The preferred treatment for osteoporosis in men is debated, and pairwise meta-analysis cannot obtain hierarchies of these treatments.
The objective of this study was to integrate the evidence and provide hierarchies of eight drugs based on their effect on the bone mineral density in the lumbar spine (BMD in LS) and the fracture rate.
Eligible studies were identified by searching Amed, British Nursing Index, EMBASE, PubMed, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Google Scholar, SIGLE, the National Technical Information Service, the National Research Register (UK), and the Current Controlled Trials databases.
RCTs or quasi-RCTs reporting at least two drugs (two active drugs or one active drug and a placebo) used to treat osteoporosis in men were selected by two authors.
Two authors independently extracted the data.
Thirteen studies involving 3647 patients were included. Compared with placebo therapy, zoledronate (SMDs 13.48, 95% credible intervals 11.88-15.08) yielded the most significant effect on increasing the BMD in LS, followed by alendronate (11.04, 9.68-12.41), teriparatide (20mcg) + risedronate (10.98, 8.55-13.48), risedronate (10.33, 8.68-12.01), teriparatide (20mcg) (9.33, 6.87-11.76), strontium ranelate (8.88, 7.51-10.24), ibandronate (5.49, 3.82-7.16), parathyroid hormone (1-84) (4.89, 3.12-6.62) and alfacalcidol (3.42, 1.7-5.2). Placebo therapy had a significantly higher fracture rate in contrast to risedronate (OR 2.51, 95% CrI 1.23-4.24) or zoledronate (2.92, 1.29-5.62) or teriparatide (20mcg) (4.04, 1.36-8.49) or teriparatide (40mcg) (3.5, 1.14-8.34). Zoledronate ranked first for increasing the BMD in LS, and teriparatide (20mg) was ranked first for decreasing the fracture rate.
Zoledronate might be the best choice to increase the BMD in LS and teriparatide (20mg) might lead to the lowest fracture rate.