Introduction: The effect of the anti-osteoporosis medicine, menatetrenone (vitamin K(2); menaquinone-4) on the skeleton remains a matter of controversy. The objective of the present review study was to evaluate the effect of menatetrenone on the skeleton of postmenopausal women, men and glucocorticoid-treated patients.
Methods: PubMed was used to search the literature for randomized controlled trials (RCTs), meta-analyses and systematic reviews. Thirteen RCTs, one meta-analysis and one systematic review were available for analysis.
Results: Except for one large Japanese RCT (Phase IV trial: Osteoporotic Fracture (OF) study, n = 4378), RCTs with small sample size showed non-significant or modest effect on bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women and patients treated with glucocorticoid, positive effect on hip geometry in postmenopausal women and efficacy against fractures (mainly vertebral fractures) in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. A post hoc analysis of the OF study showed that the incidence of vertebral fractures decreased in postmenopausal women with at least five vertebral fractures. A meta-analysis study, but not a systematic review study, showed efficacy against vertebral and non-vertebral fractures mainly in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. There was no available evidence for men with osteoporosis.
Conclusion: The present review of the literature revealed some evidence of a positive effect of menatetrenone on the skeleton of postmenopausal women and in patients treated with glucocorticoid.
Expert opinion: Menatetrenone is considered to be a second-line medicine for postmenopausal osteoporotic women with an increased risk for vertebral fractures.