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Colin could you help me??


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Hi Colin, I crossed-over to Valium 20mgs/day on 12/31/07 from a failed Klonopin taper. I allowed myself to stabilize for almost a month. I began my Valium taper on 1/25/08. Was cutting 1.25mg every 9 days. because I only have 10mg tabs, with one refill left, and that's the smallest cut I could get using a pill cutter and a razor blade. Anyway, my tapering was coming along well, with mild symptoms at best. Suddenly, this past week when I did my 4th cut (bringing me down to 15mg/day) I've hit a brick wall and am suffering terribly. I'm as sick as I was trying to get off the Klonopin.

I have an appt. this Thurs. with my p-doc to try to get her to agree to give me smaller dose pills so I can taper more comfortably. IF I succeed in getting her to do this for me (she's NOT an agreeable doctor), should I ask for a combination script of 5mg and 2mg tabs? I'd like to slow my taper down and make MUCH smaller cuts. What is your recommendation on how much to cut and how often? I truly need some help with this because I absolutely have gone from "uncomfortably managing" directly to not functioning AT ALL. Can't even step outside my door. Your advice would be greatly appreciated. I need to function, because I'm alone most of the time and have no one to help me. Husband works 6 days/wk. and I have no family in my immediate area.  Thank you for your time and patience.

Tracy (tlw)

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Hi,

 

Maybe you should just ask for 2mg tablets. 15mg would be just three 5mg tablets, so you would soon be down to a level where you would benefit from 2mg tablets anyway. You can always mix-and-match with halves or quarters of your 10mg tablets, and your 2mg tablets, in the meantine. Also, you are asking for one change to your dose, rather than having to ask your unsympathetic pdoc for two prescriptions and/or another change later.

 

Since you have reacted so poorly to your last cut, you would probably benefit from stabilising your dose until you feel improved. Assuming that you have managed to obtain the 2mg tablets, you will then be in good position to continue when you feel recovered from this latest cut. Once you have the tablets, we will help you decide an a suitable cut and/or combining your differing tablet doses for the desired cut.

 

If you cannot obtain 2mg tablets, you always have the option of titration. It will work fine with 10mg Valium tablets.

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Hello Colin...thank you for your advice. I will write you again on Thursday after my appointment with the psychiatrist, and we can then take it from there??? Fingers crossed for her to have some sympathy. She tends to want to have things done her way only!! I'm going to have to pull it together before then and present myself sanely, and in as good of health as possible because I fear if she catches on that I'm suffering, she'll just insist I either go on more drugs or make me stay on higher doses of Valium. So, yes I'm holding this last cut and not moving on until after I see her. Thanks again and I'll touch base with you on Thursday.

Tracy

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Hello Colin.....My visit to the p-doc went better than expected. She agreed to prescribe me 2mg tabs of Valium today and to continue scripting me this dose until I've finished tapering. She said to try to cut 0.5mg/wk. Just as a reminder, I was cutting 1.25mg every 9 days and had to hold/stop because I became so miserably ill and insomniac. I'm now at 15mg Valium. She told me to give myself a couple of days to feel better before beginning the 0.5mg cuts. Based on how I WAS cutting, do you feel that 0.5mg/wk is reasonble? I am in no hurry because I need to function and try to start sleeping again. On the contrary, I don't want to go slower than necessary. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

Tracy

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Hi,

 

0.5mg cuts from 15mg is just 3.3%. If you are doing this every 7 days, it is a slow taper. You can probably go faster than this, but since you have been suffering of late, I think ypour proposal is a good starting point. If you find these cuts are easily tolerated, just increase the frequency of the cuts rather than the size (more frequent smaller cuts are better tolerated than less frequent larger cuts). As your dose lowers, you may find that you again need to allow more time between cuts, as 0.5mg will account for a larger-and-larger percentage of your dosage (0.5mg cut from 10mg is 5%; 0.5mg cut from 5mg is 10%, for examples).

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Colin thanks so much for helping me out with my new dosing. Just one more question...what mathematical formula do you use to figure out your percentages??

I'm horrible with math and would like to learn how to do that in order to keep a close eye on my cuts.

Tracy

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Your proposed cut divided by your present dose.

Multiply the answer by 100.

 

Example:

0.5mg cut from a dose of 10mg.

0.5/10 = 0.05.

0.05x100 = 5%.

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