CoQ10 and L-carnitine for Statin Myalgia?

James J DiNicolantonio


Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2012;10(10):1329-1333. 

In This Article


Muscle biopsies and blood samples were tested in 132 patients who developed statin myalgias.[18] The results of this trial were presented at the American College of Rheumatology in 2004. Patients experiencing muscle pains on statins were 11-times more likely to be a heterozygous carrier for the carnitine palmitoyltransferase-2 deficiency, and 31% of muscle biopsies evaluated had carnitine abnormalities. Moreover, patients were 20-times more likely to be carriers for McArdle's disease (a glycogen storage disease), and a third had lipid storage problems. This trial suggests that people who experience muscle pains on a statin are more likely to have an underlying metabolic muscle disease with the symptoms of statin muscle pain being brought out in these carriers. Furthermore, almost 50% of the analyzed samples had CoQ10 (ubiquinone) levels that were 2–4 standard deviations below normal. Therefore, supplementing with both CoQ10 and l-carnitine may be a rationale approach to treating certain statin myalgias.[18] Despite the high prevalence of carnitine abnormalities in patients with statin myalgia, there are no randomized controlled trials showing that l-carnitine treats this adverse reaction.