Alendronate for the Treatment of Osteoporosis in Men: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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Alendronate has been widely used in the treatment of osteoporosis. However, the effect of alendronate in the male osteoporosis remains controversial.

Study Question:

We conducted a meta-analysis to assess the efficacy of alendronate in the treatment of men with osteoporosis.

Study Design:

PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science were searched from their inception to October 25, 2015. Eligible studies were randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effect of alendronate in the male osteoporosis.

Measures and Outcomes:

The outcomes included mean percentage changes in bone mineral density (BMD) of lumbar spine, femoral neck, total hip, trochanter, and total body, and the incidence of new vertebral fractures. Results were expressed with weighted mean difference (WMD), and risk ratio with 95% CIs. A fixed-effects model or random-effects model was used for the meta-analysis according to heterogeneity.


Eight studies involving 988 patients met the inclusion criteria. Alendronate significantly increased the mean percentage BMD at the lumbar spine (WMD = 4.95, 95% CI, 2.40–7.49; P < 0.001), femoral neck (WMD = 2.59, 95% CI, 1.52–3.66; P < 0.001), and total hip (WMD = 2.39, 95% CI, 1.05–3.27; P < 0.001), but not at the trochanter (WMD = 1.76, 95% CI, −0.69 to 4.21; P = 0.158) and total body (WMD = 3.29, 95% CI, −0.04 to 6.62; P = 0.053). Moreover, alendronate was also decreased the incidence of vertebral fractures (risk ratio = 0.46, 95% CI, 0.28–0.77; P = 0.003). Subgroup analysis showed that among the male osteoporosis, greater increase in the lumbar spine BMD (WMD = 5.99, 95% CI, 3.42–8.56; P < 0.001) and femoral neck BMD (WMD = 3.66, 95% CI, 2.57–4.76; P = 0.023) was observed when the alendronate was administrated with a dose of 10 mg.


Based on current evidence, alendronate shows beneficial effect on the lumbar spine, femoral neck, and total hip BMD, and the incidence of new vertebral fractures.

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