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Bead Counting -- How To Do It


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#1 FiveNotions

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 09:00 AM

It find it more than a bit ironic that I, the "Queen of Cold Turkey" :blink: am starting a thread for us on "Bead Counting -- how to do it" .... but one of us (Gail? Clara? sorry, crapalta brain here) recently suggested we really need one ... and that we do!

I'm going to go back through the forum archives and look for as many of those excellent posts that I remember Fishinghat, ThisMoment and EquusWoman making as I can find ... and cross-post/copy them here ...

I know others of us have added lots and lots of excellent bead counting info / variations / experiences as well ... so, please chip in and help with this project ... if you've posted on this and can find your earlier posts, please copy/past them here ... likewise, even if you haven't posted on it and run across someone else's post that you think would be good, toss it in ...
 
The only real wisdom on bead counting that I can add from my own experience is this ... do it ... don't turn yourself into a crapalta crash-test dummy like I, and many of us here did ... :huh:

Some of us had no choice, because we lost insurance, lost a doc, didn't find this forum in time to learn about bead counting ....any number of reasons beyond our control ... but I have yet to hear any of us longer-term forum members say that cold turkey, or dropping down in large dose steps (90 to 60, 60 to 30, etc) is the way to go ...

 

If you have a choice, bead count ... right from the git-go ... or switch to that method if you're using one of the other approaches ... :)

Yes, we definitely do have our share of amazing success stories, from members who haven't had much, if any, trouble using one of these rapid approaches ... but they are our miracles ... the rest of us, not so much ...


#2 Carleeta

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 09:48 AM

Here is a quote from Fishinghat, typed on September 5, 2014 :

 

"No doubt about it bead counting is the best method. Bead counting, is where you open the cymbalta capsule each day and remove a few beads, usually 2 or 3. So the first day you remove 3 beads, the next day 6 beads, the next 9 beads etc. This provides for a slow steady withdrawal. If symptoms get too bad you just hold at that dosage for a while until you stabilize. Then start dropping again. Be aware that for most the last few beads give the worse withdrawal. Be prepared to slow down when you get to the very end. Now this is just an example. Some can only remove 1 bead a day and others 7 or 8 beads a day. You will have to play with it a little bit to find what works for you. This doesn't mean you won't have withdrawal but it will be lighter and you will have some control over it. Many of the brands have 200 plus beads inside but some of the generic only have 6 or 7 large pellets. "

 

Please keep a copy of this for all members refer back to...


#3 FiveNotions

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 10:08 AM

Bless you, Carleeta ... that's just the one I had in mind and couldn't find ...


#4 ThisBetterPass

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 12:15 PM

As I'm past the halfway point with bead counting from the 20 mg capsule, here's my current routine:

 

1.  Get two small bowls or nesting cups -- basically, anything that isn't pale enough to mask the beads during counting.  

 

2.  Open up the capsule and carefully pour into the larger bowl an estimated guess of beads you plan on taking out.  Set the open capsule aside so that the beads still in it don't fall out.

 

3.  Wet/lick your index finger and press it to a few beads, and count them.  Having a wet finger will help keep them from dropping or scattering.  Say that number out loud or write it down so you don't lose count.  (Been there, done that myself!)  

 

4.  Once that finger-full is counted, place those beads into the smaller of the two bowls.

 

5.  Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you have the desired number of beads for the level of taper you're at.  If you need to get a few more beads from the capsule, do that.  If you have any beads left over from the larger bowl, carefully put those back in the capsule.

 

6.  Put the capsule back together and take it as you normally would.  


#5 FiveNotions

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 12:19 PM

TBP, did you buy empty gel caps at the pharmacy/health food store to put extra/removed beads in so as not to waste them?

#6 ThisBetterPass

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 05:06 PM

I entertained the thought of doing that but decided against it.  My suspicion was that the moisture from the way I count the beads might degrade either them or the capsule.  


#7 FiveNotions

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 05:30 PM

hehehe ...TBP.... the image of your "sticky fingers" and the crapalta beads reminded me of something ... are you old enuf to remember the kid's candy called "Lik-M-Aid" ? Powdered / crystal bead sort of sweet stuff, I think it came in a straw or something ... we used to lick our fingers and then dip them in the sugar beads .. totally died our fingers horrid shades of red, orange, purple .. my mom finally "banned" me from buying it because I kept getting it all over my white school blouses ... :P


#8 FiveNotions

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 07:06 PM

Here are several topics/threads I just found ...

Important-For Those Counting Beads/pellets!
http://www.cymbaltaw...g-beadspellets/

Bead Counting For Generic
http://www.cymbaltaw...ng-for-generic/

Bead Counting in Generic [almost identical title to the one above, but different]
http://www.cymbaltaw...ing-in-generic/

#9 FiveNotions

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 08:22 PM

Tapering: Removing Pellets From 20Mg Capsule
http://www.cymbaltaw...m-20mg-capsule/

My Tapering Experience (Slow And Steady)
http://www.cymbaltaw...low-and-steady/

My Journey Tapering Off Of Generic Cymbalta Via Bead Counting...
http://www.cymbaltaw...-bead-counting/

Anyone Had Success From 6 Pellett/60 Mg Generic Taper?
http://www.cymbaltaw...-generic-taper/

Need A Bead Counting Taper Plan For 60 Mg Generic
http://www.cymbaltaw...-60-mg-generic/

Anyone Use Bead Counting And Prozac At The Same Time To Taper
http://www.cymbaltaw...-time-to-taper/

Nice Method To Withdraw Gradually
http://www.cymbaltaw...draw-gradually/

Bead Counting
http://www.cymbaltaw...-bead-counting/

Are You Bead Counting? What Not To Do Right At The End...
http://www.cymbaltaw...ght-at-the-end/

Bead Counting Method-Help!
http://www.cymbaltaw...ng-method-help/

Weaning Off Using The Bead Counting Method
http://www.cymbaltaw...ounting-method/

#10 FiveNotions

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 04:26 PM

I popped over to the SurvivingAntidepressants.org site ... lots of excellent info there, and lots of members commenting / posting. I wanted to do a search for Cymbalta and duloxetine to see what they have, but I couldn't find a search box/function.

So, I've been plowing through the forums, looking at threads/topics page by page ... I found several threads, started by the site moderator, AltoStrata, that discuss crapalta, tapering and bead counting. They're older threads, and the approaches are, in some cases, different than those that have been developed over time on this forum, but there's some info and new ideas there that I thought we might learn from.

Tips for Tapering off of Cymbalta
Started by AltoStrata in 2011
http://survivinganti...lta-duloxetine/

Tips for Tapering off Effexor (Venlaflaxine) -- bead counting
Started by AltoStrata in 2011
http://survivinganti...xine/#entry2985

Using gelatin capsules to divide doses
Individual post by AltoStrata, 2011
http://survivinganti...ques/#entry3033

Using a Digital Scale to Measure Doses
Started by AltoStrata in 2011
http://survivinganti...-measure-doses/

The slowness of slow tapers
Started by Rhi (moderator), 6/4/2012
http://survivinganti...of-slow-tapers/

Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases
Started by AltoStrata, 8/31/2012
http://survivinganti...or-5-decreases/

Tapers That Take Years
10/4/2013
http://survivinganti...hat-take-years/

#11 jealbrecht

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 04:28 PM

FN, I am forever indebted to you for all your assistance! I'm spending tomorrow figuring out my 'taper timeline' for the next 4-8 weeks, and this helps. I'm having trepidation about this!  <3


#12 jealbrecht

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 04:47 PM

OK, next question. I'd planned on just counting beads in the 30mg brand name Cymbalta (I understand there are about 270 beads there). Is weighing a much faster way to do this dose down method?


#13 FiveNotions

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 04:48 PM

That's great, jealbrecht !

Would you be willing to share your plan with us, once you get it "squared away"? And, to keep us posted on how it works for you, and any "tinkering" you need to do to adjust it as you go along?

That info sure would be helpful to add to our knowledge base.

Sure wish I'd known about this forum and bead counting/tapering back when I quit cold turkey ... I had to do it that way (lost insurance, blah blah blah), but if I'd known about this, I would have borrowed the $$ needed to buy enuf of the poison to get me through the bead counting and weaning.

#14 FiveNotions

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 04:52 PM

If you mean "faster" in terms of getting off it 100%, nope ...it's just a matter of dose accuracy as you go down. Either way, the goal is to go slowly, so as to have as few symptoms as possible.

Someone here has done it using a jeweler's scale. Hopefully they'll chime in here. Also, you could search the archives for the keywords scale, or weigh, or weighing...

#15 jealbrecht

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 04:58 PM

I've seen a good scale for weighing, just wondering if people find counting or weighing less cumbersome? I imagine its, as my mom used to say, "6 or 1/2 dozen of the other"! 


#16 FiveNotions

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 05:16 PM

Jealbrecht ... I'm cross-posting this response I made to your new topic thread (along with your question)

-------------------------
Dose Down Bead Counting Chart Anywhere?
http://www.cymbaltaw...chart-anywhere/

Does anyone know of a 'dose down' 10% from 30mg Cymbalta chart that might be floating around? Like, days 1-3, remove 2 beads. Days 4-6, remove 4 beads,,,,

-----------------------
Nope, what I saw was a chart for a different anti-d, and AltoStrata and other forum members vetoed it, as being way too fast ... they are for a very very very slow taper of any of these meds ... many members talk about taking a year or more ...

You'll see the "go slow talk" if you read those links on Cymbalta tapering, bead counting, and Effexor tapering (it's got beads, like crapalta).

As for what you mention in your post, my gut reaction is that it's way too fast ... but I've got to defer to our own Cymbalta bead counters. As you know, I'm a crapalta crash-test dummy ... :wacko: :blink:

-------------------------


#17 ShadyLady

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 07:21 PM

FN, is there a way to post Tria's 'bead counting with a scale,' not sure if that's the correct phrase she used. Do you remember her posting the detailed manual she wrote of how she used the scale? I don't know how to 'move a post' to another topic:(. If you can give me kindergarten type instruction;), I will do it...I wish I wasn't so techy challenged...I have some 'good stuff' bookmarked on my IPad and even with TM's simple instruction to me of 'how to' post links, I still haven't been able to:(. I'll print his instructions again and give it another try...maybe my neurotransmitters are firing better now than when I last tried a couple months ago!

#18 FiveNotions

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 07:24 PM

Cym, thanks for remembering that it was Tria who used the scale ... I think with that info I'll be able to find her post(s) in the archives ... BRB....
 
Okay, back and editing this to add the link to Tria's thread on weighing instead of bead counting ..

Weighing Dose Instead Of Bead Counting & Dealing W/ Generics
http://www.cymbaltaw...ing-w-generics/

Edited by FiveNotions, 11 October 2014 - 07:52 PM.

#19 ShadyLady

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 08:17 PM

Perfect! I just read FH's reply under the 'Weighing Dose' topic...he made a good point about the scale being beneficial with the generic duloxetine that has the pellets. Dropping a pellet is the equivalent of 5mg, that's a big drop. I guess you would have to shave the pellet in smaller pieces and then weigh it? Good grief, this bead counting/weighing is a chore, but WORTH THE EFFORT compared to cold turkey! Too much 'dain bramage' with the cold turkey method!!

#20 FiveNotions

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 09:22 AM

Hey, ShadyLady (formerly known as "CymSik") ! You'd better go to "Are You New Here" and re-introduce yourself, or a lot of us are going to be confused ... er, more confused than we already are ... :blink:

Love your "new you" ... :D


#21 jealbrecht

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 11:35 AM

Here's my attempt at figuring month 1 out!

 

Bead counting dose down for Cymbalta from 30mg brand capsules

 

To be dosed down 5% by the end of month 1:

There are ~270 beads in the 30mg Cymbalta brand capsule. 9 beads = 1mg

5% of 30mg is 28.5mg.

1.5 mg = 13 beads

 

Day

  1        remove 3 beads

  2        remove 4 beads

  3        remove 4 beads

  4        remove 4 beads

  5        remove 5 beads

  6        remove 5 beads

  7        remove 5 beads

  8        remove 6 beads

  9        remove 6 beads

10        remove 6 beads

11        remove 7 beads

12        remove 7 beads

13        remove 7 beads

14        remove 8 beads

15        remove 8 beads

16        remove 8 beads

17        remove 9 beads

18        remove 9 beads

19        remove 9 beads

20        remove 10 beads        

21        remove 10 beads

22        remove 10 beads

23        remove 11 beads

24        remove 11 beads

25        remove 11 beads

26        remove 12 beads

27        remove 12 beads

28        remove 11 beads

29        remove 13 beads

30        remove 13 beads

31        remove 13 beads


#22 Carleeta

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 11:58 AM

Didn't I post on here last night. Saw an error in day 28? Am I losing it or what. Lol lol...stated the math was correct with the exception of line 28....lol lol

#23 jealbrecht

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 12:00 PM

Urgh! Thank you. There were a few typos. Cymbalta brain!


#24 jealbrecht

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 01:38 PM

Great place to get empty gelatin caps for bead counting! Does anyone know the size of Cymbalta 30 mg caps?
 

#25 Carleeta

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 02:21 PM

Using a % method to reduce Cymbalta (Duloxetine)

 

 

1. Identify the mgs for your capsule (ex. 60mg, 30mg, etc.)

 

 

2. Count the beads in each capsule (different companies will differ)

 

 

Each time you receive your prescription count the beads in your capsules. There should be an even number in each capsule. There may be times when the capsules in your prescription with vary therfore, you will need to calculate the average.

 

Here is an example: some capsule have 185 beads and the other capsules has 194 beads. In the event this happens, you will need to calculate an average. To do this you must add the differences together and then divide the total by 2.

 

Example: 185 + 194 = 379

379 divided by 2 = 189 (189.5 to be exact)

Use 189 or 190 as your total bead count per capsule.

 

 

3. Determine how many beads in each capsule equal 1mg. Once you have counted the beads in each of your capsules you will then divide the number of beads by the mgs.

 

Example 1: 60mgs of duloxetine

180 beads in each capsule

180 beads divided by 60 mg = 3 The 3 indicates, it will take 3 beads to equal 1 mg.

 

Example 2: 30 mgs of duloxetine

270 beads in each capsule

270 beads divided by 30 mg = 9 The 9 indicates, it will take 9 beads to equal 1mg

 

The numbers of beads may vary depending on the manufacturer.

In determining a 10 % taper or a 5% taper you will need to know how many beads equal the 1 mg.

 

 

10% Taper

If for example you would like to taper 10% of your 60 mgs, you will need to divide your percentage into your mgs.

 

Example 60 mg divided by 10% = 6 The 6 indicates the mgs you will be reducing

.

When reducing 10% of 60 mgs we need to remove 6mgs. Take the number of beads which equal 1% and multiply them by number of mgs you are reducing.

Using Example 1:

 

3 beads = 1 mg

6 mgs need to be removed from 60mgs for 10% taper

3 beads x 6 mg = 18. This 18 represents the number of beads needed to remove 10%

 

 

5% Taper

If for example you would like to taper 5% of your 60 mgs, you will need to divide your percentage into your mgs.

 

Example 60mg divided by 5% = 3 The 3 indicates the mgs you will be reducing.

 

When reducing 5% of 60 mgs we need to remove 3mgs. Take the number of beads which equal 1% and multipy them by the number of mgs you are reducing.

Using Example 1:

 

3 beads = 1mg

3mgs need to be removed from 60mgs for a 5% taper

3 beads x 3 = 9. This 9 represents the number of beads needed to remove 5%


#26 FiveNotions

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 07:37 PM

Wow, Carleeta, even that 5% taper seems scary fast to me ... is that's what jealbrecht is / was going to try?
 


#27 Carleeta

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 07:43 PM

Wow, Carleeta, even that 5% taper seems scary fast to me ... is that's what jealbrecht is / was going to try? Doesn't it seem a bit scary..

iI agree

#28 Carleeta

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 07:54 PM

Yes FiveNotions, I do believe what jealbrecht is using. What may be good about this method is when you get a prescription and the number of beads differ from your previous prescription and/or when you drop from 60mgs to 30mgs.

#29 FiveNotions

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 07:57 PM

You're referring to the working out of the average number of beads, by averaging the low # and the high #, yes?


#30 Hopeful2014

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 08:40 AM

As I'm past the halfway point with bead counting from the 20 mg capsule, here's my current routine:

 

1.  Get two small bowls or nesting cups -- basically, anything that isn't pale enough to mask the beads during counting.  

 

2.  Open up the capsule and carefully pour into the larger bowl an estimated guess of beads you plan on taking out.  Set the open capsule aside so that the beads still in it don't fall out.

 

3.  Wet/lick your index finger and press it to a few beads, and count them.  Having a wet finger will help keep them from dropping or scattering.  Say that number out loud or write it down so you don't lose count.  (Been there, done that myself!)  

 

4.  Once that finger-full is counted, place those beads into the smaller of the two bowls.

 

5.  Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you have the desired number of beads for the level of taper you're at.  If you need to get a few more beads from the capsule, do that.  If you have any beads left over from the larger bowl, carefully put those back in the capsule.

 

6.  Put the capsule back together and take it as you normally would.  

 

Brilliant tip ThisBetterPass tried and tested this morning, makes handling the beads a whole lot easier :D





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