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Can Co-enzyme Q10 reduce side effects from statins (cholesterol medicines)?

Posted by Brady Bunch on

Like all medication, there is a possibility of side effects with statins. The most serious side effect of statins is a muscle complaint called myalgia, characterised by muscle pain and weakness. It is estimated that one in 1000 people using statins may suffer from myalgia and one in 10,000 may suffer a more serious form of it called rhabdomyolysis. You should report to your doctor immediately if you suffer from muscle pain, tenderness or weakness while taking a statin. Statins can also cause gastrointestinal side effects and liver problems in some people (liver function tests from your GP prevents any risk of liver problems.)

Thankfully side effects a rare. While side effects can sometimes be troublesome it is important to also appreciate the very real benefits statins do provide. Research has found that in high-risk groups for heart disease, for every eight people who take a statin, one of those people would have otherwise had a (possible fatal) heart attack or stroke if they hadn’t been prescribed a statin. Most experts agree that the benefits of statins outweigh the risks.

Preventing Side Effects

Statins reduce Co Enzyme Q10, a vital nutrient in almost every cell of the body. Reduction in the level of Co-enzyme Q10 is considered a factor for many of the side effects of statins. Co Enzyme Q10 may help prevent side effects of statins such as:
  • Headaches

  • Tired aching muscles

  • Muscle cramps

  • General fatigue

Thankfully these side effects are quit rare. If you currently take a statin and experience a side effect such as headache, Co Enzyme Q10 may be beneficial. There is anecdotal evidence that Co Enzyme Q10 stop possible side effects of statins in some people. However NHS Evidence(the NHS research database) advises that while there is some evidence showing that Co-enzyme Q10 may help prevent side effects, it advises there is not enough well designed studies to demonstrate its effectiveness.

Other benefits of Co-Enzyme Q10?

Our bodies make CoQ10, and our cells use it to produce energy the body needs for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules. Co enzyme Co10 is thought to help release energy and speed recovery from exercise. There are various claims that it helps fight heart disease, cancer, chronic fatigue, gum disease and muscular dystrophy. While it is harmless for most people, its effectiveness in helping the conditions would have to be questioned pending further evidence. If you do decide to try, you don’t need to spend big money on some of the “branded” Co-enzyme Q10 supplements; there are generics ones that are equally as effective; in Whelehans we stock our own generic brand Co-enzyme Q10 which offers value for money.

Disclaimer: Information in this article is general; please ensure you consult with your healthcare professional before making any changes recommended.

Eamonn Brady is a pharmacist and the owner of Whelehans Pharmacy, Pearse St, Mullingar. If you have any health questions e-mail them to


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