Betacid is a medicine in granulated powder form made from the combination of two active ingredients (pepsin and betaine hydrochloride) which can be used to treat the symptoms caused by a partial or complete absence of gastric acid.
Pepsin is a digestive enzyme produced by the stomach to break down protein and needs an acidic environment in order to function properly. Normally, this environment is created by the hydrochloric acid produced in the stomach. Betaine hydrochloride is another natural compound that can also be found in human tissue.
Inadequate gastric acid secretion leads to a loss of appetite and poor digestion. In such cases, the use of pepsin together with a compound that can fill in for the hydrochloric acid – betaine hydrochloride – is practical.
Hydrochloric acid can be found in betaine hydrochloride in a solid state in the salt bonds. This makes it possible to store the pepsin in solid pharmaceutical form (this being significantly more stable than liquid form and easier to use) until it is used, and create a hydrochloric pepsin solution quickly and easily by dissolving it in water.
Betacid is available in pharmacies without prescription.