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Coenzyme Q10

Clonidine inhibits myocardial CoQ10-NADH-oxidase, an enzyme important for cardiac function (Kishi et al. 1975). Some of the adverse myocardial reactions that occur during clonidine treatment may be related to depletion of this enzyme.

Significance of Depletion

Although CoQ10 is manufactured by the body, deficiencies occur in some physiological and pathological conditions (Artuch et al. 1999). CoQ10 deficiency may be related to certain conditions such as gingivitis (Nakamura et al. 1974); breast cancer (Jolliet et al. 1998); congestive heart failure (Munkholm et al. 1999); angina pectoris (Kamikawa et al. 1985); acute myocardial infarction (Singh et al. 1998); mitochondrial encephalomyopathies (Chan et al. 1998); hypertension, and cardiac function (Singh et al. 1999). In addition, CoQ10 depletion may contribute to aging and photoaging (Hoppe et al. 1999). Low levels of CoQ10 may also compromise immune function (Folkers et al. 1993) and play a role in male infertility (Overvad et al. 1999).

Replacement Therapy

Daily doses of coenzyme Q10 as high as 200 mg for periods of 6 to 12 months or 100 mg for up to 6 years have not been associated with reports of serious adverse effects in clinical studies (Overvad et al. 1999). There are no known studies showing clinical benefits of CoQ10 replacement in the presence of clonidine specifically.

Editorial Note

This information is intended to serve as a concise reference for healthcare professionals to identify substances that may be depleted by many commonly prescribed medications. Depletion of these substances depends upon a number of factors including medical history, lifestyle, dietary habits, and duration of treatment with a particular medication. The signs and symptoms associated with deficiency may be nonspecific and could be indicative of clinical conditions other than deficiency. The material presented in these monographs should not in any event be construed as specific instructions for individual patients.


Artuch R, Colome C, Vilaseca MA, et al. [Ubiquinone: metabolism and functions. Ubiquinone deficiency and its implications in mitochondrial encephalopathies. Treatment with ubiquinone]. Rev Neurol. 1999;29(1):59-63.

Chan A, Reichmann H, Kogel A, et al. Metabolic changes in patients with mitochondrial myopathies and effects of coenzyme Q10 therapy. J Neurol. 1998;245(10):681-685.

Folkers K, Morita M, McRee J Jr. The activities of coenzyme Q10 and vitamin B6 for immune responses. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1993; 28(19391):88-92.

Hoppe U, Bergemann J, Diembeck W, et al. Coenzyme Q10, a cutaneous antioxidant and energizer. Biofactors. 1999;9(2-4):371-378.

Jolliet P, Simon N, Barre J, et al. Plasma coenzyme Q10 concentrations in breast cancer: prognosis and therapeutic consequences. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1998;36(9):506-509.

Kamikawa T, Kobayashi A, Yamashita T, et al. Effects of coenzyme Q10 on exercise tolerance in chronic stable angina pectoris. Am J Cardiol. 1985;56(4):247-251.

Kishi H, Kishi T, Folkers K. Bioenergetics in clinical medicine. III. Inhibition of coenzyme Q10-enzymes by clinically used anti-hypertensive drugs. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol. 1975;12(3):533-540.

Munkholm H, Hansen HH, Rasmussen K. Coenzyme Q10 treatment in serious heart failure. Biofactors. 1999;9(2-4):285-289.

Nakamura R, Littarru GP, Folkers R, et al. Study of CoQ10-enzymes in gingiva from patients with periodontal disease and evidence for a deficiency of coenzyme Q10. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1974;71(4):1456-1460.

Overvad K, Diamant B, Holm L, Holmer G, Mortensen SA, Stender S. Coenzyme Q10 in health and disease. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1999;53:764-770.

Singh RB, Niaz MA, Rastogi SS, et al. Effect of hydrosoluble coenzyme Q10 on blood pressure and insulin resistance in hypertensive patients with coronary heart disease. J Hum Hypertens. 1999;13(3):203-208.

Singh RB, Wander GS, Rastogi A, et al. Randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 1998;12(4):347-353.

Copyright © 2000 Integrative Medicine Communications

This publication contains information relating to general principles of medical care that should not in any event be construed as specific instructions for individual patients. The publisher does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the information or the consequences arising from the application, use, or misuse of any of the information contained herein, including any injury and/or damage to any person or property as a matter of product liability, negligence, or otherwise. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made in regard to the contents of this material. No claims or endorsements are made for any drugs or compounds currently marketed or in investigative use. The reader is advised to check product information (including package inserts) for changes and new information regarding dosage, precautions, warnings, interactions, and contraindications before administering any drug, herb, or supplement discussed herein.