Coenzyme Q10Pain

Coenzyme Q10 to prevent muscle pain or tenderness caused by statins

Myalgia (muscle pain or tenderness) is the most common side effect of taking statins to treat high cholesterol blood levels. It’s also the biggest reason to lower the dose or stop treatment with these important drugs.

There’s some support that the muscle-related side effects of statins could be due to a statin-induced deficiency in coenzyme Q10.

But not here.

First, the details.

  • 44 patients were randomly assigned to take coenzyme Q10 (200 mg/day) or placebo for 12 weeks.
  • At the same time all participants received increasing doses of simvastatin (Zocor) from 10 mg to a maximum of 40 mg/day.
  • The presence and extent of myalgia was assessed using a visual analogue scale.

And, the results.

  • There were no significant differences in myalgia score.
  • No difference in the number of patients who could tolerate simvastatin 40 mg.
  • No difference in the number of patients remaining on therapy.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Coenzyme Q10 supplementation did not improve statin tolerance or myalgia.”

However, they recommend further studies.

Myalgia during treatment with simvastatin occurs in just 1.5% of patients. It would be surprising to find anything significant in a population of just 44 patients.

Also, the correct dosage of coenzyme Q10 is in dispute. Last year Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare asked manufacturers to determine the correct dose. This year it announced that 300 mg is a “reasonably safe maximum daily dose.” Although confirmation and the official announcement has not been made.

12/1/07 10:14 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.