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Rhiannon

Making a Celexa solution yourself

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Rhiannon

ADMIN NOTE:  Also see Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)


 

Making a Celexa solution yourself

 

 

A couple of folks asked me to post here about how I dissolve my Celexa and liquid taper it that way.

 

I use a shot glass and dissolve the tablet in a small amount of water (enough to cover it) and a couple of mLs of ethanol (very pure drinking alcohol, I use "Everclear" type, available at the liquor store.) The tablet doesn't dissolve quickly, so I usually leave it there and come back in about twenty minutes.

 

I stir it with the pipette to get the drug to dissolve into the ethanol (citalopram is soluble in ethanol). I don't know how well it actually dissolves but as long as it's mixed well it doesn't really matter.

 

Then I add enough water to bring it up to 20 mL total. I mix it well and then draw up my dose for the day, and then pipette it straight into my mouth followed by a pipette full of water (both to rinse the pipette and to dilute the "shot"!)

 

My current dose is 5.25 mg of citalopram, so given the dilution I'm using (10 mg in 20 mL) I measure 10.5 mL as my daily dose.

 

All of this could be adapted easily to using syringes for measurement instead of a pipette. (And if you are more delicate than me you could measure it into a spoon or cup rather than squirting it straight into your mouth.)

 

But using pipettes is really easy too, very simple to learn and do.

 

I'll be seeing my doctor again some time this summer and like I said elsewhere, I may see about getting the citalopram liquid already made up, but it's a $15 copay and the pills are only $5. And I'm already dissolving and pipetting my other meds anyway so it's not really any particular hassle to do it this way with the citalopram.

 

Personally this is the method I would use to taper any med. I've done the dry cutting method using a scale, and I find liquid titration easier to control. I can get my cuts as small as I want by adjusting the dilution.

Edited by KarenB
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Rhiannon

Just wanted to add that I've changed my method, it's even simpler now.

 

I just dissolve the tablet in 20 mL of water directly. It does take some time to dissolve. Then I stir it up well and pipette out my dose for the day. Since I'm taking 10 mg in 20 mL, my dose is, right now, 8 mL of water, for 4 mg of Celexa. It seems to be working.

 

You could do the same thing with a syringe.

 

Really, a pipette is just a bigger syringe; a tube with lines to mark quantity, designed for sucking up and then dispensing measured amounts of liquids. Since it's bigger and actually designed for the purpose, a pipette does allow more precise measurements. But it's really the same procedure.

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Altostrata

Rhi, do you know how long the Celexa solution will keep in the fridge?

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Rhiannon

No, I don't. I usually take all my doses of everything within 24 to 36 hours after mixing them up. So far I haven't had any noticeable problems within that time frame.

 

I just recently (when I got to 4 mg) started splitting up my Celexa dose into two doses daily, but before that I was taking it all as soon as I mixed it up.

 

There's been some discussion on Benzo Buddies about how to compound your own meds using Ora-Plus, which is what pharmacies use. I haven't tried it. But I think when people do that, they keep it longer.

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Mar2a

Just wanted to add that I've changed my method, it's even simpler now.

 

I just dissolve the tablet in 20 mL of water directly. It does take some time to dissolve. Then I stir it up well and pipette out my dose for the day. Since I'm taking 10 mg in 20 mL, my dose is, right now, 8 mL of water, for 4 mg of Celexa. It seems to be working.

 

Thanks so much for posting! I just tried this myself.

 

I just put a 40 mg tablet in a container and added water to 10 ml (that was the maximum it would hold). I stirred it up well and poured it into a small bottle. Then I added 10 ml more of water to the container, swished it around, and poured that, too, in the bottle.

 

So now what I have is 40 mg of citalopram (Celexa) dissolved in 20 ml of water. This means that there is 2 mg of citalopram in every 1 ml of liquid. So, if I need to take 6 mg of the drug, I take 3 ml of liquid. (Could someone please check my calculations? Memory and math problems figure largely in my decision to stop citalopram.) I capped the bottle tightly and put it in the refrigerator. I plan to shake it well before each use.

 

So where did I get the equipment?

 

Container - cough syrup measuring cap. They used to always be marked off in teaspoons and tablespoons, but now a lot of them have ml markings, at least on one side.

Bottle - had a leftover brown bottle from some herbal tincture. It had a dropper, but it wasn't filling properly.

Oral syringe - I think you can buy these at drug stores (look for the pill planners), but I had an unused 3 ml syringe from cat medications. (I also have a 1 ml one, which will come in very handy when I step down some more.)

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Altostrata

Mar, your math looks correct to me.

 

You have a solution of 2mg Celexa in 1ml water. To take 6mg Celexa, take 3ml of the solution.

 

Thanks for the additional tips!

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Rhiannon

Mar2, sounds good.

 

When you get to smaller doses you might find you want to cut by smaller increments at a time. When that time comes, there are a couple of ways to do that. The simplest one would be to keep doing what you're doing now only use a lower dose pill. So for example if you did exactly what you're doing now but you were dissolving 20 mg instead of 40 mg you would have 1 mg per mL. And when you get to 10 mg you can do what you're doing and end up with 0.5 mg per mL. That will allow you to cut by smaller increments.

 

You can also dissolve the pill in more water, which would effectively do the same thing. And you could do that any time, without having to wait until you're down to smaller dose pills. For example right now if you wanted to go to 1 mg per 1 mL you could just add two more of those capfuls (20 mL) more) to your solution so you would have a total of 40 mL.

 

Hope that makes sense. Not really so much saying you need to do this or anything, but I think other people who read this might want to know.

 

Keep us posted on how this works for you. I like it that you've improvised with readily available equipment. I'm a science nerd myself and work in a lab so I'm really comfortable with graduated cylinders and pipettes, but I think they can be kind of awkward for people who haven't really ever played with them much.

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Mar2a

Silver Star, thanks for the feedback and tips. I'll keep them in mind for my next step down.

 

As for an update: I saw my doctor and she said that the small decrease in dosage that I did should have had no effect, that the amount was biologically insignificant (I might be misquoting on that). I've been going to her a long time and she and I openly discuss our differences of opinions and work something out. She said that I could have gone from 40 right to 30, though she did agree there might be physical symptoms, but that I could ride them out because they'd last only 3-5 days.

 

So, what I'm doing now is taking 1/2 of my 40 mg (that gives me 20) and a 10mg pill (whhc she prescribed precisely for this), for a total of 30. I'll try that for a while, and continue stepping down slowly, though I might be go a little quicker than before, knowing that the physical effects from each step-down could be short-lived. I can always step back up if it isn't working out.

 

I've been trying to walk every day at lunch, which gives me the double boost of sunshine and exercise, which seems to be helping keep the emotional part easy.

 

Thanks again, everyone, for your help with this,

 

Mar2a

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Altostrata

With all due respect to your doctor, Mar, that is exactly how people get severe withdrawal syndrome.

 

While many people can quickly withdraw from these drugs, doctors are misinformed about how difficult it may be for some people to taper these medications. Doctors usually advise tapers that are too fast and overlook signs of severe withdrawal.

 

They also believe that withdrawal symptoms are always mild and last only a few days. If you look around this site -- or the Web in general -- you will find many, many, many reports from patients that this is untrue.

 

Withdrawal symptoms are signs that your nervous system is under stress. Don't put your nervous system through ANY withdrawal symptoms if you can help it.

 

If you have ever experienced withdrawal symptoms, you are at risk for severe withdrawal. Tapering gradually reduces that risk. Small decreases are not biologically insignificant, they are gradual.

 

You may be among those who can taper quickly, but if you get ANY withdrawal symptoms following your doctor's advice, please taper more slowly. Listen to your body.

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Rhiannon

"As for an update: I saw my doctor and she said that the small decrease in dosage that I did should have had no effect, that the amount was biologically insignificant (I might be misquoting on that). I've been going to her a long time and she and I openly discuss our differences of opinions and work something out. "

 

Ditto due respect, et cetera, but basically this is what doctors have been taught at school. The most-used psychopharmacology textbook in medical schools has as major contributors several psychiatrists who are paid six figures a year by pharmaceutical companies to "teach" doctors about their drugs. (Sorry--sounds Machiavellian, but it's true--doctors actually get most of their education about these meds from "authorities" well-paid by the companies who make them.)

 

The fact is that there are NO STUDIES of these drugs at small "insignificant" doses. And NO studies of their use over the long term. A long study is about three months, and the doses used in initial studies are picked sort of arbitrarily based on what seemed to affect the experimental animals (usually rats) without visibly harming them.

 

There is, however, evidence that over time the brain does change itself in response to the use of the drugs.

 

Which means that when you do studies on people who haven't been on the drugs already, the results of those studies can't really be applied to people who've been on them for a long while (who now have a chemically different brain).

 

So in actuality there's no actual scientific, medical information about what size dose, or cut, will affect someone who has been taking a med for more than a few months.

 

In real life, MANY people find that "biologically insignificant" doses of drugs have a great deal of effect, PARTICULARLY when you try to get off of them.

 

The best authority in the case of med withdrawal is your own body. I always say, start conservatively, make a small cut, and see how your body responds. Wait a long time so there's time for the lag effect to play out. If after three weeks you've felt no effect at all, make a slightly larger cut, then wait at least a month to make sure there's not going to be a cumulative effect. Continue to experiment conservatively until you know how your own body--your own biology--is going to react.

 

In other words, figure out for YOURSELF what is "biologically significant" for YOU.

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Altostrata

That term "biologically insignificant" used by a doctor is just plain wrong. Minute amounts of chemicals in our drinking water, for example, are not biologically insignificant -- it's a concern all over the world.

 

Psychiatric drugs are probably dosed at far higher amounts than they need to be to affect the nervous system. Drug dosages are determined by pharmaceutical companies during clinical trials in an arbitrary fashion among small numbers of subjects who may not be representative of the population who will eventually take the drug.

 

If you can feel it, it's not "biologically insignificant." What a doctor is saying with this term is that any withdrawal symptoms you feel are in your imagination. This is belittling and bad medicine.

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Nikki

These doctors need to try a few ssri's and make a insignificant cut in dose and then pass judgement :D

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alexjuice

It is my evil prayer that a law will be passed requiring all doctors who prescribe psych meds to take them and then withdraw from them.

 

I think we'd see a lot less prescribing of the nasty things.

 

That's funny on the one hand. On the other, be careful what you pray for. My shrink was shooting himself full of valium (I'd guess 100mg+/day) and who knows what else when he concluded I had schizoaffective disorder with atypical presentation. THis wasn't so good. And he didn't have any serious w/d issues -- we've talked about it a bit.

 

Alex

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ChanceLucky

Have you asked your doctor if this solution will work just as effectively as the actual pill would? I'm thinking about doing this too.

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Altostrata

Rhi's been doing this for ages and has a lab background, I'd trust her on this.

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Rhiannon

Rhi, do you know how long the Celexa solution will keep in the fridge?

I just found this study which indicates that Celexa dissolved in water is pretty stable. It says they went as far out as 30 days and no degradation was seen when kept dark; maybe a little less if exposed to light in this study. This is great news for me, because I'm down to about 1 mg now and I can make 8-9 doses out of one tablet!

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16050577

 

I use distilled or RO filtered water, which is naturally about pH 7 and should not contain significant amounts of any chemically active substances. (Other than water, that is.)

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nick1990

Hey Rhi! (or anyone else :) )

 

Was wondering if i could get your 5 cents on this. Really over using a scale . I dont think its accurate and its annoying as all hell! Starting to slowly stabilise again after a bit of a muckup involving a slight dose drop and alcohol ahaha.. Any way heres whats happening..

 

 

 Each 20mg tablet weighs on the scale approx 0.185 g - which i figure to be 18.5 mg. So i have been taking 2 tablets and  a quarter (Which SHOULD weigh 45mg). The quarter have been measuring at about 0.046-0.047g which i figure is 4.6-4.7 mg . So if i dissolve a whole tablet in 20 ml of water i would want to take 5ml of water - is that right???? I dont want to make ANY difference in how much im taking so i want to be as ACCURATE as possible! E.g if i could somehow remove the dissolved tablet from the 5 ml  and weighed it , i dont want it weighing 0.045, because last time i did that when not stablised i got a massive upping of symptoms.

 

Many thanks   :)

 

 

Nick

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Fresh

Nick , the solution is less complicated than that sounds (lol).

To take 45mg , you take 2 x 20mg in tablets , and 5mg in liquid.

Dissolve one 20mg tablet in 20mls of water , and draw up 5mls.  

 

You're done.  

The liquid means you don't need to worry about the weight at all , you just plan your drops by mg's.

Some people notice a change to liquid because it gets absorbed quicker - no buffers and fillers.  It's

worth pushing through if that happens , it only lasts a few days (nausea etc.).

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falsestart

Hi all,

If i need to drop 10% from 20mg to 19mg of Citalopram then how do i do it using a liquid solution?

I am rubbish at maths. 

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scallywag
11 hours ago, falsestart said:

Hi all,

If i need to drop 10% from 20mg to 19mg of Citalopram then how do i do it using a liquid solution?

I am rubbish at maths. 

Have you read this topic?

Or watched the video in the first post?

Simplest way to make a liquid is to use the same number of ml as your capsule or tablet.

 

50 mg tablet? Use 50 ml water.

20 mg tablet? Use 20 ml water

75 mg capsule? Use 75 ml water.

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grandmaD

I am thinking of switching to Celexa (called Citapolam here) and if I did, keen to do the liquid solution.

Is distilled water the water you boil first and then leave to cool?

Can those of you on Celexa tell me if your w/d has been manageable or hell (like Paxil)??

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ChanceLucky
10 hours ago, grandmaD said:

I am thinking of switching to Celexa (called Citapolam here) and if I did, keen to do the liquid solution.

Is distilled water the water you boil first and then leave to cool?

Can those of you on Celexa tell me if your w/d has been manageable or hell (like Paxil)??

Gradually tapering to the point where I got down to about 95% off from my original dose was not that hard. I did that over about 8 months and did not notice any symptoms. Getting off the remainder has been another story. I've failed that twice in 2 years and reinstated a low dose both times. In both instances, the withdrawal side effects did not hit me until a few weeks after I had finished the last dose. I'm taking the pill equivalent (in liquid form) of 1 mg a day now, whereas I took 40 mg a day for many years. If/when I do taper that final 1 mg, it's going to have to be quite slow. I would say that once you're almost completely off it, don't assume you can just stop even if things are going smoothly. In my case, I think getting off that final 2 to 5% will need to be almost as slow as getting off the first 95%.

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grandmaD

Chance Lucky, thank you for your reply.  it sounds pretty similar to Paxil, trying to get off the last bit/lower dose,  but I am impressed it only took 8 months to get down to that point!

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