Statins' effect on plasma levels of Coenzyme Q10 and improvement in myopathy with supplementation

J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2014 Feb;26(2):85-90. doi: 10.1002/2327-6924.12046. Epub 2013 Jul 12.


Purpose: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins, are medications at the forefront of the battle against cardiovascular disease. Despite their effectiveness, patient compliance with statins has lagged because of medication cost and adverse effects, namely myopathy. Myopathy is the most common side effect of statin use. The purpose of this review is to report plasma levels of CoQ10 in patients taking statins and then to determine the benefit of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplementation on statin-related myopathy as evidenced by symptomatic improvement and increase in serum levels of CoQ10.

Data sources: CINAHL, Medline, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, and Cochrane Library.

Conclusions: Evidence from this review suggests that studies showed a significant relationship between statin intake and decreased serum levels of CoQ10. A few studies showed a benefit in symptoms of myalgia or improvement of serum levels of CoQ10 with supplementation. One study showed no benefit of CoQ10 supplementation when taken with statins. There were no risks of supplementation reported in any of the studies.

Implications for practice: CoQ10 supplementation might benefit those patients suffering from statin-induced myopathy as evidenced by the results of these studies. Supplementation of CoQ10 at a dose of between 30 and 200 mg daily has shown to have beneficial effects on statin myopathy with no noted side effects. Further research is necessary.

Keywords: CoQ10; Statin; myalgia; myopathy; supplementation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Muscular Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Muscular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / blood
  • Ubiquinone / therapeutic use
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Vitamins
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10