The Best Way to Reduce Muscle Pain from Statin Drugs
Suffering from mild to moderate joint and muscle pain? A recent study published in JAMA found that those taking statin drugs are much more likely to suffer from musculoskeletal conditions, arthropathies, injuries, and generalized pain. This study paints another grim picture for the class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, as three other recently-published studies indicated that statin drugs may also cause severe nerve damage, hardening of the arteries and even kidney damage.
Given the risky side effects of statin drugs—and the evidence indicating they’re surprisingly ineffective—it’s hard to believe more people wouldn’t seek a natural alternative, but, alas, millions of people rely on their statins drugs daily. So is there anything they can do to curb the muscle and nerve pain?
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.
One 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.”
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Article updated on: July 31st, 2013