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Tapering Benzos by wt. My Experience /What's yours?


[da...]

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Hello BBrs,

Would love to hear others experience tapering by wt. Did it work for you?

 

This is my experience so far: Although others have mentioned the Gemni scale I didnt know if it would work with lorazepam since the tablets are so small.

For me tapering lorazepam by weight with this scale appears to be working but there is surprising variation in the 1.0mg pills

 

My gemini 20 wt scale has 0.001g accuracy +/-0.001g (from Amazon $25).  (Make sure the metal dish is in the center of the pan and the tablet is in the center of the dish).

The real surprise turned out to be the 1.0mg lorazepam tablets, there is a 20% wt. variation between my pills! The good news is the .5mg lorazepam tabs seemed to be right on at 0.044g

 

Note: it is imporant to remember the wt. of the tablet does not equal the mg of the medicine.  To keep this straight in my head I keep the tab wt. in decimals and the medicine amount in mg.

                                                                                                                                                                   (1mgtab wt.X90%/4doses a day=dose wt.)

For example Right now I am working on 0.9mg/dy total, spread over 4 doses a day using the 1.0mg tabs so I took a 1.0mg tab  .122gX.90/4=0.027g/dose.  After cutting the tab in quarters I  then shaved stuff off with a new single edge razor until I was at about 0.027g +/- 0.001g.  After a while it became pretty easy to do.  Once you choose a number stick with it regardless of the individual tab wt.

It looks like I can use this method down to about 10% and get a few shavings that will still be slightly above the limits of the scale.

 

As I mentioned, would love to hear your experience/thoughts tapering by wt.

 

PS  Since I am shaving off of a pie shaped piece as I reduce, I am noticing less scale fluctuation if I leave one side flat (unshaved) facing down on the scale.  However not such a big deal if there is no air/breathing on the unit!

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I'm guessing your taper by weight is leagues beyond what most of  us can do. Kudos!!

 

By the way, I've decided the Lord is my Pilot. I'm at most a helpful passenger. Good luck on your benzo free journey!

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Yram

Congratulations on getting off of "K" !  Now thats leagues ahead of me.

The wt. thing isnt really all that hard.  If I cut too much I just throw it in another box to be used the next time I step down!

 

Sigma

I used an internet calculator or once you get down low, just calculate 10% once and go with it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update on Gemini 20 scale (from amazon)

 

Although the AD says 20g-0.001g the manual says there is a tolerence of +/- .005g which isnt all that good for us.  However the good news is this variance seems to be mostly the result of temperature change, and all we really need is consistency.  So this is what I have done I bought 2 or3 small weekly pill strip boxes and labeled them by decending wt.  Then I set asside one afternoon to cut up most of my pills weighing them and putting them into their respespictive slots.  The point being that they were all weghed under the same conditions (temperature, humidity, wind draft,etc) therby eliminating almost all of the variance

 

This is probably overdoing it for most people except for those who are very sensitive (like me) but, for very sensitive people its really good to know.

 

Currently I am also looking at a couple of other  (more expensive) scales but this still seems the best deal for most.

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Re Geminiscale

Just learned if you put the 10g wt on along with the amount of med you are weighing,(put the med on top of the 10g wt) you will get a better reading because it puts the scale right in the middle of its wt range.(20g-.000g)  Also an added bonus is you know when the scale drifts off callibration and you can keep on working w/o recalibrating if you just make the math adjustment.  Leave the dish completely off in this situation. Let things settle for several seconds to get the final reading.

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Because some types of pills have a wide wt variation (20% difference in filler) check them out befoe cutting and set aside/throw them out.   however they could be used for titration.
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  • 3 weeks later...
David49 I noticed that the Gemini scale was recalibrating like crazy. So, I decided to put newer batteries in it. That's when I noticed that one of the little round rubber discs on the bottom of the unit, was gone! I took the other three off so that it would be stable. I also bought a pill crusher and I measure the powder and put it in capsules. Won't it be great when we do not have to do this anymore?!?!?
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I have been splitting my Temazepam tablet and im now down to 2.5mg.  I dont want to try the titration method so im crushing it between two spoons then putting the powder onto a flat surface and taking a line out of it.  Im doing my best to take about 10% away feel ok doing this much better during the day and managing to sleep.  Can anbody tell me if they have tried this method. :crazy:
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T2

Thats a great idea -pouring powder, just weigh the whole capusle first to make sure its not an odd-ball.  What you did makes sense (the foot pads).  Thanks!

Also learned when the wt of the dose gets real low (below 0.010g a double tap with your finger on the surface of the unit gets it going)

 

13

Thats an interesting approach, havent heard it done but Im only one person.  I suspect this approach will work down to about 1mg, then more accuracy might be needed.

However everyone is different (Im just very sensitive). In theory the longer you can make your lines the more accurate the cut.  good luck, let us know how it goes.

 

PS FYI there is a simpler titration method that uses just a kitchen measuring cup and a tablespoon (and allows you to really get in there and stir things up -unlike the cylinder-before removing some of the solution)

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After I read your posts, David, I noticed that some of my Clonazapam tabs were much bigger than the others :o I had never even paid attention before. Wondering if there is extra filler in those tabs and if they are okay to titrate.
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T2

According to my pharmacist, ok for titration, the difference is filler so all the tabs have the same amount of benzos (but these days it hard for me to trust any med people)  either try it and see or set the odd ones asside.  Please let me know how it goes

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:laugh:  Hi David!

I'm almost afraid to go ahead and use the larger tabs! Yes, I'm chicken :pokey: I would've never have even knew they were different sizes if you had not posted. Thanks for noticing and posting! You are so 'right-on' about the trust issues with med people. I no longer trust them either! One of my friends has been told she's bi-polar and is on Zoloft & Abilify :o She told me her Psych told her she'd be on drugs for the rest of her life. Where have I heard that before!?!?!? Good grief!

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T2

I would encourage you to ask your pharmacist directly about your specific med.

 

 (my doc has been willing to work with me being a little more liberal with the presc amt during w/d so I could set the odd balls asside since I am tapering by wt-maybe your doc could do the same?  If you are still concerned, talk to a compounding lab about other options (they are the pros).

 

Sounds like weighing isnt turning out to be your thing?

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