This updated Medicines Q&A evaluates the available evidence on the use of coenzyme Q10 supplementation to reduce the risk of statin-induced myopathy.
The evidence to date does not support the use of coenzyme Q10 supplementation with statin treatment at licensed doses. More information is needed about the cause of statin-induced myopathy, how exogenous coenzyme Q10 affects endogenous tissue levels and whether restoring these levels results in a clinical reduction in muscle symptoms. More importantly, studies which evaluate the effect of coenzyme Q10 in improving adherence are also needed. As the benefits of statins are well researched and they are in widespread use, it is important that measures are taken to reduce the risk of rare but potentially serious side effects. Such measures include:
- using the minimum effective dose
- adhering to the recommendations in the summaries of product characteristics such as measuring baseline creatine kinase levels before starting treatment in patients with predisposing factors
- avoiding interacting medicines
- educating patients to recognise the early signs of myopathy
Regional Medicines Information Manager, London Medicines Information Service