CoQ10 and L-carnitine for Statin Myalgia?

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2012 Oct;10(10):1329-33. doi: 10.1586/erc.12.92.


Statins are a standard of care in many clinical settings such as acute myocardial infarction and for patients having or at risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease. This is based on a plethora of data showing reductions in CV events and mortality. The CV benefit of statins can be partly explained by their ability to inhibit of HMG-CoA reductase, which subsequently lowers cholesterol and decreases the formation of mevalonate. However, the inhibition of the mevalonate pathway decreases the formation of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) within the body. It has been a long-standing theory that statin-associated muscle pain (myalgia) is caused, or at least partly contributed by, a reduction in CoQ10 levels in muscle mitochondria. One of the main side effects of statins is myalgia, which causes the patient to either stop their statin or significantly reduce the dose of their statin. The question of whether CoQ10 can help treat statin myopathy is a common one encountered by clinicians in current day practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Carnitine / metabolism
  • Carnitine / therapeutic use*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Mevalonic Acid / metabolism
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / drug effects
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / metabolism
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / chemically induced
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / drug therapy*
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / metabolism
  • Ubiquinone / therapeutic use


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Ubiquinone
  • Cholesterol
  • coenzyme Q10
  • Mevalonic Acid
  • Carnitine