You simply cannot have one without the other. Although Merck obtained a patent for its combined Mevacor / CoQ10 pill, no further action was taken on this matter.
Today, most of the side effects we are seeing from Mevacor and the other stronger statins are due to ubiquinone deprivation; collateral damage in the war on cholesterol, made worse each year due to the relentless trend toward higher and higher doses as the target levels for acceptable cholesterol have been progressively lowered.
I am a retired family doctor and former NASA scientist astronaut. I was Board certified both in Family Practice and Preventive Medicine. My personal concerns began in May 1999 when I experienced my first episode of total global amnesia and again in May 2000, when my second attack of this harrowing condition occurred, seemingly out of the blue.
In both cases Lipitor had been started six weeks earlier at the time of my annual astronaut physical. Of course I was suspicious of a possible relationship to Lipitor but I could find only a statement of "possible memory problems" in the drug literature and no confirmation among the several doctors and pharmacists I consulted.
After working closely with Dr. Beatrice Golomb of the UCSD statin study I soon discovered that Zocor and Mevacor also were major players in the growing field of cognitive dysfunction in its users. These similarities should surprise no one for each of these drugs represents only a minor alteration of the configuration of the parent molecule. They are all HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Their function is to inhibit the simple reductase step of the so-called mevalonate pathway of cholesterol synthesis.
We now have hundreds of cases of transient global amnesia and tens of thousands of cases of extreme forgetfulness, confusion and disorientation associated with the use of Mevacor and the other stronger Statins. Wagstaff et al's team of doctors from Duke University reported from their 2003 review of some 25,000 adverse drug reports filed away in the FDA's Medwatch repository that many of the 60 TGA cases buried therein were associated with Mevacor use. They reported this in Pharmacotherapy in Aug, 2003. Our "few aches and pains" have evolved to many deaths from rhabdomyolysis and rising numbers of patients with debilitating muscle pain persisting for years despite cessation of the statin drug involved, a position shared by Mevacor and its counterparts.
There are also severe emotional problems with hostility, aggressiveness and suicides being reported associated with use of Mevacor and its sister drugs. Neuropathies, thought at first to be relatively rare, are of particular concern because of their failure to regress. Mevacor contributes to many of the neuropathy cases that have been reported.
It is now known that a major side effect of all statin drugs is the impairment of cellular energy, contributing to many cases of congestive heart failure and chronic fatigue. Even more importantly, we have learned that Mevacor and all other Statins lower cardiovascular risk not by cholesterol manipulation but by reducing arterial wall inflammation through inhibition of the immune system. This immuno-suppressant effect has opened Pandora's Box, so to speak, inviting the threat of increased susceptibility to certain cancers and infectious diseases.
Duane Graveline MD MPH
Former USAF Flight Surgeon
Former NASA Astronaut
Retired Family Doctor