We report a systematic review and meta-analysis of published randomised controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of tranexamic acid (TXA) in reducing blood loss and transfusion in total hip replacement (THR). The data were evaluated using the generic evaluation tool designed by the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group. We identified 11 clinical trials which were suitable for detailed extraction of data. There were no trials that used TXA in revision THR. A total of seven studies (comprising 350 patients) were eligible for the blood loss outcome data. The use of TXA reduced intra-operative blood loss by a mean of 104 ml (95% confidence interval (CI) -164 to -44, p = 0.0006, heterogeneity I(2) 0%), postoperative blood loss by a mean of 172 ml (95% CI -263 to -81, p = 0.0002, heterogeneity I(2) 63%) and total blood loss by a mean of 289 ml (95% CI -440 to -138, p < 0.0002, heterogeneity I(2) 54%). TXA led to a significant reduction in the proportion of patients requiring allogeneic blood transfusion (risk difference -0.20, 95% CI -0.29 to -0.11, p < 0.00001, I(2) 15%). There were no significant differences in deep-vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, infection rates or other complications among the study groups.