Intended for healthcare professionals


Adverse effects of statins

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 15 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3306

Re: Adverse effects of statins

Excellent point, Dr. Grant, reminding us that statins block the endogenous production of coenzyme Q10. Many physicians recommend co-Q10 to treat statin-induced myalgias. Another concern is that simvastatin has generated interest as a possible protective agent against neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson disease (PD). While clinical trials of pharmacologic doses of co-Q10 as treatment for PD have been disappointing, there is strong theoretical reason to believe that inducing an outright deficiency of co-Q10 as a side-effect of simvastatin may be harmful to PD patients. Those planning clinical trials of simvastatin for neuroprotection in PD should include a sufficient dose of co-Q10 to overcome any statin-induced deficiency which might be caused.

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 May 2014
David L Keller
Internal Medicine physician
PO Box 14295, Torrance CA 90503