/Repeatability is the ability of the scale to yield the same result (weight) when the exact same item is measured under the same conditions.

For clarity, view the diagrams (the "bullseyes") on the Scale Terminology page of American Weigh Scales (AWS) site. They illustrate the difference between the two concepts.

 

We want scales to have both high accuracy and high repeatability/precision. Inaccurate scales can be calibrated. Insufficient repeatability/precision is a more challenging problem to address and likely out of our hands with these consumer scales.

 

The AWS Gemini G-20 specifications page details many characteristics of the scale, including readability and repeatability.  Readability refers to the smallest unit that can be read on the digital display. The G-20 can measure 0.001g or 1mg. The repeatabilty is ±2d; this means ±2 of the smallest unit that can be read. 

 

You may be asking -- if you've read this far -- "So what?"  Well, this means that we could weigh what we think is 500 mg of a supplement powder several times and get different results: 501mg, 498 mg, 500 mg.  As someone tapering Cymbalta, I could also weigh beads from a capsule to achieve a 10 mg dose several times and get 11 mg, 8 mg and 10 mg.  See the problem for anyone with a sensitized central nervous system? Especially as one reaches the end of a taper?  Join me in a sigh or a favourite curse word.

 

To get the precision we might want, we'd have to buy a commercial/pharma grade scale well over 1000 USD, 20-25 times the cost of the scales on Amazon.  Again, feel free to sigh and/or curse.

 

I had hoped the weighing would save the time and tedium involved in counting beads. Making a liquid is one solution. :D :rolleyes: Cymbalta beads, however, are enteric-coated and lose efficacy if dissolved into liquid. If you're using Effexor XR check whether the beads are enteric-coated; they may be.

 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do to address this.  I'll post what I come up with both in the Tips for tapering off Cymbalta thread and in my Introduction thread.

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savinggrace

Hi Skyler,

 

I just read your post about liquid tapering versus using a digital scale.  I have been hesitant to bring this up because I know it may open up a whole can of worms that in the past has not been received so well...(elsewhere)

 

 I see how successful you were w/ similar drug history and liquid tapering.

 

So here it is...6 or 7 years ago, when I stopped dry-cutting and became a micro-taperer, I tried a couple things.  First I had my pharmacist make up a solution for me which was a HUGE hassle. Because of my extreme sensitivity, I have to use name brand instead of generic, so I had to get the name brand valium from the big-box pharmacy and take it to the compounding pharmacist and was treated as though I was a criminal or something.  I got very sick almost immediately from this solution, even w/o cutting anything...just letting my body adjust to the solution. Perhaps I was sick from the medium he dissolved it in.

 

So then I thought, what the heck, and tried dropping my whole dose in water and drinking the whole amount (after it dissolved).  I felt immediate, extreme w/d effects.  Of course, no one believes me that this isn't/wasn't psychological, but I had no reason to believe that ingesting the whole dose in water would make any difference but it did.  I am ultra-sensitive to any change at all and I think this changed my absorption rate?  So I resorted to the less expensive digital scale.

 

I read here, though, that you believe liquid tapering is much more accurate.  Here comes the opening of Pandora's Box....and I have been spurned and laughed at before on other forums over this inability to tolerate the liquid tapering, so I am skittish...

 

My husband (former chemistry teacher) and I, (no science credentials just logic) both  agree that since the valium (for instance) doesn't dissolve in the water, so it is a suspension, not a solution, so when withdrawing any amount it is questionable how much of the active ingredient is being withdrawn?  I know you must stir it and withdraw it efficiently, but it sure seems that this leaves more room for margin of error than a scale.  

 

I do know most people here are successful at water tapering which is why I am hesitant to post this question.  I don't want to cast a shadow of doubt on anyone who is doing okay with liquid tapering.  I can't help but wonder if there is still something I am missing to this question of liquid vs. scale micro-tapering?

 

The thing is, I am making little to no progress (even my withdrawal normal has me nearly bed-ridden), and I feel as though I have tried everything and I am getting sicker and sicker....I just read this whole thread on digital scales and your comment gave me the courage to open up this discussion.  If it can be found elsewhere on this forum, I will be happy to go there.

 

Thank you for your thoughts,

Grace

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JanCarol

LovingSupport posted:

 

Here's what we are using (both ordered from Amazon):

1) Now Foods Veg-Capsules Double "00" Empty Capsules

http://www.amazon.co... Empty Capsules

2) 1.5 " Darice Heavy Duty Plastic Mini Funnel, 2 pc per Pack (The opening at the narrow end measures 1/16-inch)

http://www.amazon.co..., 2 pc per Pack

 

They fit like "hand and glove", and make it REALLY EASY to pour beads into the empty capsules.

 

 

I found a similar item on ebay (don't know how long the link will stay good, but my search phrase on ebay was "mini funnel")  http://www.ebay.com/itm/10PCS-Mini-Small-Transparent-Plastic-Perfume-Liquid-Oil-Bottle-Funnels-/361462803713?hash=item5428dcad01:g:pjUAAOSwYHxWHyVA

 

10 for $1.10, free shipping.

 

It's handy to have more than one in my case, because sometimes I'm weighing herbs, and sometimes lithium orotate, and sometimes ginger powder - don't want to get herbs in my lithium or vice versa!

 

***

 

Other scale notes:  turn off the A/C or fans, that can really get in your way.

 

I put a nickel under the weighing tray, it is flat, and easier to use than putting the 10g weight on the tiny weigh plate.  It might even be more accurate with a heavier coin, like an Aussie dollar, or a US quarter.  I don't like putting the 10g weight on the weigh plate - it gives the powder more surfaces to adhere to.  A coin sits UNDER the plate, and never touches the medium I am weighing.

 

Soon, I will post the wooden thing hubby built me for filling capsules.  Cheap and dirty, it does the trick.

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JanCarol

First, the funnels I got for 11 cents apiece on ebay - fit both O and OO capsules:

Capsulesfit00_0_zps7xzmrmkp.jpg

 

The one on the left is 0 and the one on the right is 00 (they are pretty close in size)  I think I prefer the 0's,  they fit more neatly in my tray, and are as easy (for me) to work with as O's.

 

I bought some 3's and they are useless, as they don't fit the funnel.  So I use it for "scooping" up herbs or clay or yogurt starter.

 

Here is my handy dandy filling tray.  We started by drilling holes for the 3's, and it turned out to be a failure - as you can't use 3's on the tray.  There is one in the middle just to show size.  (he could drill them out a little bit more for holding "lids" of the gelcaps more steadily.

 

On the left is the 0, and on the right is the 00.

 

As you can see, this was easy for anyone to make - I could've made it (but hubby was faster and more precise.

 

Click on it to see the writing.

 

Capsule%20filling%20tray_zpsfu0umfgd.jpg

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rxhell2016

I am new to using a scale for measuring powder medications in milligrams. I found this site when searching for information on how to accurately do this.

 

I have ordered a medication called sodium dichloroacetate from www.pharma-dca.com . There are other sites that sell this but after communicating with the different companies I felt this one was more on the level.

 

I will be medicating my dog who has lymphoma. This medication needs to be dosed accurately to avoid unwanted side effects. Dosing can range so I may need something that will weigh smaller amts in milligrams.

 

I have found the scale on Amazon that is referenced quite a bit on this thread. Then I looked up the difference of a scale vs a balance. Again this is all new to me and I am trying to be as educated as possible.

 

I cannot afford an expensive scale. Ironically the companies that sell sodium dichloroacetate sell a scale on their sites but after a little reading, I realize their scales they are offering are not what I am looking for.

 

I will be looking to put the powder into the capsule maybe finding a glass small holder for the capsule, (I am reading plastic can sometimes be an issue bc of static?) then place the capsule in the glass holder upright- tare the scale, and spoon the powder into the capsule using my smallest incremental spoon I have.

 

The powder is sensitive to oxygen so I have to do this in a way to not expose all the powder to the air everyday. I believe I ordered a 100g bottle.

 

Any guidance on how to do this as accurately and safely as possible without spending a small fortune on a balance or a scale is appreciated.

 

I realize this is not discussing an actual antidepressant med but I am hoping I can gain some insight anyways just because we are talking about accurately weighing a medication. Unfortunately when I search the Internet for info on this I get a lot of sites that are for drug users recreationally using, no judgement on that I just am concerned about the info being accurate and reliable.

If anyone knows scales/balances, it is me! After researching thoroughly prior to my taper, I learned that the only accurate balances are the analytical ones that measure at least @ 0.00001g. In that range, the prices usually start at $1200, which, I realize, is out of range for many, but unfortunately, as with anything else, you get what you pay for, and since we're talking one's health, I wasn't going to compromise and just budgeted it as if I were repairing my car or getting a new computer.

 

Here's the one I use: https://www.amazon.com/Analytical-Balance-Internal-Calibration-Milligram/dp/B00TIWNW5Q?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

 

There may be others that measure in the mg range that are <$1000 you can find by doing a search, but again, accuracy does not come cheap. You might be able find some great deals on your local craigslist also. I sold my first balance (only a 0.0001g) I purchased for $650 for $500 on craigslist and it was brand new.  I also have the cheap $20 scale that many use for tapering, but I never use it since my cuts need to be more precise being in such tiny increments. Hope that helps.

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McCoysMom

Thank you Brass monkey.

 

The pan resembles a small bowl and you are saying to place the calibration weight in the weighing pan, can I then place something that will hold the capsule upright... And then spoon the powder into the capsule. It's one less step and avoids wasting medication.

 

I went on the American weigh site and the my weigh site to look at the scales and balances offered. The American weigh company has their jewelers scale under a diff section than the balances, but in looking at it, it does do almost the same as some of the balances. It seems to me though...

 

Weighing 4 mg is a pretty good scale I would think, if you feel it accurately accomplishes that I am impressed.

 

Did you check your surfaces with a level before using one? Do you stand on an antistatic matt and place the scale on one also? Or is that overkill? As far as temp affecting accuracy, I'm in NJ and it's hot hear right now, will prob weigh in kitchen which we do not have a window unit so it's warm in there...should I be concerned about that ?

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brassmonkey

I work on my drawing table and haven't had a problem with the surface being a little out of level.  Any kitchen counter will be level enough to work. Static electricity shouldn't be a problem, but if the powder starts sticking to things more that usual a simple ground strap to your wrist should be enough. The Gemini-20 is designed for a working temperature range of 50 - 86 deg,F above and below that there may be some fluctuation but not enough to matter. The window unit would cause more trouble with the air currents it creates that the temperature would.

 

Trying to weigh directly into the capsule would be very frustrating. It is necessary to add and subtract small amounts of powder to hit the correct dose.  Getting powder out of the capsule would be very hard.  If you reuse the Post-it note each time there will be a bit of powder that sticks to it the first time which would be lost, but subsequent uses won't loose any.   The additional step of dumping the pan onto the Post-it is so quick it will more than make up for the fiddling with the capsule on the pan. As for spillage, by folding the Post-it you can funnel the powder easily into the capsule and working over a cover sheet will save any spillage. Of the many hundreds of doses I've made up, I can only remember spilling two.

 

The dose weight of active ingredient and the weight of the powder you weigh out will be different because they are not selling you a pure medication.  There is always some sort of filler involved.  For me, I grind up 40mg paxil tablets that weigh 500mg each.  So I get .08mgai (active ingredient for each 1mgpw (pill weight).  This is how I am able to measure the tiny dose (0.42mgai) that I'm currently taking.  The same will be true for the medication you will be weighing, just your numbers will be different.  So a scale that can weigh 4mg will be quite adequate. 

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McCoysMom

BrassMonkey thank you again for responding. Do you find any powder waste with using the pan then to the post it? with the calibration weight being in the pan at the same time you are putting the medication in the pan, does any get on the weight? the medication I purchased came with a cert of analysis which states the powder is 99.2% pure. do i need to measure medication weight and subtract the filler? or is the 0.8% such a small amt that it is not necessary?

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brassmonkey

That's the one.

 

I would just weigh out the exact dose that's specified and not worry about the 0.8%

 

This is the one time being clean doesn't help.  Get a little drug powder on the weight, the pan and the Post-it.  Tap off the excess and leave the rest alone. This will allow for consistent measuring with out loss.

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McCoysMom

Brass monkey my scale arrived. It's the Gemini 20 but when I got through the modes here are my opinions ... Grams ounces grains pennyweight carat and Troy ounce... No mg.. Do I have a different scale than you have? I thought you said you weigh in mg on yours

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brassmonkey

You should use the gram setting. It will read to 3 decimal places, 0.001, which will be 1mg.

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scallywag

Boomer - that scale will be fine. It has the same resolution (measures to 0.001 mg) as the one Gemini 20 (consumer model) that others are using.

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Lexy

I have been using the Gemini scale for my Effexor tapering. I've been researching scales that can read .0001. Are these scales

able to read tinier amounts than the .001 Gemini? My doctor said I should not do liquid as I am very sensitive however I need to taper with tinier cuts now that I am under 9mg of Effexor. Also I take both the beads XR and tablets immediate release. The tablets have gotten so small that it is hard to cut. I am having wds symptoms on every cut that I make. Or should I save my money and take longer holds?

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brassmonkey

Hi Lexy-- save your money.  To get a decent .0001 scale will cost you many thousands of dollars and trying to weigh doses that fine will drive you nutz. Instead of cutting the IR tablets I would suggest crushing them and weighing the powder.  That makes it a lot easier to work with.  Get some "0" gel caps to put the powder in.

 

Your signature indicates that you've taking larger than 10% cuts (BTW please update your sig.). That could account for the WD symptoms. Having some symptoms with every cut is going to happen.  The object is to keep them as mild as possible.  Do your symptoms resolve to a steady state before you do each cut? That would indicate that the hold length is working as is.

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Lexy

Thanks brassmonkey

I will save my money and try weighing the powder. The problem is how do I weigh such small amount? On the IR I'm at 3.5mg the rest on XR. The scale doesn't read under 3mg.

I will update my signature month to month.

Let me know if I should ask these questions on my intro.

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brassmonkey

You have to take into account the filler in the tablet.  So a 3.5mg dose is going to weigh more than 3.5mg.

 

To figure the amount you need to weigh out we will need to know the average weight of the tablet and the dose weight for a full tablet from the bottle.

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Lexy

Average weight of one 25mg immediate release venlafaxine is .100g.

Currently I'm at 3.50mg of IR Ven which weighs .14g

I weighed a tiny piece of tablet with the weight that comes with scale; it weighed .101g does that mean it's .25 of one mg?

Would that be accurate to weigh pill with the weight on the scale.

 

Without the weight it is not possible to measure anything below .08g which is 2mg of ven if I'm correct.

Thanks for your help. I just need to plan ahead when I do get to that point of my taper. Im already stressing on that.

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brassmonkey

No need to stress about it Lexy. by the time you get there weighing doses will be boring. lol

 

Yes, having the weight on the scale will help make it more accurate.  You can either subtract out the weight or press the "tare" button to zero the scale.

 

There appear to be a couple of typos in the numbers you posted in the first paragraph.  Would you please double check them.

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Lexy

lol I kept checking over and barely found typo.

.14g should b .014g

.08 should be .008g

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Lexy

When weighing Effexor XR beads should we not use the itty bitty ones? Are they just filler?

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scallywag

As far as we know, the itty-bitty beads have the same composition as the larger ones.

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love

hi

i buy scale and always Measure my meds but they become powder so how will i take them?

 

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brassmonkey

The easiest way to handle the powder is to but a big bag of size "0" gel caps. You then weigh out the amount of powder you need for your dose and pour it into the gel cap. Close the gel cap and you're all set.

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love
7 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

The easiest way to handle the powder is to but a big bag of size "0" gel caps. You then weigh out the amount of powder you need for your dose and pour it into the gel cap. Close the gel cap and you're all set.

Will the substance be absorbed in the body?
And if I do not want to buy a capsule, can I swallow powder?

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brassmonkey

You can but the taste is really disgusting. Some people mix it with orange juice, but you risk losing some of the dose that way.

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love
12 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

You can but the taste is really disgusting. Some people mix it with orange juice, but you risk losing some of the dose that way.

so why on liquid you dont losing  does that way?

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scallywag

A tiny amount of a liquid dose is lost because a small amount of liquid sticks to the sides of the glass or syringe.  If you are doing this everyday, there will be no problem because you are taking the same dose every day. 

 

After putting the weighed powder in orange juice and drinking the liquid as brassmonkey suggested, you could add some water to the just-used almost-empty container, swirl the water around with what was leftover and take that.

 

Note: this conversation may be moved to the topic on Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules .

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pinkfairy

Hello every-body 

 

Am just wondering what I could use to line my tray on my scale please?Am going to be crushing diazpam up,an I don't know how to get the powder off the little tray..

any ideas how I transfer the powder into the capsules please?

thank you 

pink 

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