Generic name: Betaine anhydrousBrand names: Cystadane

Why is Cystadane prescribed?

Cystadane is prescribed to reduce dangerously high blood levels of the naturally occurring amino acid homocysteine. Excessive levels of homocysteine can lead to formation of clots within your blood vessels, brittle bones (osteoporosis), other bone abnormalities, and dislocation of the lens of the eye. Homocysteine is also linked with an increased risk of heart disease and heart attack.

When homocysteine levels are so high that the substance appears in the urine, the condition is called homocystinuria. The problem is usually the result of an inherited lack of the enzymes needed to process homocysteine and generally shows up within the first months or years of life. Early signs of homocystinuria include delays in development, failure to thrive, seizures, and sluggishness.

Most important fact about Cystadane

The active ingredient in Cystadane (betaine) is found in our bodies and in foods such as beets, cereals, seafood, and spinach. Your doctor may prescribe Cystadane along with vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (cobalamin), and folate. All of these dietary substances aid in the proper processing of homocysteine.

How should you take Cystadane?

Take Cystadane exactly as directed. To avoid forgetting a dose, try to get in the habit of taking it at the same time each day.

Cystadane will start to work within a week, and should have your condition completely under control within a month. You can continue therapy indefinitely; people have taken betaine for years without a problem.

--If you miss a dose...

Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule.

--Storage instructions...

Store Cystadane at room temperature and protect from moisture. Keep the bottle tightly closed.

Cystadane side effects

Side effects of Cystadane are minimal. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine whether it is safe for you to continue taking Cystadane.

  • Side effects may include:Diarrhea, nausea, odor, stomach and intestinal problems, possible mental changes

Why should Cystadane not be prescribed?

There are no known reasons for avoiding Cystadane.

Special warnings about Cystadane

Do not use the powder if it does not completely dissolve in water, or if it makes a colored solution.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Cystadane

No interactions have been reported.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Cystadane during pregnancy have not been studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, check with your doctor immediately. It is not known whether Cystadane appears in breast milk. If Cystadane is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to avoid breastfeeding.

Recommended dosage for Cystadane

Shake the bottle of Cystadane before removing the cap. Measure the number of scoops your doctor has prescribed by using the scoop provided.


The usual dosage is 3 scoops (3 grams) mixed with 4 to 6 ounces of water twice a day (6 grams daily). Make sure the powder is completely dissolved before drinking. Drink immediately after mixing.

The doctor will gradually increase your dosage until your homocysteine levels are under control. Dosages of up to 20 grams daily are sometimes necessary.


In children less than 3 years old, the usual starting dose is 100 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day. Each week, the doctor will increase the daily dose by 100 milligrams per 2.2 pounds until homocysteine levels are normal.


There have been no reported cases of overdose with Cystadane. However, a massive overdose could be dangerous. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Cystadane Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Cystadane Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Cystadane Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Cystadane Powder MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)