There appears to be no definitive information on dose rate available from research although the prolonged historic use of velvet antler by Asian communities suggests a reasonable degree of safety.
However it is generally considered that one or two 250-350 mg capsules per day is sufficient to maintain health and alleviate minor fatigue while higher doses are used for healing or performance enhancement.
A traditional therapeutic dosage of deer antler velvet is 1-3 grams (as a powder) divided into 2 or 3 daily doses. Most people take it in powder, pill or extract form rather than decocting it with other herbs because it is quite expensive. 3-4.5g (double-boiled by itself), can also be soaked in wine. Ideal quality deer antler velvet is thick, firm, light-weight, and has thin cross-sections, fine hairs, and an oily, shiny appearance.
When taking deer antler velvet, it is advised to begin with a low dose and gradually increase it. Like most natural health supplements, effects of velvet antler tend to be cumulative. Typically, significant benefits are seen after 8 to 12 weeks of consistent use.
Some minor side effects (headaches and nose bleeds) have been observed at higher dose levels. General cautions often suggest that people with an enlarged prostrate, those who take anticoagulant or blood pressure medications should seek advice before consuming velvet antler. Signs of an acute overdose of deer antler velvet include tremors, dyspnea (shortness of breath), tearing of the eyes, gastrointestinal irritation, and dermal (skin) redness or itching.
Velvet antler should only be used as part of an overall health plan. It should not replace prescription medication or proper nutrition. As is the case with all dietary supplements people should consult a suitably qualified physician before consumption of velvet antler supplements.