Betaine : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Betaine is used to treat homocystinuria (an inherited condition in which the body cannot break down a certain protein, causing homocysteine to build up in the blood). Increasing the amount of homocysteine in the body can cause symptoms such as extreme tiredness, seizures, dislocation of the lens of the eye, abnormal bone structure, osteoporosis (weak bones), blood clots, or decreased weight or the rate of weight gain. and slow development in children. Betaine is in a class of drugs called nutrients. It works by lowering the amount of homocysteine in the blood.
How should this medicine be used?
Betaine comes in a powder form that is mixed with food or drink and is taken by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day. Take betaine at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take betaine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will likely prescribe a low dose of betaine and gradually increase it based on your body’s response to the medicine.
Your doctor may direct you to take other medications such as vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (cobalamin), and folic acid along with betaine.
Betaine controls homocystinuria but does not cure it. Keep taking betaine even if you feel fine. Do not stop taking betaine without consulting your doctor.
To use betaine powder, follow these steps:
- Shake the bottle gently before removing the cap.
- Using the measuring spoon provided, measure the number of tablespoons that your doctor has prescribed. One level scoop of powder equals 1 gram of betaine.
- Mix the measured amount of powder with 4 to 6 ounces (120 to 180 milliliters) of water, juice, milk, or formula until the powder is completely dissolved. Betaine powder can also be mixed with food.
- Drink or eat the mixture immediately.
- Put the cap back tightly on the bottle after use.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking betaine,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to betaine or any other medications.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any medical conditions.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking betaine, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Be sure to follow all dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietitian.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Betaine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if this symptom is severe or does not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- behavior changes
- loss of consciousness
Betaine can cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. Check out the FDA drug safe disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or is unable to wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to betaine.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.