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Betaine

Generic Name: betaine (BET aine)
Brand Name: Cystadane

Medically reviewed on Jan 12, 2018

What is betaine?

Betaine is a byproduct of sugar beet processing.

Betaine works by preventing the build-up of an amino acid called homocysteine. This amino acid can harm blood vessels and contribute to heart disease, stroke, or circulation problems.

Betaine is used to reduce homocysteine levels in people with a genetic condition called homocystinuria, in which the amino acid builds up in the body. Betaine is not a cure for homocysteinuria.

Betaine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use betaine if you are allergic to it.

To make sure you can safely take betaine, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions.

It is not known whether betaine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using betaine.

It is not known whether betaine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take betaine?

Betaine is usually taken 2 times per day. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Betaine is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a liquid before using it.

Gently shake the powder medicine bottle before measuring your dose. To get the correct dose, use the measuring scoop provided with this medicine.

Mix betaine powder with 4 to 6 ounces of water, juice, milk, infant formula, or soft food. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save for later use.

If a child is using this medicine, tell your doctor if the child has any changes in weight. Betaine doses are based on weight in children, and any changes may affect your child's dose.

While using betaine, you may need frequent blood tests.

Betaine is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include other vitamin and mineral supplements and a special diet. Follow your diet and medication routines very closely.

Store betaine powder at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking betaine?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Betaine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • muscle weakness;

  • memory problems;

  • changes in your mental state;

  • vision changes;

  • problems with speech, balance, or walking;

  • decreased consciousness; or

  • unusual or unpleasant body or breath odor.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect betaine?

Other drugs may interact with betaine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

More about betaine

Consumer resources

Other brands: Cystadane

Professional resources

Related treatment guides

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