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    Thread: Transdermal dream-enhancing supplements

    1. #1
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      Transdermal dream-enhancing supplements

      There's been some discussion of the use of transdermal supplements for inducing LDs and generally improving dreaming (e.g., increasing the quantity and quality of dreams, and improving dream recall) on another dream forum I'm a member of. Transdermal supplements are supplements that are absorbed through the skin, rather than being taken orally. Using a supplement transdermally can provide various advantages relative to taking a supplement orally, the main one (in my opinion) being that it can provide a much more constant, long-lasting blood concentration of the supplement as a function of time. Anyway, I thought the topic might be of interest to other DreamViews members. Inspired by another member of the other forum, I've been trying different formulations of transdermal dream-enhancing supplements for several weeks now. What I've been doing so far is dissolving different supplements in ethanol (i.e., grain alcohol), mixing the solution with aloe vera, letting most or all of the ethanol evaporate, and then applying the gel to my skin at night. The purpose of the aloe vera is to increase the rate at which the supplement can pass through the skin. Here's an example of a description of an experiment I did with transdermal galantamine and alpha-GPC:

      03-05-2019

      The next thing I've decided to do is make some transdermal gel containing both A (alpha GPC) and G (specifically GalantaMind). I'll combine a 300-mg alpha GPC capsule with a 4-mg G capsule.

      I just mixed the contents of the two capsules with 4 teaspoons of grain alcohol. Will let the insoluble stuff settle out overnight.
      03-06-2019

      It's worth pointing out that the combined transdermal G & A gel I'm making is actually a combined transdermal G, P, C, & A gel, because GalantaMind contains G, P, and C (where G = galantamine, P = pantothenic acid, C = choline, and A = alpha GPC).

      Also, the transdermal G gel I made previously was actually a combined transdermal G, P, & C gel.

      Just siphoned off the clear alcohol solution containing G, P, C, and A that I made last night, transferring it to a small, shallow ceramic bowl and discarding the undissolved stuff that had settled out on the bottom of the glass in which I originally prepared the solution. After thoroughly mixing in half a teaspoon of aloe vera gel, I placed the bowl on a coffee-cup warmer set to a temperature of 90 deg F. I'll let most of the alcohol evaporate over the next few hours.

      As happened previously when I made the gel containing GalantaMind only, small amounts of a sticky whitish gel precipitated out of the solution when I mixed in the aloe vera gel. Most of this whitish gel stuck to the spoon I was using to stir in the aloe vera gel. I removed and discarded as much as possible of this whitish gel. Wish I knew what it was. Hope it didn't contain significant amounts of G, P, C, or A.

      Note added later: Since there's twice as much alcohol this time, it's taking a lot longer to evaporate. To speed things up, I've increased the temperature from 90 to 95 deg F. Might increase it even more later, if it's still taking too long.

      It's still going pretty slowly, so I just increased the temperature to 100 deg F.

      The alcohol was mostly all evaporated after about 4 hours. Left a bit of alcohol in it to keep it from getting too thick. Plan to try it tonight after sleeping at least 3 hours.
      Last edited by Zthread; 04-07-2019 at 08:57 PM.

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      Experiment with transdermal galantamine & alpha-GPC, continued

      03-07-2019

      I tried out the transdermal G & A gel last night. It definitely produced moderately-strong, long-lasting effects, though I didn't get lucid. Here are the details:

      I went to bed around 10:20 pm and slept until 3:00 am (i.e., slept for about 4:40 hrs). I then got up and applied the transdermal G & A gel to my wrists and ankles, after cleaning them with alcohol wipes to remove oils from my skin.

      By the time I got back to bed, it was 3:15 am, and I was feeling moderately-strong effects from the G & A. The effects were strong enough that I couldn't get back to sleep. It seemed like each time I was just starting to drift off to sleep, my wife would move slightly or make a sound, which would wake me back up. To prevent any further disturbance of my sleep, I moved into the guest room around 3:45 am.

      Once in the guest bedroom, I was able to get to sleep pretty quickly (probably after 15 or 20 min). After that, I got up a couple of times to pee and didn't have too much trouble getting back to sleep either time. Both times I woke up, I noticed I was still feeling the effects of the G & A at about the same moderately-strong level I felt around 3:15 am.

      I definitely had a lot of dreams, but none of them were lucid and my recall isn't as good as I would have hoped for. In one dream, I remember looking at myself in the bathroom mirror in a small one-room apartment or hotel room. In another I was wandering around for a long time in a huge maze of hallways, with lots of doors and random objects and lots of other people also wandering around. I don't feel like any of the dreams I had were worth writing down in detail. I think I also had at least one dream in which I was in bed thinking I was trying to fall asleep, when I actually already was asleep (i.e., missed opportunities for INRALDs).

      I got up at 8:20 am, still feeling about the same moderately-strong effects from the G & A. I took a shower around 8:30 am, being careful to wash off all the transdermal gel that remained on my wrists and ankles. However, I still felt some effects of the gel 2 hours later (i.e., around 10:30 am), at maybe half of the original level. It's now about 4 hours after I washed off the gel (i.e., 12:30 pm) and about 9.5 hours after I first put it on my skin. I think I can still feel some of the effects from the gel, but they're pretty weak.

      In summary, I would say that the G & A gel definitely produced moderately-strong effects that seemed to last for at least 5 hours without weakening significantly, and probably would have lasted a few hours longer if I hadn't washed off the gel. I'm disappointed, however, that I didn't get lucid or at least have better dream recall. I'm also not sure how much the A contributed to the effects. When I tried the gel that just had G (specifically, GalantaMind) in it, I didn't have any issues at all with insomnia, so maybe that shows that the A added to the effects. OTOH, when I tried the G gel without A, I took it at bedtime, rather than after sleeping for a few hours, so that may have been responsible for the lack of insomnia in that case. Regarding the dose level of the G & A gel, I don't think I'd want to increase it, due to the mild insomnia I experienced with the dose level I used last night. Possibly if I added some T [i.e., theanine] into the mix, though, insomnia would be less of an issue. As for desensitization, washing off the gel didn't produce a very fast reduction in effects, but I think it produced a significant reduction, since the effects seemed to decrease to around half the original level 2 hours after washing it off.

      As for what to try next, I'm still mulling that over. Maybe adding some T to the G & A gel would be worth a try. Or I could try it with an N patch. Eventually I'd like to try combining it with both T and an N patch.

      Note added 03/08/2019: After further thought, I realized the dream about standing in front of the bathroom mirror was actually extremely interesting. So I added it to my non-lucid dream journal.

      I just now realized the other dream about wandering around in a labyrinthine building was probably related to the bathroom-mirror dream! So I'm also going to add that one to my non-lucid DJ.

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      Making transdermal huperzine A

      Started making my first batch of transdermal huperzine A (H). Crushed a single 200 microgram H tablet and mixed it with 3 teaspoons of ethanol (i.e., Everclear) in a small glass. (Did an online search to make sure H is soluble in ethanol.) Now waiting for the insoluble components of the H tablet to settle out, so I can siphon off the H dissolved in ethanol. Then will mix in some aloe vera and let the ethanol evaporate. (The purpose of the aloe vera is to increase the permeability of the skin, making it easier for the H to pass through it and enter the bloodstream.)
      Last edited by Zthread; 04-11-2019 at 08:11 PM.

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      Making transdermal huperzine A, continued

      I allowed the insoluble stuff to settle out overnight in the small glass containing the 3 teaspoons of ethanol and the crushed 200 microgram huperzine A (H) tablet. This afternoon I used an eyedropper to transfer the liquid into a small, shallow dish, leaving the insoluble stuff at the bottom of the glass. I then added a full teaspoon of aloe vera gel and stirred the mixture thoroughly. In the past I've only added half a teaspoon of aloe vera to each batch of transdermal gel and then added another half teaspoon right before use to rehydrate it. But for this batch I've decided to try adding a full teaspoon at the beginning and just use water to rehydrate the gel before using it. That way, if I've rehydrated the gel and don't end up using it (e.g., if I end up using a transdermal placebo instead), I can rehydrate it again using water on a future occasion, if necessary, without changing the amount of aloe vera in it.

      While I was stirring the mixture, I noticed it became pretty cloudy and that a small amount of a whitish gummy substance collected on the small spoon I was using as a stir stick. However, there was less of this whitish gummy substance than I've seen when making other transdermal gels.

      After thoroughly mixing the aloe vera into the ethanol/H solution, I placed the small dish containing the mixture on the coffee-cup warmer set to a temperature of 120 deg F. Now waiting for the ethanol to evaporate. Once it has, I'll put the dish in a plastic bag to keep the gel from drying out too much.

    5. #5
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      Kudos on these experiments.....I have no clue on preparing or using transdermal patches, but have you considered the effectiveness of 4mg of transdermal Galantamine? Although constant, long-lasting blood concentration, maybe it never reaches an effective enough peak level. I mean how much of the 4mg are you really getting at a time? Yushack used a default of 8mg oral, with peak plasma level at one hour. Maybe you need a lot more G.

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      Is 4 mg of galantamine enough?

      Quote Originally Posted by Fly_by_Night View Post
      Kudos on these experiments.....I have no clue on preparing or using transdermal patches, but have you considered the effectiveness of 4mg of transdermal Galantamine? Although constant, long-lasting blood concentration, maybe it never reaches an effective enough peak level. I mean how much of the 4mg are you really getting at a time? Yushack used a default of 8mg oral, with peak plasma level at one hour. Maybe you need a lot more G.
      I'm still in the early stages of all this. You're right that 4 mg isn't very much. In early tests I've had some fairly strong responses to 4 mg of transdermal galantamine (G). However, some or all of that may have been due to my expectation of what was going to happen (i.e., the placebo effect), rather than to the G itself. I'm going to do some experiments with placebos in which I randomly select either a transdermal aloe-vera-based gel containing G or a transdermal placebo containing no active ingredients (i.e., only containing aloe vera). If I'm unable to tell the difference between the effects of the actual G and the placebo, it probably means that 4 mg isn't enough. It might even mean that transdermal G doesn't actually work at all.
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      The companies who funded the product research should have info on absorption rate, if you are lucky. General rule of thumb is less than 10% gets adsorbed
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      Quote Originally Posted by sivason View Post
      The companies who funded the product research should have info on absorption rate, if you are lucky.
      Any idea how to find that information?

      Quote Originally Posted by sivason View Post
      General rule of thumb is less than 10% gets adsorbed
      You mean the rule of thumb for transdermal drugs getting into the bloodstream?

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      Here is an article that goes into great detail on various formulations they used, and decided the principle is sound, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4374332/

      This one gets you up to date on transdermal advances for this kind of med. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5497436/

      The short version seems to be, yes it will absorb through skin. The results seem good and a steady slow release can be achieved. The optimum formulation so far delivers 80% of the medication over 24 hours. So, if the gel contained 10 mg then 8 mg would be spread out over 24 hours, or roughly 2.6 mg over 8 hours. That is the best formulation so far. Anything you do at home is likely to be less.

      In general, most simple gels will only get 10% of the drug into your blood over 8 hours, but the characteristics of the drug change that. It sounds like galantamine absorbs pretty well. My best guess is to assume 20% of your drug might be absorbed the way you are doing it. For starters I would use twice the dose you would take orally, and see how that goes. You probably need to wash the area with alcohol in the morning so you are not absorbing it all day too. Going up in strength until you get the dose you want based on results, you will likely end up finding out that almost 20 mg will be needed, but do not jump to that high of a level before trying 8 mg.

      Disclaimer: This info is for theoretical educational purpose only. I do not encourage anyone to rely on my opinion when ingesting chemicals. Do so at your own risk. Good luck. If the raw chemical is not too expensive it could be a good project. Note: there are dangers involved with galantamine as with any real serious medication. I have never used it and in general think strong drugs like this are best to be avoided.
      Last edited by sivason; 04-17-2019 at 03:32 AM.
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      Papers on transdermal delivery of galantamine (and some other drugs for treating Alzheimer's)

      Quote Originally Posted by sivason View Post
      Here is an article that goes into great detail on various formulations they used, and decided the principle is sound, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4374332/

      This one gets you up to date on transdermal advances for this kind of med. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5497436/

      The short version seems to be, yes it will absorb through skin. The results seem good and a steady slow release can be achieved. The optimum formulation so far delivers 80% of the medication over 24 hours. So, if the gel contained 10 mg then 8 mg would be spread out over 24 hours, or roughly 2.6 mg over 8 hours. That is the best formulation so far. Anything you do at home is likely to be less.

      In general, most simple gels will only get 10% of the drug into your blood over 8 hours, but the characteristics of the drug change that. It sounds like galantamine absorbs pretty well. My best guess is to assume 20% of your drug might be absorbed the way you are doing it. For starters I would use twice the dose you would take orally, and see how that goes. You probably need to wash the area with alcohol in the morning so you are not absorbing it all day too. Going up in strength until you get the dose you want based on results, you will likely end up finding out that almost 20 mg will be needed, but do not jump to that high of a level before trying 8 mg.

      Disclaimer: This info is for theoretical educational purpose only. I do not encourage anyone to rely on my opinion when ingesting chemicals. Do so at your own risk. Good luck. If the raw chemical is not too expensive it could be a good project. Note: there are dangers involved with galantamine as with any real serious medication. I have never used it and in general think strong drugs like this are best to be avoided.
      Thanks sivason! This looks like extremely useful information! Really appreciate your having sent it. Will read through it in detail.
      Last edited by Zthread; 04-17-2019 at 11:21 PM.

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      Re: Paper sivason sent on transdermal galantamine

      Have been skimming through that first paper (Formulation and Evaluation of Galantamine Gel as Drug Reservoir in Transdermal Patch Delivery System, by Woo Fong Yen et al) you referenced, sivason:

      Quote Originally Posted by sivason View Post
      Here is an article that goes into great detail on various formulations they used, and decided the principle is sound, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4374332/
      Looks like I might want to try using a combination of propylene glycol and galantamine:

      Quote Originally Posted by (Paper by Woo Fong Yen et al)
      3.1.5. Effects of Enhancer Amount on Drug Release. Propylene glycol showed the highest drug release when compared to other penetration enhancers. Figure 5 and Table 2 show the effects of propylene glycol amount (0.00%, 1.00%, 5.00%, and 10.00% w/w) on drug release. There was no significant improvement on drug permeability when the amount of propylene glycol was increased from 0.00% to 1.00% w/w. However, an improvement in drug release percentage was observed when percentage of propylene glycol was increased from 5.00% to 10.00% w/w. The highest drug release percentage was observed with gel which consisted of 10.00% w/w propylene glycol. Santos et al. and Trottet et al. also deduced that propylene glycol content in the formulations is directly proportional to the amount of drug permeated and drug release [19, 20].
      Had been considering using polethylene glycol, because I'd read in a different paper that it improves skin permeation. But hadn't considered propylene glycol. Anyway, thanks again!
      Last edited by Zthread; 04-17-2019 at 11:30 PM.
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