News Room


Stroke Day - 29 October 2017

2017-11-02 01:44:25 PM


Muscle pain may hold you back during cholesterol treatment - The role of prevention highlighted this World Stroke Day  

Midrand:  The experience of having a  stroke can be one of the most unexpected and devastating, not only for the survivor, but for their loved ones, friends, workplace colleagues and communities.  If we think that we can escape the risk of being one of millions of people who are exposed to this leading cause of death and disability, we need to do something to prevent stroke happening to us and those close to us.



World Stroke Day will be celebrated on Sunday 29th October this year, with the theme:  'What is your reason for preventing a stroke?'  That is food for thought as stroke can happen to anyone at any age.  According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) a stroke is the outcome of damage to the brain tissues as a result of a blocked or burst blood vessel, which in turn cuts off oxygen and nutrients to the brain tissue.1  A stroke can affect mobility, the ability to speak and how someone thinks and feels.1


Efforts to prevent stroke or minimise the risk should include adherence to a healthy diet, physical activity and the avoidance of tobacco.1  Together with these healthy living measures is the need to identify and deal with any of the lifestyle diseases that may increase the likelihood of someone experiencing a stroke, e.g. elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol levels or the existence of diabetes.1 


Treatment to reduce the risk of stroke includes the use of a group of medicines called 'statins'.1  Statins have proved to be effective in reducing cholesterol levels with a consequent reduction in the incidence of illness and death, reducing rates of cardiac events and stroke.2,3


Statins are effective drugs for the prevention and treatment of elevated cholesterol levels and coronary artery disease, however they may cause the depletion of the essential nutrient co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10). 4,2  Co-enzyme Q10 plays an important role in the cells.2  Being at the core of cellular energy processes it is important in cells with high energy requirements such as cardiac cells.2  The benefits of CoQ10 include antioxidant properties.2 


The symptoms of the CoQ10 depletion can include muscle pain, stiffness, tenderness, cramps and weakness.4  Up to 29% of statin users experience statin-associated muscle symptoms, the most common side effect of statin therapy.4  As a result of these statin-associated muscle symptoms, up to 75% of statin users discontinue statin therapy within two years.4,3  The depletion of CoQ10 is preventable if supplemental CoQ10 is used which should have no adverse impact on the cholesterol lowering effect of statins.2 


Vitamin D is required for muscle strength and deficiency of this vitamin may contribute to muscle pain.5,6    Statin-associated muscle symptoms may be exacerbated by Vitamin D deficiency.5,6     Vitamin D is produced in the skin with the exposure to direct sunlight.7 But with so little time spent outdoors due to work commitments, for example, this is often inadequate to supply the body with ample Vitamin D. 


Adcock Ingram has recently launched the GAP range of supplements, which has been specifically formulated to replenish vitamins and minerals that have been depleted as a result of chronic diseases or the treatment thereof.  The range includes Statin-GAP, which is a combination of CoQ10 and Vitamin D.  Statin-GAP maintains the essential nutrients that may be depleted as a result of high cholesterol and treatment thereof.8


All the products in the GAP range are supported by significant clinical data and have been formulated to offer a convenient single daily dosage.  Patients seeking further information should speak to their doctor or pharmacist about the GAP range of supplements.  


Further information on the GAP range is available at:


STATIN-GAP Each capsule contains Co-enzyme Q10 50 mg; Vitamin D800 IU. For full prescribing information refer to the package insert.

Adcock Ingram Limited. Reg. No. 1949/034385/06. Private Bag X69, Bryanston, 2021, South Africa.

Tel. +27 11 635 0000.  1053259  10/2017


1. World Health Organisation.  Health Topics: Stroke, Cerebrovascular accident. Fact sheet on Cardiovascular diseases.[updated 2017 May; cited 2017 October 18.]  Available from

2. Langsjoen PH. The clinical use of HMG CoA-reductase inhibitors (statins) and the associated depletion of the essential co-factor coenzyme Q10; a review of pertinent human and animal data. [cited 2017 March 31]; Available from: https:// ohrms/dockets/dailys/02/May02/052902/02p-0244-cp00001-02-Exhibit_A-vol1.pdf.

3. Klug EQ, Raal FJ, Marais AD, et al. South African dyslipidaemia guideline consensus statement. A joint statement from the South African Heart Association (SA Heart) and the Lipid and Atherosclerosis Society of Southern Africa (LASSA). SA Fam Pract 2015;57(2): 22-31.

4. Stroes ES, Thompson PD, Corsini A, et al. Statin-associated muscle symptoms: impact on statin therapy—European Atherosclerosis Society consensus panel statement on assessment, aetiology and management. Eur Heart J 2015;36(17):1012-1022

5. Gupta A, Thompson PD. The relationship of vitamin D deficiency to statin myopathy. Atherosclerosis 2011;215:23-29.

6. Mergenhagen K, Ott M, Heckman K, et al. Low vitamin D as a risk factor for the development of myalgia in patients taking high-dose simvastatin: a retrospective review. Clin Ther 2014;36(5):770-777.

7. Ferder M, Inserra F, Manucha W. The world pandemic of vitamin D deficiency could be explained by cellular inflammatory response activity induced by the renin-angiotensin system. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2013; 304; C 1027-C1039

8. Statin-GAP package insert.

-          Ends-            


Notes to the Editor

 The Adcock Ingram Over the Counter (OTC) division has recently launched a comprehensive range of 10 health supplements, each specifically formulated to replenish vitamins and minerals that have been depleted as a result of chronic (long-term) diseases, or the treatment thereof.  Research shows that chronic diseases very often result in the depletion of certain vitamins and minerals, while the treatment itself may also result in depletion of those same essential vitamins and minerals. 9                          

Vitamins and minerals are a diverse group of substances that play an important role in patient well-being.10   Compared to proteins, carbohydrates and fats, the body needs very small amounts of these nutrients to function efficiently. 10  A deficiency often occurs over time and can be caused by a number of factors including an increased need for a particular vitamin or mineral, difficulty in absorption or a dietary deficiency. In addition to the disease itself, treatment very often has a further depleting effect on necessary vitamins and nutrients, which then need to be supplemented. 9  

About the Adcock Ingram OTC division: 

The OTC division competes in the self-medication pharmacy and FMCG sectors of the market, with a complement of 88 premium and economy brands.   Well-known brands include Citro-Soda, Corenza Para-C and Allergex Non-Drowsy.  The portfolio includes pain, cough and cold, allergy, digestive well-being medications and energy supplements.

References continued:

9. Mineral Deficiency. [cited 2017 May 2]. Available from:

10. Eat for life: The Food and Nutrition Board’s Guide to Reducing Your Risk of Chronic Disease. [cited 2017 May 2]. Available from: