Coenzyme Q10 May Reduce Muscle Pain from Statin Drugs
It’s fairly common for people taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs such as Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol and others to complain of muscle weakness and pain. The problem is thought to be related to a side effect of the drugs, which reduce blood levels of an important energy-producing compound, Coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 is found in cells’ mitochondria, and plays a crucial role in the production of a cell’s basic energy currency, ATP. Without enough ATP, the whole body slows down. The result can be muscle weakness and pain, and, worst case scenario, a rare, serious condition of muscle breakdown, rhabdomyolysis.
A new study, by researchers at State University of New York, Stony Brook, found that people taking statin drugs who also took 100 mg daily of supplemental CoQ10 reported significantly less muscle pain than a control group of people taking vitamin E. After 30 days of use, those taking CoQ10 reported 40 % less severe muscle pain, and said their pain was 38 % less likely to interferer with activities of daily life than those not taking CoQ10.
The authors conclude, “…Coenzyme Q10 supplementation may decrease muscle pain associated with statin treatment. Thus, coenzyme Q10 supplementation may offer an alternative to stopping treatment with these vital drugs.” (Caso G, Kelly P, et al, Am J Cardiol, 2007; 99(10): 1409-12.)
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Article updated on: May 30th, 2007