Publications by authors named "Lauren A Opsasnick"

10 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Perceptions of Signs of Addiction Among Opioid Naive Patients Prescribed Opioids in the Emergency Department.

J Addict Med 2021 Feb 5. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL (PTS, PML, HSK, DMM); Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL (KAC, LAO, LMC, MSW); Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX (DMC).

Objectives: Patient knowledge deficits related to opioid risks, including lack of knowledge regarding addiction, are well documented. Our objective was to characterize patients' perceptions of signs of addiction.

Methods: This study utilized data obtained as part of a larger interventional trial. Consecutively discharged English-speaking patients, age >17 years, at an urban academic emergency department, with a new opioid prescription were enrolled from July 2015 to August 2017. During a follow-up phone interview 7 to 14 days after discharge, participants were asked a single question, "What are the signs of addiction to pain medicine?" Verbatim transcribed answers were analyzed using a directed content analysis approach and double coding. These codes were then grouped into themes.

Results: There were 325 respondents, 57% female, mean age 43.8 years, 70.1% privately insured. Ten de novo codes were added to the 11 DSM-V criteria codes. Six themes were identified: (1) effort spent acquiring opioids, (2) emotional and physical changes related to opioid use, (3) opioid use that is "not needed, (4) increasing opioid use, (5) an emotional relationship with opioids, and (6) the inability to stop opioid use.

Conclusions: Signs of addiction identified by opioid naive patients were similar to concepts identified in medical definitions. However, participants' understanding also included misconceptions, omissions, and conflated misuse behaviors with signs of addiction. Identifying these differences will help inform patient-provider risk communication, providing an opportunity for counseling and prevention.
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February 2021

Patient-Reported Opioid Pill Consumption After an ED Visit: How Many Pills Are People Using?

Pain Med 2021 Feb;22(2):292-302

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, Texas, USA.

Objectives: Recent guidelines advise limiting opioid prescriptions for acute pain to a three-day supply; however, scant literature quantifies opioid use patterns after an emergency department (ED) visit. We sought to describe opioid consumption patterns after an ED visit for acute pain.

Design: Descriptive study with data derived from a larger interventional study promoting safe opioid use after ED discharge.

Setting: Urban academic emergency department (>88,000 annual visits).

Subjects: Patients were eligible if age >17 years, not chronically using opioids, and newly prescribed hydrocodone-acetaminophen and were included in the analysis if they returned the completed 10-day medication diary.

Methods: Patient demographics and opioid consumption are reported. Opioid use is described in daily number of pills and daily morphine milligram equivalents (MME) both for the sample overall and by diagnosis.

Results: Two hundred sixty patients returned completed medication diaries (45 [17%] back pain, 52 [20%] renal colic, 54 [21%] fracture/dislocation, 40 [15%] musculoskeletal injury [nonfracture], and 69 [27%] "other"). The mean age (SD) was 45 (15) years, and 59% of the sample was female. A median of 12 pills were prescribed. Patients with renal colic used the least opioids (total pills: median [interquartile range {IQR}] = 3 [1-7]; total MME: median [IQR] = 20 [10-50]); patients with back pain used the most (total pills: median [IQR] = 12 [7-16]; total MME: median [IQR] = 65 [47.5-100]); 92.5% of patients had leftover pills.

Conclusions: In this sample, pill consumption varied by illness category; however, overall, patients were consuming low quantities of pills, and the majority had unused pills 10 days after their ED visit.
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February 2021

Longitudinal Investigation of Older Adults' Ability to Self-Manage Complex Drug Regimens.

J Am Geriatr Soc 2020 03 25;68(3):569-575. Epub 2019 Nov 25.

Health Literacy and Learning Program, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.

Objectives: We sought to investigate older patients' ability to correctly and efficiently dose multidrug regimens over nearly a decade and to explore factors predicting declines in medication self-management.

Design: Longitudinal cohort study funded by the National Institute on Aging.

Setting: One academic internal medicine clinic and six community health centers.

Participants: Beginning in 2008, 900 English-speaking adults, aged 55 to 74 years, were enrolled in the study, completing a baseline (T1) assessment. To date, 303 participants have completed the same assessment 9 years postbaseline (T4).

Measurements: At T1, subjects were given a standardized, seven-drug regimen and asked to demonstrate how they would take medicine over 24 hours. The number of dosing errors made and times per day that a participant would take medicine were recorded. Health literacy was measured via the Newest Vital Sign, and cognitive decline was measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination.

Results: Participants on average made 2.9 dosing errors (SD = 2.5 dosing errors; range = 0-21 dosing errors) of 21 potential errors at T1 and 5.0 errors (SD = 2.1 errors; range = 1-18 errors; P < .001) at T4. In a multivariate model, limited literacy (β = .69; 95% confidence interval [CI] = .18-1.20; P = .01), meaningful cognitive decline (β = 1.72; 95% CI = .70-2.74; P = .01), number of chronic conditions (β = .21; 95% CI = .07-.34; P = .01), and number of baseline dosing errors (β = -.76; 95% CI = -.85 to -.67; P < .001) were significant, independent predictors of changes in dosing errors. Most patients overcomplicated their daily medication schedule; no sociodemographic characteristics were predictive of poor regimen organization in multivariate models. In a multivariate model, there were no significant predictors of changes in regimen consolidation over time, except regimen consolidation at T1.

Conclusions: Older patients frequently overcomplicated drug regimens and increasingly made more dosing errors over 9 years of follow-up. Patients with limited literacy, cognitive decline, and multimorbidity were at greatest risk for errors. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:569-575, 2020.
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March 2020

A Multifaceted Intervention to Improve Patient Knowledge and Safe Use of Opioids: Results of the ED EMC Randomized Controlled Trial.

Acad Emerg Med 2019 12 19;26(12):1311-1325. Epub 2019 Nov 19.

Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

Objectives: Despite increased focus on opioid prescribing, little is known about the influence of prescription opioid medication information given to patients in the emergency department (ED). The study objective was to evaluate the effect of an Electronic Medication Complete Communication (EMC ) Opioid Strategy on patients' safe use of opioids and knowledge about opioids.

Methods: This was a three-arm prospective, randomized controlled pragmatic trial with randomization occurring at the physician level. Consecutive discharged patients at an urban academic ED (>88,000 visits) with new hydrocodone-acetaminophen prescriptions received one of three care pathways: 1) usual care, 2) EMC intervention, or 3) EMC  + short message service (SMS) text messaging. The ED EMC intervention triggered two patient-facing educational tools (MedSheet, literacy-appropriate prescription wording [Take-Wait-Stop]) and three provider-facing reminders to counsel (directed to ED physician, dispensing pharmacist, follow-up physician). Patients in the EMC  + SMS arm additionally received one text message/day for 1 week. Follow-up at 1 to 2 weeks assessed "demonstrated safe use" (primary outcome). Secondary outcomes including patient knowledge and actual safe use (via medication diaries) were assessed 2 to 4 days and 1 month following enrollment.

Results: Among the 652 enrolled, 343 completed follow-up (57% women; mean ± SD age = 42 ± 14.0 years). Demonstrated safe opioid use occurred more often in the EMC group (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.19 to 5.06), but not the EMC  + SMS group (aOR = 1.87, 95% CI = 0.90 to 3.90) compared with usual care. Neither intervention arm improved medication safe use as measured by medication diary data. Medication knowledge, measured by a 10-point composite knowledge score, was greater in the EMC  + SMS group (β = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.09 to 1.06) than usual care.

Conclusions: The study found that the EMC tools improved demonstrated safe dosing, but these benefits did not translate into actual use based on medication dairies. The text-messaging intervention did result in improved patient knowledge.
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December 2019

Implementation fidelity of patient-centered prescription label to promote opioid safe use.

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2019 09 9;28(9):1251-1257. Epub 2019 Jul 9.

Health Literacy and Learning Program, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.

Purpose: Patient-centered labels may improve safe medication use, but implementation challenges limit use. We assessed implementation of a patient-centered "PRN" (as needed) label entitled "Take-Wait-Stop" (TWS) with three deconstructed steps replacing traditional wording.

Methods: As part of a larger investigation, patients received TWS prescriptions (eg, Take: 1 pill if you have pain; Wait: at least 4 h before taking again; Stop: do not take more than 6 pills in 24 h). Prescriptions labels recorded at follow-up were classified into three categories: (1) one-step wording (Take 1 pill every 4 h [without daily limits]), (2) two-step wording (Take 1 pill every 4 h; do not exceed 6 pills/day), and (3) three-step wording. There were three subtypes of three-step wording: (3a) three-step, not TWS (three deconstructed steps, not necessarily TWS wording), (3b) TWS format, employing three steps with leading verbs, but "with additions or replacements" (eg, replaced "do not take" with "do not exceed"), and (3c) verbatim TWS.

Results: Two hundred eleven participants completed follow-up. Mean age was 44.3 years (SD 14.3); 44% were male. One-step bottles represented 12% (n = 25) of the sample, whereas 26% (n = 55) had two-step wording. The majority (44%, n = 93) had three-deconstructed steps, not TWS (3a); 16% (n = 34) retained TWS structure, but not verbatim (3b). Only 2% (n = 4) displayed verbatim TWS wording (3c). All category three labels (utilizing deconstructed instructions) were considered adequate implementation (62%).

Conclusions: Exact intervention adherence was not achieved in the majority of cases, limiting impact. Nonetheless, community pharmacies were responsive to new instructions, but higher implementation reliability requires additional supports.
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September 2019

Who Is Keeping Their Unused Opioids and Why?

Pain Med 2020 01;21(1):84-91

Department of Emergency Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.

Objective: To better understand patients' reasoning for keeping unused opioid pills.

Methods: As part of a larger study, patients were asked their plans for their unused opioids. Responses were categorized as "dispose," "keep," and "don't know." Baseline characteristics were compared between the "keep" and "dispose" groups. Verbatim responses categorized as "keep" were analyzed qualitatively using a team-based inductive approach with constant comparison across cases.

Results: One hundred patients planned to dispose of their pills; 117 planned to keep them. There were no differences in demographics between the groups. Among patients who planned to keep their pills, the mean age was 43 years and 47% were male. Analysis revealed four categories of patient responses: 1) plans to keep their pills "just in case," with reference to a medical condition (e.g., kidney stone); 2) plans to keep pills "just in case" without reference to any medical condition; 3) plans to dispose in delayed fashion (e.g., after pill expiration) or unsure of how to dispose; and 4) no identified plans, yet intended to keep pills. In this sample, there were no differences in characteristics of those reporting planning to keep vs dispose of pills; however, there were diverse reasons for keeping opioids.

Conclusions: This manuscript describes a sample of patients who kept their unused opioids and presents qualitative data detailing their personal reasoning for keeping the unused pills. Awareness of the range of motivations underpinning this behavior may inform the development of tailored education and risk communication messages to improve opioid disposal.
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January 2020

Adaptive increases in expression and vasodilator activity of estrogen receptor subtypes in a blood vessel-specific pattern during pregnancy.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2015 Nov 25;309(10):H1679-96. Epub 2015 Sep 25.

Vascular Surgery Research Laboratory, Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Normal pregnancy is associated with adaptive hemodynamic, hormonal, and vascular changes, and estrogen (E2) may promote vasodilation during pregnancy; however, the specific E2 receptor (ER) subtype, post-ER signaling mechanism, and vascular bed involved are unclear. We tested whether pregnancy-associated vascular adaptations involve changes in the expression/distribution/activity of distinct ER subtypes in a blood vessel-specific manner. Blood pressure (BP) and plasma E2 were measured in virgin and pregnant (day 19) rats, and the thoracic aorta, carotid artery, mesenteric artery, and renal artery were isolated for measurements of ERα, ERβ, and G protein-coupled receptor 30 [G protein-coupled ER (GPER)] expression and tissue distribution in parallel with relaxation responses to E2 (all ERs) and the specific ER agonist 4,4',4″-(4-propyl-[1H]-pyrazole-1,3,5-triyl)-tris-phenol (PPT; ERα), diarylpropionitrile (DPN; ERβ), and G1 (GPER). BP was slightly lower and plasma E2 was higher in pregnant versus virgin rats. Western blots revealed increased ERα and ERβ in the aorta and mesenteric artery and GPER in the aorta of pregnant versus virgin rats. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the increases in ERs were mainly in the intima and media. In phenylephrine-precontracted vessels, E2 and PPT caused relaxation that was greater in the aorta and mesenteric artery but similar in the carotid and renal artery of pregnant versus virgin rats. DPN- and G1-induced relaxation was greater in the mesenteric and renal artery than in the aorta and carotid artery, and aortic relaxation to G1 was greater in pregnant versus virgin rats. The nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N(ω)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester with or without the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin with or without the EDHF blocker tetraethylammonium or endothelium removal reduced E2, PPT, and G1-induced relaxation in the aorta of pregnant rats, suggesting an endothelium-dependent mechanism, but did not affect E2-, PPT-, DPN-, or G1-induced relaxation in other vessels, suggesting endothelium-independent mechanisms. E2, PPT, DPN, and G1 caused relaxation of Ca(2+) entry-dependent KCl contraction, and the effect of PPT was greater in the mesenteric artery of pregnant versus virgin rats. Thus, during pregnancy, an increase in ERα expression in endothelial and vascular smooth muscle layers of the aorta and mesenteric artery is associated with increased ERα-mediated relaxation via endothelium-derived vasodilators and inhibition of Ca(2+) entry into vascular smooth muscle, supporting a role of aortic and mesenteric arterial ERα in pregnancy-associated vasodilation. GPER may contribute to aortic relaxation while enhanced ERβ expression could mediate other genomic vascular effects during pregnancy.
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November 2015

Cooperative Role of Mineralocorticoid Receptor and Caveolin-1 in Regulating the Vascular Response to Low Nitric Oxide-High Angiotensin II-Induced Cardiovascular Injury.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2015 Oct 16;355(1):32-47. Epub 2015 Jul 16.

Cardiovascular Endocrinology Section, Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension Division (L.H.P., T.M.Y., G.K.A., G.H.W.), and Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery (L.A.O., W.T.S., O.M.R., R.A.K.), Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Aldosterone interacts with mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) to stimulate sodium reabsorption in renal tubules and may also affect the vasculature. Caveolin-1 (cav-1), an anchoring protein in plasmalemmal caveolae, binds steroid receptors and also endothelial nitric oxide synthase, thus limiting its translocation and activation. To test for potential MR/cav-1 interaction in the vasculature, we investigated if MR blockade in cav-1-replete or -deficient states would alter vascular function in a mouse model of low nitric oxide (NO)-high angiotensin II (AngII)-induced cardiovascular injury. Wild-type (WT) and cav-1 knockout mice (cav-1(-/-)) consuming a high salt diet (4% NaCl) received Nω-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) (0.1-0.2 mg/ml in drinking water at days 1-11) plus AngII (0.7-2.8 mg/kg per day via an osmotic minipump at days 8-11) ± MR antagonist eplerenone (EPL) 100 mg/kg per day in food. In both genotypes, blood pressure increased with L-NAME + AngII. EPL minimally changed blood pressure, although its dose was sufficient to block MR and reverse cardiac expression of the injury markers cluster of differentiation 68 and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 in L-NAME+AngII treated mice. In aortic rings, phenylephrine and KCl contraction was enhanced with EPL in L-NAME+AngII treated WT mice, but not cav-1(-/-) mice. AngII-induced contraction was not different, and angiotensin type 1 receptor expression was reduced in L-NAME + AngII treated WT and cav-1(-/-) mice. In WT mice, acetylcholine-induced relaxation was enhanced with L-NAME + AngII treatment and reversed with EPL. Acetylcholine relaxation in cav-1(-/-) mice was greater than in WT mice, not modified by L-NAME + AngII or EPL, and blocked by ex vivo L-NAME, 1H-(1,2,4)oxadiazolo(4,3-a)quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ), or endothelium removal, suggesting the role of NO-cGMP. Cardiac endothelial NO synthase was increased in cav-1(-/-) versus WT mice, further increased with L-NAME + AngII, and not affected by EPL. Vascular relaxation to the NO donor sodium nitroprusside was increased with L-NAME + AngII in WT mice but not in cav-1(-/-) mice. Plasma aldosterone levels increased and cardiac MR expression decreased in L-NAME + AngII treated WT and cav-1(-/-) mice and did not change with EPL. Thus, during L-NAME + AngII induced hypertension, MR blockade increases contraction and alters vascular relaxation via NO-cGMP, and these changes are absent in cav-1 deficiency states. The data suggest a cooperative role of MR and cav-1 in regulating vascular contraction and NO-cGMP-mediated relaxation during low NO-high AngII-dependent cardiovascular injury.
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October 2015

Critical Role of Striatin in Blood Pressure and Vascular Responses to Dietary Sodium Intake.

Hypertension 2015 Sep 13;66(3):674-80. Epub 2015 Jul 13.

From the Cardiovascular Endocrine Section, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension (A.E.G., L.H.P., B.M., W.M.H., G.K.A., G.H.W.), and Division of Vascular Surgery (L.A.O., W.T.S., M.H., R.A.K.), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Striatin is a protein regulator of vesicular trafficking in neurons that also binds caveolin-1 and Ca(2+)-calmodulin and could activate endothelial nitric oxide synthase. We have shown that striatin colocalizes with the mineralocorticoid receptor and that mineralocorticoid receptor activation increases striatin levels in vascular cells. To test whether striatin is a regulator of vascular function, wild-type and heterozygous striatin-deficient mice (Strn(+/-)) were randomized in crossover intervention to restricted (0.03%) and liberal sodium (1.6%) diets for 7 days on each diet, and blood pressure and aortic vascular function were measured. Compared with wild-type, sodium restriction significantly reduced blood pressure in Strn(+/-). On liberal salt intake, phenylephrine and high KCl caused a greater vascular contraction in Strn(+/-) than wild-type, and endothelium removal, nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME, and guanylate cyclase inhibitor ODQ enhanced phenylephrine contraction to a smaller extent in Strn(+/-) than wild-type. On liberal salt, acetylcholine relaxation was less in Strn(+/-) than in wild-type, and endothelium removal, L-NAME, and ODQ blocked acetylcholine relaxation, suggesting changes in endothelial NO-cGMP. On liberal salt, endothelial nitric oxide synthase mRNA expression and the ratio of endothelial nitric oxide synthase activator pAkt/total Akt were decreased in Strn(+/-) versus wild-type. Vascular relaxation to NO donor sodium nitroprusside was not different among groups. Thus, striatin deficiency is associated with salt sensitivity of blood pressure, enhanced vasoconstriction, and decreased vascular relaxation, suggesting a critical role for striatin, through modulation of endothelial NO-cGMP, in regulation of vascular function and BP during changes in sodium intake.
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September 2015

Dissociation of hyperglycemia from altered vascular contraction and relaxation mechanisms in caveolin-1 null mice.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2014 Feb 26;348(2):260-70. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

Cardiovascular Endocrine Section, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension Division (L.H.P., T.M.Y., A.E.G., G.K.A., G.H.W.), and Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery (L.A.O., O.M.R., R.A.K.), Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Hyperglycemia and endothelial dysfunction are associated with hypertension, but the specific causality and genetic underpinning are unclear. Caveolin-1 (cav-1) is a plasmalemmal anchoring protein and modulator of vascular function and glucose homeostasis. Cav-1 gene variants are associated with reduced insulin sensitivity in hypertensive individuals, and cav-1(-/-) mice show endothelial dysfunction, hyperglycemia, and increased blood pressure (BP). On the other hand, insulin-sensitizing therapy with metformin may inadequately control hyperglycemia while affecting the vascular outcome in certain patients with diabetes. To test whether the pressor and vascular changes in cav-1 deficiency states are related to hyperglycemia and to assess the vascular mechanisms of metformin under these conditions, wild-type (WT) and cav-1(-/-) mice were treated with either placebo or metformin (400 mg/kg daily for 21 days). BP and fasting blood glucose were in cav-1(-/-) > WT and did not change with metformin. Phenylephrine (Phe)- and KCl-induced aortic contraction was in cav-1(-/-) < WT; endothelium removal, the nitric-oxide synthase (NOS) blocker L-NAME (N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester), or soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) inhibitor 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ) enhanced Phe contraction, and metformin blunted this effect. Acetylcholine-induced relaxation was in cav-1(-/-) > WT, abolished by endothelium removal, L-NAME or ODQ, and reduced with metformin. Nitric oxide donor sodium nitroprusside was more potent in inducing relaxation in cav-1(-/-) than in WT, and metformin reversed this effect. Aortic eNOS, AMPK, and sGC were in cav-1(-/-) > WT, and metformin decreased total and phosphorylated eNOS and AMPK in cav-1(-/-). Thus, metformin inhibits both vascular contraction and NO-cGMP-dependent relaxation but does not affect BP or blood glucose in cav-1(-/-) mice, suggesting dissociation of hyperglycemia from altered vascular function in cav-1-deficiency states.
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February 2014