Statin Therapy Lowers CoQ10 Levels
Atorvastatin ( a statin drug) substantially reduces blood coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) levels, according to the results of a prospective blinded study published in the June issue of the Archives of Neurology.
The investigators speculate that this may underlie some of the adverse effects, and they suggest that supplements may be appropriate.
"Statins (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors) are widely used for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and coronary heart disease and for the prevention of stroke," write Tatjana Rundek, MD, from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York City, and colleagues.
"There have been various adverse effects, most commonly affecting muscle and ranging from myalgia to rhabdomyolysis. These adverse effects may be due to a [CoQ10] deficiency because inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis
"Even brief exposure to atorvastatin causes a marked decrease in blood CoQ10 concentration," the authors write. "Widespread inhibition of CoQ10 synthesis could explain the most commonly reported adverse effects of statins, especially exercise intolerance, myalgia, and myoglobinuria."
Medical abstracts: Arch Neurol. 2004;61:889-892
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