Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinol and ubiquinone, plays an important role in cell energy production. It also contributes to muscle health and has strong antioxidant activity. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports clinical research shows it might potentially benefit a number of heart-related conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and congestive heart failure. Its far-reaching antioxidant activity suggests a potential to reduce the cell damage that sets the stage for a host of diseases. While generally safe, using this supplement in certain instances could prove problematic. If you believe taking Q10 will address a particular health concern, work with your doctor, who can offer guidance on whether you can use Q10 and aspects of safe use.
The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center reports CoQ10 appears "extremely safe." Drugs.com notes rarely, it might cause nausea, loss of appetite, headache, gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea. It also notes some case reports of allergic reactions.
CoQ10 and vitamin K have a similar structure. As vitamin K promotes blood clotting, using CoQ10 at the same time as warfarin and other anticoagulant medications could antagonize their effects.
If you have diabetes and take insulin or other glucose-lowering medications, you might require dosage adjustments to compensate for the potential blood-sugar lowering effect of this supplement. Its potential to lower blood pressure might also require a similar course of action if you take drugs to control hypertension.
Some debate exists over whether antioxidant supplements interfere with the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs. If undergoing cancer treatment, talk to your doctor before using CoQ10 or any other supplement. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center notes animal research that suggests this supplement might interfere with the effectiveness of radiation therapy.
Use in Certain Individuals
The University of Maryland Medical Center advises you to consult your pediatrician before giving CoQ10 to a child. Whether you can safely use this supplement while pregnant or breastfeeding has not been established. If you have liver or kidney disease, always clear the use of any sort of supplement with your doctor as these organs – especially when functioning at reduced capacity – have a particular sensitivity to what you put in your body. CoQ10 does not have any officially documented contraindications – instances where you should not use it – but it is always prudent to talk to your doctor about the appropriateness of using a supplement if you have any medical condition.
Whether using a drug or a dietary supplement, staying within the suggested dosage range can help minimize any negative effects associated with it. Beth Israel notes a typical dosage of 30 mg to 300 mg daily, but that some studies have used higher doses. The optimal dose will depend on your reason for using CoQ10 and your doctor's guidance.