Possible Benefits and Risks
The reverse transcriptase inhibitors lamivudine and zidovudine can cause damage to the mitochondria, the energy-producing subunits of cells. This may lead to symptoms such as lactic acidosis (a dangerous metabolic derangement),
(injury to nerves in the extremities), and lipodystrophy (cosmetically undesirable rearrangement of fat in the body). The supplement CoQ
has been tried for minimizing these side effects. In one
, placebo-controlled study, use of CoQ
improved general sense of well-being in people with HIV infection using reverse transcriptase inhibitors; however, for reasons that are unclear, it actually worsened symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
For this reason, people with HIV who have peripheral neuropathy symptoms should use CoQ
only with caution.