Why is this medication prescribed?
Homocystinuria is treated with betaine (an inherited condition in which the body cannot break down a certain protein, causing build-up of homocysteine in the blood). Homocysteine buildup in the body can result in symptoms like excessive fatigue, seizures, dislocation of the eye’s lens, irregular bone structure, osteoporosis (weak bones), blood clots, decreased weight or a slower rate of weight increase, and impaired development in children. Betaine belongs to a group of drugs known as nutrients. It functions by lowering the blood’s homocysteine levels.
How should this medicine be used?
Betaine is sold as a powder that can be mixed with food or liquid and swallowed. Typically, it is taken twice daily. Betaine should be taken every day at roughly the same time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Follow the betaine directions precisely. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.
Betaine will likely be prescribed to you at a low dosage by your doctor, who will then gradually raise it based on how your body reacts to the drug.
Your doctor may advise you to take betaine together with other medications including vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (cobalamin), and folic acid.
Although it doesn’t treat homocystinuria, betaine can regulate it. Even if you feel good, keep taking betaine. Avoid stopping betaine use without first consulting your doctor.
Use the instructions below to use betaine powder:
- Before taking off the cap, give the bottle a gentle shake.
- Measure the quantity of scoops your doctor has advised using the measuring scoop that is provided. One gramme of betaine is included in one level scoop of powder.
- To completely dissolve the powder, combine it with 4 to 6 ounces (120 to 180 millilitres) of water, juice, milk, or infant formula. You can also combine betaine powder with food.
- The mixture can be consumed right away.
- After use, firmly replace the bottle’s cap.
Other uses for this medicine
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking betaine,
- If you have an allergy to betaine or any other drug, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away.
- Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products that you are now taking or intend to use. Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
- Inform your doctor of any medical conditions you now have or have ever had.
- Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking betaine.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Make sure to abide by any dietary advice given to you by your physician or nutritionist.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Betaine might have negative effects. If this symptom is severe or does not go away, let your doctor know:
Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if any of these symptoms occur to you:
- Changes in conduct
- Consciousness loss
Other negative consequences of betaine may occur. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
What other information should I know?
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To monitor your body’s reaction to betaine, your doctor will request specific lab tests.
No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.