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TomD86: Tapering off Venlablue XL by opening pill and removing mini-capsules


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Hi all,


I'm starting to taper off Venlablue after 3.5 years. Long story but they put me up to 300mg a day (4 x 75), before realising after 2 years I had a severe vitamin D deficiency which was the cause of my problems. I now have to get myself off these pills which I shouldn't have been on in the first place!


When you pull apart the Venlablue pills there are 6 mini capsules inside of 12.5 mg each according to the PIL. I'm assuming the easiest/smoothest way to taper off would be to remove one of these mini capsules each week or so?


I asked the pharmacist who said I should start by taking 4 x 75mg pills, 5 times a week, and 3 x 75mg, 2 times a week. Surely this would lead to more of a fluctuation in the amount of the drug in my system (and therefore more withdrawal symptoms), than simply removing one 12.5mg mini capsule per week? Or have I missed something? What would you recommend?


Also, after 3.5 years, are there any recommendations on how long I should aim to take to taper off completely? Or should I just go one step at a time?


Many thanks,


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  • ChessieCat changed the title to TomD86: Tapering off Venlablue XL by opening pill and removing mini-capsules
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi TomD and welcome to SA,


We ask all members to create a drug signature.  Please update it whenever you make a change.  Please keep it nice and simple.  We only need details for the last 2 years.  Date, drug and dose only, no symptoms or diagnoses.  The other years can just be an overview.  


This is the preferred format which is helpful for the mods.  Thank you.


A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 2 years particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 


Now for the information:


SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold at that dose for about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  This is because psychiatric drugs create a physiological dependence, not physical like caffeine or nicotine.


Patience is needed to get off these drugs.  We suggest throwing out the calendar and listening to your body and your symptoms.  If after 4 weeks you don't feel stable, are unwell or life circumstances are a bit more stressful than usual (for example the Christmas period, winter time, or job change) it is better to stay at that dose for a bit longer until things settle down.


Skipping days is definitely not recommended for the reason that you have stated.  You would end up with interdose withdrawal.  Skipping Days vs Every Day Dosing Graph


I'm going to give you lots of links to check out.  Please don't feel overwhelmed, just work your way through them one at a time as you feel able.


In order to taper using SA's protocol you may need to change the type of venlafaxine which you are taking.  Please check out Post #1 of this topic for information of what types are available.


Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms


Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


Brain Remodelling

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery


Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

Keep Notes on Paper


Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

Tapering Calculator - Online


The only supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try a small amount one at a time to see how you react.  It is best to make only 1 change at a time.  It is also better not to start taking a complex vitamin because if you experience issues you will not know what exactly is causing it.  B vitamins can be stimulating especially B6.  hypersensitive-to-b-vitamin-or-b-vitamin-complex  If trying anything new, start with a small amount to see how you react and build up to the recommended amount.  


Even with a careful and slow taper you will most likely experience times of discomfort.  It is best to learn and use Non-drug techniques to cope


There are many existing topics and discussions on this site.  You can use the site search function on the main page of the site at the top right, or use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in your search string.


As I said, lots of information, but I really want you to have what you need so you can have a successful taper.


This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  We suggest that members visit each others Intro topics so that can support and encourage each other.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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