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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
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Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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it pertains to some drug charges my daughter is facing

Customer Question

I am trying to find out the physical weight of 25 , 5mg diazapam, and 7 10 mg valium as it pertains to some drug charges my daughter is facing. How do I find out how much they weigh?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
Unfortunately, this type of question is impossible to answer, because the drug itself is made by many different companies.

As you can see:

http://www.drugs.com/imprints.php?action=search&drugname=diazepam


they are many different shapes and sizes, so the actual physical weight of each pill is going to vary.

Unless you know which specific generic manufacturer was producing these pills, it would be impossible to give you an accurate answer. The answer would have to be obtained by calling the actual manufacturer as well, as the actual weight of the pills would be determined by them.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
what if you know the 5mg diazapam were yellow and the 10mg valium blue, does that help clarify the manufacturer?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
Unfortunately no.

Next to white, blue and yellow are probably the most common colors for pills, and there are at least 3-4 different blue and yellow pills made by different manufacturers (you can see the pictures at the link above).
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is there any way to get any weights on any of these, so I could take the heaviest ones and see how much they weigh altogether?? If I took the heaviest ones weighed and it still comes out under a certain weight, then we know we are in a safer area of charges.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
Sure, but I don't believe that type of information is available publicly. You would likely have to call the company and ask for that specific information.
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience: U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
well this hasn't really helped my case, but thanks for the imput.
Expert:  Andy PhD DABT replied 5 years ago.
You are very correct in that it is the total weight, active ingredient plus inactive ingredient, that matters in drug convictions, not simply the active ingredient weight. These pills could have been ground up and mixed with 5 pounds of flour and the police would consider it 5 pounds of drug even though the drug would be so dilute as to not be able to induce a high. This seems ridiculous, but it is what the law states.

Valium is diazepam, they are two names for the same drug. Valium is the proprietary name, while diazepam is the generic or chemical name. The information you are looking for is not easy to find, it is not readily reported. Also, it is not completely exact as one manufacturer can have a slightly different size pill then another manufacturer. The FDA is not concerned about the total pill weight, just the weight of the active ingredient (opposite of the DEA’s point of view), so total pill weight is not regulated and nobody but drug enforcement and the quality control section of manufactures care too much about the total pill weight.

I did find the information that can allow me to estimate the total weight. The best I can get you is a range of weights that it might be, if it is a Roche brand pill. I got this information from the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) from Roche for the 10 mg and 5 mg tablets (http://www.gene.com/gene/products/information/msds/valium/ValiumTablets10mgMSDS.pdf and http://www.gene.com/gene/products/information/msds/valium/ValiumTablets5mgMSDS.pdf). Both MSDS state that the pills are 1% to 6% valium. I would assume the pills are the same total weight, especially since the valium make up such a small part of the total pill weight. So taking this together the range of weight would be found by calculating the total weight of a 5 mg pill of 6% for the smallest possible size and a 10 mg pill of 1% for the largest size.

So here are the calculations:
5 mg of 6%:
Total x 0.06 = 5 mg [0.06 is 6%]
Total = 5 mg/0.06 = 83.3 mg

10 mg of 1%:
Total = 10 mg/0.01 – 1,000 mg

25 5 mg pills and 7 10 mg pills. We assume both 5 mg and 10 mg are the same total size, so there are a total of 25 + 7 pills or 32 pills

Range of total weights for all pills
83.3 mg x 32 = 2.6 grams
1,000 mg x 32 = 32 grams

So my estimate is anywhere from 2.6 grams to 32 grams of total pill weight.

I hope this helps, good luck.