Background: Recent evidence has shown that nicotinamide treatment may have an impact on phosphorus metabolism in hemodialysis patients. Nevertheless, the treatment remains controversial. This study aimed to precisely estimate the efficacy and safety of nicotinamide on phosphorus, calcium and iPTH in hemodialysis patients.
Methods: We searched numerous information sources regarding randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of nicotinamide treatment in hemodialysis patients, including PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library.
Results: Nine relevant studies (n = 428) were included in the meta-analysis. Meta-analysis showed that levels of serum phosphorus (SMD -1.06; 95% CI, -1.27 to -0.85, P < .001), parathyroid hormone (SMD -1.09; 95% CI, -1.49 to -0.70, P < .001), and calcium-phosphorus (SMD -0.65; 95% CI, -0.97 to -0.34, P < .001) in the nicotinamide group were significantly lower than those of the control group. There was no significant difference in the levels of serum calcium (SMD 0.08; 95% CI, -0.15 to 0.30, P = .51) between the groups. The meta-analysis showed that the nicotinamide group had a significantly higher risk of adverse events (OR 3.99; 95% CI, 1.94-8.23, P < .001) than did the control group, especially for thrombocytopenia (OR 49.00; 95% CI, 2.68-897.36, P = .009). However, no serious adverse reactions were observed. There was no significant difference in the incidence of withdrawal (OR 3.51; 95% CI, 0.49-25.00, P = .21) between the groups.
Conclusion: Evidence to date clearly indicates that nicotinamide is safe and effective for improving phosphorus metabolism in hemodialysis patients. However, nicotinamide probably causes thrombocytopenia. Further large-sample size, high-quality RCTs are needed.