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What is Betaine

Betaine is a medication that is used to treat a condition known as homocystinuria. Homocystinuria is a genetically inherited condition where the body cannot break down certain proteins. Since the body is unable to break these proteins down a buildup of homocysteine occurs in the blood stream. Betaine will work by actually decreasing the amount of homocysteine in the body.  Betaine comes in a powder form and should be mixed with food or water two times a day. Your doctor will give you exact instructions and as with all medications it is very important to follow your doctor’s orders. Your physician will probably start you on a lower dose until they see how the Betaine responds. As with all medications, Betaine has been known to cause some side effects. The come side effects of taking this medication include nausea, headaches and vomiting. Although these are common, if they persist or get worse notify your doctor. On rare cases some patients have reported more serious side effects. These side effects include confusion, drowsiness, changes in behavior, seizures, loss of consciousness, and excess vomiting. All of these side effects are considered serious and patients are advised to stop taking Betaine and contact their doctor right away.  If you experience any signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction, discontinue taking the medication and get to an emergency room right away. An allergic reaction can be fatal. The brand name for Betaine is Cystadane.


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