What Is Cystadane? Cystadane (betaine) is a prescription medication used to treat homocystinuria—a rare genetic disorder that causes a buildup of homocysteine in your body. Too much homocysteine is toxic and can lead to numerous
Cystadane (betaine) is a prescription medication used to treat homocystinuria—a rare genetic disorder that causes a buildup of homocysteine in your body.
Too much homocysteine is toxic and can lead to numerous complications. Cystadane helps lower homocysteine levels by converting it to a less harmful form.
Cystadane comes as a powder that you will need to mix with a liquid, such as water, juice, or milk, or food before taking.
Generic Name: Betaine
Brand Name: Cystadane
Drug Availability: Prescription
Administration Route: Oral
Therapeutic Classification: Digestant
Available Generically: Yes
Controlled Substance: N/A
Active Ingredient: Betaine
Dosage Form: Powder for solution
Cystadane is used to treat homocystinuria. People with homocystinuria have trouble breaking down certain amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) properly. This causes homocysteine and other toxic byproducts to build up in the body.
Symptoms of homocystinuria can vary depending on the cause. People with the most common form of homocystinuria may experience:
Homocystinuria may be diagnosed through newborn screening tests, although not all forms of the disease are detected with this test. Individuals with homocystinuria often develop symptoms within the first year of life, but some people with milder forms may not show signs until they are adults.
Several different gene mutations may cause homocystinuria by affecting enzymes involved in amino acid metabolism. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Cystadane to treat homocystinuria due to:
Healthcare providers often prescribe Cystadane with vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folic acid, or vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin). A low protein diet may also be necessary. If you’ve been diagnosed with homocystinuria, you will need life-long treatment to keep you healthy and prevent complications.
Cystadane is typically taken twice per day, but be sure to follow the directions on your prescription.
Cystadane is a powder that you will need to mix into a liquid or food before taking. Follow these steps to ensure you take the correct dose:
Cystadane should be stored at room temperature. Be sure to replace the cap on your bottle tightly to help protect the powder from moisture.
After starting Cystadane, homocysteine levels begin to decrease within a few days, but the full effect may take up to a month. Your healthcare provider will monitor your homocysteine levels with a blood test and adjust your dose as needed.
As with any medication, Cystadane has the potential for side effects, though it is generally well-tolerated and safe. Be aware of the following reactions, and be sure to contact your healthcare provider with any concerns.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A medical professional can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a medical professional. You may report side effects to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.
Cystadane may leave a bad taste in your mouth, and some people find it difficult to take their dose because of this. It may be helpful to mix your dose into a different liquid or food until you find an option that works for you.
Other common side effects include:
Other reported side effects include:
Rarely, Cystadane can cause cerebral edema (swelling of the brain) and hypermethioninemia (an excess of the amino acid called methionine in the blood). Most cases occur shortly after starting Cystadane treatment or after increasing the dose.
Symptoms of cerebral edema can vary depending on which part of the brain is affected, but some signs include:
Cerebral edema can cause serious complications if left untreated. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you think you are experiencing a severe side effect. Don’t hesitate to call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening.
Cystadane may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of Cystadane, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Don’t double up on doses.
There is no information available on the effects of a Cystadane overdose in humans. Do not take more Cystadane than prescribed by your provider.
If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Cystadane, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).
If someone collapses, has a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t wake up after taking too much Cystadane, call 911 immediately.
Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly.
Cystadane is not expected to interact with any other medications. It’s always a good idea to keep an up-to-date list of all the medications you take—including over-the-counter products. Be sure to share this information with all your healthcare providers at every visit.
Cystadane is unique in how it works to treat homocystinuria, and there aren’t any other medications in the same class. Your provider may prescribe Cystadane with vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folic acid, or vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) to help keep you healthy.
Cystadane is used to treat homocystinuria—a condition that causes homocysteine levels to be too high. Homocysteine and its byproducts are toxic to the body.
Cystadane lowers homocysteine levels by converting it to a less toxic substance.
Cystadane begins to lower homocysteine levels within a few days, but the full effect may take up to a month.
Some people find that Cystadane leaves a bad taste in their mouth and may get nauseated. If this happens to you, try mixing Cystadane with a different recommended liquid or food until you find a combination that makes taking your dose tolerable.
Although rare, cerebral edema (swelling of the brain) has occurred with the use of Cystadane.
If you’ve been diagnosed with homocystinuria, you likely have concerns about how this condition will impact your life. Fortunately, effective treatments, including Cystadane, are available.
Continuous, lifelong therapy is necessary to prevent complications from homocystinuria. Don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns you have with your healthcare team—especially if you’re having difficulties taking your medications as prescribed. Together, you can develop a plan that limits your symptoms and keeps you healthy.
Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare professional. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.