allergic to coenzyme q-10?

A forum to discuss personal experiences of Neuropathy associated with statin drug use.

allergic to coenzyme q-10?

Postby BSGfan » Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:18 pm

Hello. I have had a cramping burning sensation along the right side of my face and jaw for 14 months following a lopid-mevacor-niacin interaction.
In the last couple of months my symptoms have worsened following a jaw sprain from some vigorous chewing of tough food.

I have tried co-enzyme q-10 in the 30 mg, 50 mg, 60 mg, and 130 mg range daily intermittently over the last three weeks or so. Each time I have the same reaction: a mild reddening of the skin of my nose and cheeks, and an exacerbation of the cramping/burning sensations; a day or two following a dosage of q-10 my cramping/burning with feel quite a bit better, so perhaps it is having some beneficial effect.

I am wondering if I might be intolerant or allergic to the coenzyme q-10 gelcaps I have been taking.

I have also tried supplementing with B-complex; I find that B-12 will also make my facial burning worse, as will niacin, even the small amount in a fortified packet of microwavable oatmeal.
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Postby Biologist » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:53 pm


One of the ways CoQ10 helps heart patients is by dilating the vascular system thereby lowering blood pressure and reducing the work load on the heart. It improves blood flow by acting on the single cell lining (the endothelium) of the vessels. CoQ10 appears to start a cascade of cellular events (that may include the releasing of nitric oxide from these cells which is a known mechanism for such action) that end up relaxing the underlying muscles cells in the vasculature (via cellular communication/secretion) to these cells. It is a vasodilator. This property of CoQ10 appears to be independent of its "classic action" within the mitochondria of all cells -- which also help heart patients -- which is the energizing of cellular metabolism via the production of ATP. So that may be the reason for the flushing you seem to be experiencing. Just a thought. My face gets redder more easily these days and that has been one of my theories for it.

Regarding your jaw pain. If it were me I would be taking acetyl-L-carnitine at about 1500 mg twice per day (total of three grams per day). This stuff is good for nerve cell function and even regeneration to some degree, and is used in treating diabetics with nerve damage. There are quite a few studies showing that it is effective.

This link maybe helpful for you.


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Postby BSGfan » Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:07 am


Thank you for your fascinating reply.

I pray that my situation does not mean I am under greater risk of developing trigeminal neuralgia, either spontaneously or as a result of dental work or oral surgery.

I will, in fact, be having some minor out patient laser oral surgery, probably under local anesthetic, to remove a small one centimeter benign lesion similar to a wart from inside my mouth down by my lower right molar in a couple weeks. Frankly, I am very concerned about the surgery exacerbating my symptoms. I will be discussing the matter with my surgeons at length to guarantee my concerns are addressed prior to the operation.
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Postby Biologist » Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:43 pm


I may have something for you here. I think you are onto something about the Vitamin B12 (even more so than the CoQ10), so I checked it out a bit more because I am having some similar issues with photosensitivity and general redness of my face this summer. Most websites I checked on Vitamin 12 indicated that adverse events were low or nonexistent. Here's an example of one followed by its hyperlink:

No toxic or adverse effects have been associated
with large intakes of vitamin B12 from food or sup-
plements in healthy people. Doses as high as 1 mg
(1000 mcg) daily by mouth or 1 mg monthly by intra-
muscular (IM) injection have been used to treat
pernicious anemia without significant side effects.
When high doses of vitamin B12 are given orally,
only a small percentage can be absorbed, which
may explain the low toxicity. Because of the low
toxicity of vitamin B12, no tolerable upper intake
level (UL) was set by the Food and Nutrition Board
in 1998 when the RDA was revised (6)."


Wikipedia has a very interesting article on B12. When I first saw that heme ring several weeks ago, the lights went on. Regardless of current use for us (as a coenzyme), "evolutionarily speaking" (i.e., Note this quote: "B12 cannot be made by plants or animals[2], as the only type of organisms that have the enzymes required for the synthesis of B12 are bacteria and archaea") such metal centered rings tend to be designed from the start to deal with sun energy to form chemical energy. That means they are photoactive. Suspicious. They can absorb certain wavelengths, and that kind of action can give way to inflammation to exposed skin in people when the energy is dissipated from the molecule.

Here's the site:


Now here is what it has to say about side effects:

"Side effects, contraindications, and warnings

Dermatologic: Itching, rash, transitory exanthema,
and urticaria have been reported. Vitamin B12 (20
micrograms/day) and pyridoxine (80mg/day) has
been associated with cases of rosacea fulminans,
characterized by intense erythema with nodules,
papules, and pustules. Symptoms may persist for
up to 4 months after the supplement is stopped,
and may require treatment with systemic
corticosteroids and topical therapy."

I also take B6, do you? Some of the above (mainly the redness) seems to fit me to a tee. On B12, for several months I have been taking a daily pill that is 30,000 times the officially recommended amount (as recommended since absorption is only supposed to be at 1%) and have also been taking pyridoxine (B6) at the above amounts mentioned. So that is almost a clincher for me. That is likely the answer to the issue. I will quit with the B12 for a while and see what happens, but if you read carefully, it could be up to 4 months before it gets cleared up. This could also easily explain several months of unexpectedly heavy sinus congestion too -- histamine release from general inflammation, etc. I have a hunch this is likely to be the cause.

You may want to click on some of the hyperlinks on words from that paragraph from the actual site, specifically including the one on Rosacea Fulminans. Pretty interesting.

Good luck with the surgery.

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