Statin drugs block cholesterol production in the body by inhibiting the enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase in the early steps of its synthesis in the mevalonate pathway. This same biosynthetic pathway is also shared by CoQ10.Therefore, one unfortunate consequence of statin drugs is the unintentional inhibition of CoQ10 synthesis. Thus, in the long run, statin drugs could predispose the patients to heart disease by lowering their CoQ10 status, the very condition that these drugs are intended to prevent.
The reduction of CoQ10 levels might be associated with myopathy, a rare adverse effect associated with statin drugs. This metabolic myopathy is related to ubiquinone (CoQ10) deficiency in muscle cell mitochondria, disturbing normal cellular respiration and causing adverse effects such as rhabdomyolysis, exercise intolerance, and recurrent myoglobinuria. (DiMuro S., Exercise intolerance and the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Ital J Neurol Sci. Dec. 1999;20(6):387-393).