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Home > Learn > FYI > >What Medications Should Not be Taken with CoQ10?

What Medications Should Not be Taken with CoQ10?

Nov 17, 23 6 min

By Dr. Kenosha Gleaton, OBGYN

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a naturally occurring carbohydrate found in all of our cells. CoQ10 plays an important role in energy production and has been shown to benefit fertility, heart health, blood sugar regulation, brain function, and more. [1] Low levels of CoQ10 are associated with a host of different conditions, including fibromyalgia, migraines, diabetes, cancer, and heart failure. [1] Some research shows that supplementing with CoQ10 may improve the functioning of various body processes as well as male and female fertility. [2-4] Learn more about CoQ10 benefits for women and CoQ10 benefits for men. 

Interactions of CoQ10 with Medications

CoQ10 is considered a safe supplement for most groups of people, however there are some potential medication interactions to be aware of. 

CoQ10 and Blood Thinners

Anticoagulant medications, commonly known as blood thinners, are used to stop blood from clotting too easily. [5] Anticoagulants can be administered intravenously (through an IV), injections, or orally. Blood thinners can break down existing blood clots and prevent clots from forming. Blood thinners can be especially useful for stopping conditions like strokes, embolisms, and heart attacks, all of which can occur as a result of blood clots. [5] While we do want our blood to clot to prevent extreme blood loss, sometimes clots can move or form in the bloodstream, increasing the risk of complications. When someone is at risk of excessive clotting, they may be prescribed anticoagulants. [5] Anticoagulants are commonly prescribed to people with the following conditions [5]:

  • Joint replacement surgery
  • Heart valve surgery
  • Atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat)
  • Blood clotting disorders

Unfortunately, CoQ10 can decrease the effectiveness of warfarin, a well known blood thinner. [1,6] This means that someone’s risk of blood clots may increase if they are taking warfarin and CoQ10 at the same time. If you’re taking any type of anticoagulant, be sure to speak with your provider before using CoQ10. 

Natalist call to action featuring CoQ10 supplements for fertility on top of bottle

CoQ10 and Blood Pressure Medications

According to Merck Manual, CoQ10 may also interact with antihypertensive drugs. [6] Antihypertensive medications work to lower blood pressure. Blood pressure medications work by widening the blood vessels, removing excess fluids from the blood, or blocking some hormones that can raise blood pressure. [7] High blood pressure can increase the risk of kidney failure, stroke, and heart conditions, which is why maintaining a healthy blood pressure is so important. There are a few different kinds of antihypertensive medications, including thiazide, ACE inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers. [7] If you’re taking any medications for blood pressure, ask your provider about CoQ10 supplements before use. 

CoQ10 and Chemotherapy Medications

Chemotherapeutic drugs are used during chemotherapy, AKA chemo. Chemotherapy drugs work to kill cancer cells and are considered one of the most effective cancer treatments available. [8] Chemotherapy destroys fast-growing cancer cells to stop them from multiplying. Chemotherapy drugs can also be used to treat autoimmune diseases and some blood disorders. [8] There is very little data on the interaction of CoQ10 and chemotherapeutic drugs, so it’s best to speak to a healthcare provider before proceeding with CoQ10 supplementation while undergoing chemotherapy. [1] 

Additional CoQ10 Contraindications

The main three medications that have potential documented interactions with CoQ10 include anticoagulants, antihypertensive drugs, and chemotherapy drugs. [1,6] Other interactions may exist, which is why it’s so important to always speak to a healthcare provider before changing your medication or supplement routine. This includes any medications that have been prescribed or are over-the-counter.

Data suggests that CoQ10 supplementation may not be right for everyone. If you have one of the following conditions or belong in one of the following groups, you should take additional precautions before supplementing with CoQ10 [1]:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • History of hypoglycemic episodes
  • Breastfeeding parents
  • Children and infants

Should I Take CoQ10 In The Morning Or At Night?

Understanding how the body uses and absorbs coenzyme Q10 can help you figure out the best time to take CoQ10 supplements. 

Best Time for Absorption

CoQ10 in the form of ubiquinone is very similar to vitamins, especially vitamin K. [1] This means that the way the body breaks down and absorbs CoQ10 can be compared to other fat-soluble vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins are best absorbed when they can bind to and dissolve in fats or oils. [9] So, it doesn’t matter if you take CoQ10 in the morning or at night, but it is recommended you take it with a meal. [9]

The Role of Supplements in Reproductive Health

Whether you’re trying to get pregnant for the first time, are actively pregnant, planning ahead, or you’re somewhere in between, prioritizing your health is important. Research shows that dietary supplements, including CoQ10, can be very beneficial for those on a reproductive health journey. We are fortunate to have years of research surrounding the effects of nutrition and various dietary supplements on fertility and pregnancy outcomes. It’s also important to note that not everyone will benefit from certain supplements. To find the perfect supplement routine for yourself and your goals, you should reach out to a healthcare provider. You can also find some information on nutrition by browsing the Natalist blog. 

Natalist's Dedication to Building Healthy Families

At Natalist, we know how important it is to have resources you can trust. That’s why all of our supplements are formulated with high-quality ingredients and up-to-date, peer-reviewed research. We also know that building a healthy family often involves more than one person. Find products and information for yourself and your partner on our website, including male fertility supplements, LGBTQ+ resources, and more. 

 

References:

  1. Sood B, Keenaghan M. Coenzyme Q10. [Updated 2022 Jan 19]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531491/
  2. Salas-Huetos A, Rosique-Esteban N, Becerra-Tomás N, Vizmanos B, Bulló M, Salas-Salvadó J. The Effect of Nutrients and Dietary Supplements on Sperm Quality Parameters: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Adv Nutr. 2018;9(6):833-848. doi:10.1093/advances/nmy057
  3. Zhang Y, Zhang C, Shu J, et al. Adjuvant treatment strategies in ovarian stimulation for poor responders undergoing IVF: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Hum Reprod Update. 2020;26(2):247-263. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmz046
  4. Raygan F, Rezavandi Z, Dadkhah Tehrani S, Farrokhian A, Asemi Z. The effects of coenzyme Q10 administration on glucose homeostasis parameters, lipid profiles, biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in patients with metabolic syndrome. Eur J Nutr. 2016;55(8):2357-2364. doi:10.1007/s00394-015-1042-7
  5. Anticoagulants. Cleveland Clinic. January 2022. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22288-anticoagulants
  6. Shane-McWhorter, L. Coenzyme Q10. Merck Manual Consumer Version. January 2022. https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/special-subjects/dietary-supplements-and-vitamins/coenzyme-q10
  7. Blood Pressure Medication. Cleveland Clinic. April 2022. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21811-antihypertensives
  8. Chemotherapy Drugs. Cleveland Clinic. October 2022. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/24323-chemotherapy-drugs
  9. Saini R. Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011;3(3):466-467. doi:10.4103/0975-7406.84471

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