British Heart Foundation
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Reducing statin dose & CoQ10

Hi all,

I'm wondering if it is advisable to reduce my statin dose? I'm currently taking 80mg of atorvastatin and my cholesterol level has been stable at 2.1 for over a year, since just after my heart attack.

I understand that for those who have suffered a heart attack statins offer other benefits such as plaque stability and inflammation reduction as well as reducing cholesterol levels but there are potentially downsides to long term use of statins. Can I still get the positives from a reduced dose?

I spoke with one GP who said that 80mg is the dose recommended by NICE and he wouldn't advise anything other than what's written, whilst another GP was more open to reducing the dose. I've got an appointment with my cardiologist soon and will run it by him but would appreciate peoples thoughts prior to that.

Also, the way statins work means that enzyme CoQ10 production by the body is severely impacted but I've read that CoQ10 supplements may affect some of the other drugs I'm on. I asked both GP's recently and neither have even heard of CoQ10!... Any thoughts/advice?

Hope you're all feeling well.

Thanks.

Marc

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I was told that post CABG my daily dose of atorvastatin would be raised to 80mg for a year and would probably be reduced thereafter assuming lipids were OK (and no liver problems in the mean time). On that basis alone, it would appear that lowering your statin dose is certainly possible. However, I would definitely be playing things very safe and wait until I had a detailed chat with my cardiologist before lowering my dose unilaterally. As for CoQ10, are you 'suffering' from any of the conditions that are 'associated' with deficiency. My concern is that so much of what is available on the web about this co-enzyme is written by people trying to sell you something (never the best science!!)

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Hi Steve,

I won't reduce anything until I speak with my cardiologist but with a stable 2.1 I'm not sure the 80mg dose is still needed. My GP's are next to useless and won't even commit to advising one way or the other about lowering the dose... that's one of the reasons why I arranged to speak to the cardiologist myself.

Ever since rehab I've had pains in my heart, at times quite severe (thankfully less frequent and less painful in recent months) and I've never been able to find out what the cause is. One GP said that if I don't get pain when exercising then it isn't angina (not sure I agree with that) and is probably muscular. They didn't make any effort to address it though. I'm also concerned about possible effects on the brain. My memory isn't what it was before the heart attack and that worries me. I'm only 49 so a bit young to be losing the plot just yet.

I know what you're saying about stuff being written by those trying to sell it, but that applies more to statins than most other drugs imho. Not everything on CoQ10 is written by companies. There is no doubt CoQ10 is reduced by statins as it uses the same pathway that cholesterol does to get into your system. Statins inhibit the pathway so both are reduced.

Just trying to make sense of it all as I simply can't rely on my GP's.

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I believe CQ10/ ubiquinol is given alongside statins in some countries it’s worth reading up about esp for heart patients. I used ubiquinol when I was in high dose statins. Atorvastatin caused me lots of muscular and joint problems and I fear memory probs. Please study cholesterol well and make your own decisions I.e is it healthy to have a very low level cholesterol ?

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Hi Chris,

I've already read up on CoQ10 and low cholesterol levels. That's the reason for my questions really. Just after others thoughts.

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Hi Marc, think you have the right idea speaking to your cardiologist. I was hoping that mine would be reduced by my gp after similar results, but nothing doing. To be honest I'm getting all sorts of joint pains, usually post a work out or a long hike and given how much my fitness has risen over the last year it doesn't feel right. So I'm off back to see mine, I'm luckier in that respect as he will listen, he'll do his research and then opine.

Good luck mate

Mark

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Thanks Mark. I've just had my cardiologist appointment cancelled but I'll let you know the outcome when it happens.

Hope you're well mate.

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Th cardiologist tried to put me on the "NICE prescribed" dosage of atorvastatin just before I was discharged after my stenting. As I usually react to medication and have a low BMI, I refused the dosage. We finally agreed on half the dosage and I would be monitored regularly. My cholesterol level has been the same for over a year - well within the range it should be.

I did suffer muscle aches and now take 200mg CoQ10 daily. Helps me but we are all different.

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Thanks Jaycey, that's very helpful to know. I've stuck to the 80mg NICE dose but with concerns about low cholesterol levels, possible side effects of statins and possible benefits of CoQ10 I think it's something worth considering for me.

Couple of questions for you if you don't mind...

How convinced are you that it was the CoQ10 that helped you?

Also, do you know if it had any effect on the beta blockers or other drugs?

Thanks.

Marc

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I can't say 100% that the CoQ10 is what is helping but if I forget to take it I ache like crazy in the morning.

I am monitored regularly (blood tests, etc with cardiac nurse) and so far there has been no evidence of any effect on any of the other drugs I am taking.

Of course it was my choice to try this. My sister (lives in the US) was prescribed this dosage by her GP when she was put on statins. It was my decision to give it a go.

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Thanks again Jaycey. It will be my decision whether or not to try it, as it was for you, but your advice has been very helpful.

Cheers,

Marc

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Hi Marc,

I had a double heart by pass with no heart attack 4 years ago,and have taken 40mg of simvastatin,I have also take 100mg co enzq10 ever since my operation,I train to a hghi level,and never have any muscle pain,it's proven that statins reduce levels of co enzq10 ,so I'm proactive and will take it.I had another angiogram last year and no further plaque built up.So I'm happy.

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Thanks mate. Still waiting for a cardiologist appointment to check with him but I'm coming round to the idea of trying CoQ10 supplements.

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I had an LAD stent inserted after an Angiogram showed 98% blockage . The subsequent various Statin regime I was trialed on left me exhausted and aching. Every time I decided to come off them I felt better within a week and the Dr changed type of Statin. I read Dr Malcom Kendricks book and blog about the cholesterol con. I stopped statins and upped myCoQ10 and Fish oil and am doing OK. I may well start the Keto diet on which my daughter has lost 10kgs in 3 months . Her bloods show reduced cholesterol as well. She supplements with CoQ10.

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