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      Association between Posttransplant Opioid Use and Immunosuppressant Therapy Adherence among Renal Transplant Recipients


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          Introduction: Little is known about the effect of posttransplant opioid use on adherence to immunosuppressant therapy (IST) among adult renal transplant recipients (RTRs). Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between opioid use and IST adherence among adult RTRs during the first year posttransplant. Methods: Longitudinal data were analyzed from a retrospective cohort study examining US veterans undergoing renal transplant from October 1, 2007, through March 31, 2015. Data were collected from the US Renal Data System, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Data (Medicare Part D), and Veterans Affairs pharmacy records. Dose of opioid prescriptions was collected and divided based on annual morphine milligram equivalent within a year of transplant. Proportion of days covered of greater than or equal to 80% indicated adherence to tacrolimus. Unadjusted and multivariable-adjusted logistic regression analyses were performed. Results: A study population of 1,229 RTRs included 258 with no opioid use, while 971 opioid users were identified within the first year after transplantation. Compared to RTRs without opioid usage, RTRs with opioid usage had a lower probability of being adherent to tacrolimus in unadjusted logistic regression (odds ratio [OR] (95% confidence interval [CI]): 0.22 [0.07–0.72]) and adjusted logistic regression (OR [95% CI]: 0.11 [0.03–0.44]). These patterns generally remained consistent in unadjusted and adjusted main and sensitivity analyses. Conclusions: Findings indicate RTRs who use prescription opioids during the first year posttransplant, regardless of the dosage/amount, are less likely to be adherent to tacrolimus. Future studies are needed to better understand underlying causes of the association between opioid use and tacrolimus nonadherence.

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          Most cited references33

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          Frequency and impact of nonadherence to immunosuppressants after renal transplantation: a systematic review.

          Nonadherence to immunosuppressants is recognized to occur after renal transplantation, but the size of its impact on transplant survival is not known. A systematic literature search identified 325 studies (in 324 articles) published from 1980 to 2001 reporting the frequency and impact of nonadherence in adult renal transplant recipients. Thirty-six studies meeting the inclusion criteria for further review were grouped into cross-sectional and cohort studies and case series. Meta-analysis was used to estimate the size of the impact of nonadherence on graft failure. Only two studies measured adherence using electronic monitoring, which is currently thought to be the most accurate measure. Cross-sectional studies (n=15) tended to rely on self-report questionnaires, but these were poorly described; a median (interquartile range) of 22% (18%-26%) of recipients were nonadherent. Cohort studies (n=10) indicated that nonadherence contributes substantially to graft loss; a median (interquartile range) of 36% (14%-65%) of graft losses were associated with prior nonadherence. Meta-analysis of these studies showed that the odds of graft failure increased sevenfold (95% confidence interval, 4%-12%) in nonadherent subjects compared with adherent subjects. Standardized methods of assessing adherence in clinical populations need to be developed, and future studies should attempt to identify the level of adherence that increases the risk of graft failure. However, this review shows nonadherence to be common and to have a large impact on transplant survival. Therefore, significant improvements in graft survival could be expected from effective interventions to improve adherence.
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            OPTN/SRTR 2017 Annual Data Report: Kidney

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              Measuring concurrent adherence to multiple related medications.

              To propose standardized methods for measuring concurrent adherence to multiple related medications and to apply these definitions to a cohort of patients with diabetes mellitus. Retrospective cohort study of 7567 subjects with diabetes prescribed 2 or more classes of oral hypoglycemic agents in 2005. For each medication class, adherence for each patient was estimated using prescription-based and interval-based measures of proportion of days covered (PDC) from cohort entry until December 31, 2006. Concurrent adherence was calculated by applying these 2 measures in the following 3 ways: (1) the mean of each patient's average PDC, (2) the proportion of days during which patients had at least 1 of their medications available to them, and (3) the proportion of patients with a PDC of at least 80% for all medication classes. Because patients taking multiple related medications have distinct patterns of use, the analysis was repeated after classifying patients into mutually exclusive groups. Concurrent medication adherence ranged from 35% to 95% depending on the definition applied. Interval-based measures provide lower estimates than prescription-based techniques. Definitions that require the use of at least 1 drug class categorize virtually all patients as adherent. Requiring patients to have a PDC of at least 80% for each of their drugs results in only 30% to 40% of patients being defined as adherent. The variability in adherence is greatest for patients whose treatment regimen changed the most during follow-up. The variability in adherence estimates derived from different definitions may substantially impact qualitative conclusions about concurrent adherence to related medications. Because the measures we propose have different underlying assumptions, the choice of technique should depend on why adherence is being evaluated.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                July 2020
                20 May 2020
                : 144
                : 7
                : 321-330
                [_a] aCollege of Pharmacy, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
                [_b] bDepartment of Clinical Pharmacy and Translational Science, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
                [_c] cDivision of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
                [_d] dInstitute for Health Outcomes and Policy, College of Graduate Health Sciences, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
                [_e] eDivision of Nephrology, University of California, Irvine, California, USA
                [_f] fNephrology Section, Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
                [_g] gMethodist University Hospital Transplant Institute, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
                [_h] hDivision of Transplant Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
                Author notes
                *Dr. Marie A. Chisholm-Burns, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Pharmacy, 881 Madison Ave., Suite 264, Memphis, TN 38163 (USA), mchisho3@uthsc.edu
                507257 Nephron 2020;144:321–330
                © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                : 26 August 2019
                : 14 March 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, Pages: 10
                Clinical Practice: Research Article

                Cardiovascular Medicine,Nephrology
                Immunosuppressant therapy,Opioids,Adherence,Propensity score matching,Renal transplant


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