Generic Name: betaine (BEE-ta-een)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 6, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Solution
Therapeutic Class: Digestant
Uses for betaine
Betaine is used to treat a lack of or defect in certain enzymes that causes too much homocysteine in the blood and urine. Betaine removes the extra homocysteine from the body.
Betaine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using betaine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For betaine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to betaine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Betaine has been tested in children and, in effective doses, has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults. However, children may require more frequent changes in their dose than adults.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing the use of betaine in the elderly with use in other age groups.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Proper use of betaine
Betaine powder should be mixed with 4 to 6 ounces of juice, milk, or water until completely dissolved. The solution should be used immediately after mixing.
Do not use if the powder does not dissolve completely or gives a colored solution.
Betaine should be taken with meals.
It is important that you follow any special instructions from your doctor, such as taking folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B 6), and vitamin B 12 supplements. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
The dose of betaine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of betaine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (powder for solution):
- To prevent buildup of homocysteine:
- Adults, teenagers, and children 3 years of age and older—The starting dose is usually 3 grams taken two times a day with meals. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
- Children younger than 3 years of age—The dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. Betaine should be taken with meals.
- To prevent buildup of homocysteine:
If you miss a dose of betaine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Precautions while using betaine
Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits to make sure that betaine is working properly.
Betaine side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- stomach upset
Betaine may cause a body odor. Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
More about betaine
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.