Hain & Venlafaxine Pill Cutting

Here’s an interesting note…on my follow-up visit with Hain last week, I told him of my “method” of cutting Venlafaxine tablets into the 1/3 doses as I worked my way to 37.5. First off, I had NO clue that Effexor came “ready-made” at 37.5 and nothing smaller. Upon a discussion with the pharmacist, she mentioned that Venlafaxine, unlike Fex, came in tablet form, and I could cut it with a pill cutter to the amount I needed. This worked for me, and judging from the posts on here, FAR easier than counting beads. When I explained this to Dr. Hain, he didn’t know you could cut the tablets like that, and even went so far as to write it down and state that he’ll recommend this as an option from now on. I was a bit taken back since I thought this would have been common practice by now, then again, Venlafaxine hasn’t been around nearly as long as Effexor.

As for what I do with those pills, since a pill cutter splits in halves, I am able to line-up the pill in such a way as to shave either the amount I need, or close enough to try again until I get it. It does take a bit of practice and a few pills to figure it out, but it truly beats having to open up a capsule…oy!

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Hmm, is the venlafaxine XR or not? If not, they are truly different beasts. Effexor/venlafaxine has a very short half-life (short enough that a single missed dose can mean serious withdrawal symptoms), which is why the extended release form - that you can’t cut - is used a lot.

Effexor XR comes in the generic form as a tablet (there is no generic version of the capsule). I too am surprised that Dr. Hain did not know this as he could have been saving his patients lots of $$$$ and time counting beads…lol. I see no reason why this tablet could not be split in the XR form as many XR tabs are split and used this way. Thanks for the info Mitch.

As a matter of clarification, it is the XR that I am taking.

A long shot but I am just wondering if we have any current members who have tried this method? I know it’s common practice to open capsules and count beads as per Dr Hain’s instructions however some people cannot take any medicine in capsule form, me for one.

It really is crazy Venlafaxine doesn’t come off the shelf in lower dose values. I’ve read many reports of people struggling to get on it and not just us hypersensitive MAV brain types but people taking it as an antidepressant too. I remember my doctor telling me to just swallow it, it’s only a tiny dose anyway. Oh the ignorance of sensitive peoples difficulties. She was appalled at the cutting suggestion and the instruction label from the pharmacist specifically states it must be swallowed whole and not chewed or crushed.

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I was really delighted to find this as I get on better with tablets than capsules so I tried it. My doctor prescribed 37.5mg Venlafaxine for controlling hot flushes/night sweats. Neatly cut in two with a pill cutter down it went only to give me 36 hours of the worst reflux/GERD I have ever experienced. I do have a confirmed GERD dx but since stopping capsules on consultants advice about five years ago have been so rarely troubled with it I wouldn’t have expected any problems. A pharmacist I had spoken to previously said it should be perfectly safe. The packet instructions said not to split under any circumstances and the GP I followed up with said he would have expected anyone taking it once the coating was broken open to experience digestive issues. Just my experience.