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BACKGROUND - Penicillin allergy is commonly reported in the pediatric emergency department. We previously performed 3-tier penicillin allergy testing on children with low-risk symptoms, and 100% tolerated a penicillin challenge without an allergic reaction. We hypothesized that no serious allergic reactions would occur after re-exposure to penicillin and that prescription practices would change after testing.
METHODS - We performed a follow-up case series of 100 children whose test results were negative for penicillin allergy. Research staff administered a brief follow-up phone survey to the parent and primary care provider of each patient tested. We combined the survey data and summarized baseline patient characteristics and questionnaire responses. We then completed a 3-tier economic analysis from the prescription information gathered from surveys in which cost savings, cost avoidance, and potential cost savings were calculated.
RESULTS - A total of 46 prescriptions in 36 patients were reported by the primary care provider and/or parents within the year after patients were tested for penicillin allergy. Twenty-six (58%) of the prescriptions filled were penicillin derivatives. One (4%) child developed a rash 24 hours after starting the medication; no child developed a serious adverse reaction after being given a penicillin challenge. We found that the cost savings of delabeling patients as penicillin allergic was $1368.13, the cost avoidance was $1812.00, and the total potential cost savings for the pediatric emergency department population was $192 223.00.
CONCLUSIONS - Children with low-risk penicillin allergy symptoms whose test results were negative for penicillin allergy tolerated a penicillin challenge without a severe allergic reaction developing. Delabeling children changed prescription behavior and led to actual health care savings.
Copyright © 2018 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The development of new knowledge around the genetic determinants of variable drug action has naturally raised the question of how this new knowledge can be used to improve the outcome of drug therapy. Two broad approaches have been taken: a point-of-care approach in which genotyping for specific variant(s) is undertaken at the time of drug prescription, and a preemptive approach in which multiple genetic variants are typed in an individual patient and the information archived for later use when a drug with a "pharmacogenetic story" is prescribed. This review addresses the current state of implementation, the rationale for these approaches, and barriers that must be overcome. Benefits to pharmacogenetic testing are only now being defined and will be discussed.
© 2018 American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
OBJECTIVE - Nonadherence to controller and overuse of reliever asthma medications are associated with exacerbations. We aimed to determine patterns of seasonal asthma medication use and to identify time period(s) during which interventions to improve medication adherence could reduce asthma morbidity.
METHODS - We conducted a retrospective cohort study of asthmatics 4-50 years of age and enrolled in three diverse health insurance plans. Seasonal patterns of medications were reported by monthly prescription fill rates per 1000 individuals with asthma from 1998 to 2013, and stratified by healthcare plan, sex, and age.
RESULTS - There was a distinct and consistent seasonal fill pattern for all asthma medications. The lowest fill rate was observed in the month of July. Fills increased in the autumn and remained high throughout the winter and spring. Compared with the month of May with high medication fills, July represented a relative decrease of fills ranging from 13% (rate ratio, RR: 0.87, 95% confidence interval, 95%CI: 0.72-1.04) for the combination of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) + long acting beta agonists (LABA) to 45% (RR: 0.55, 95%CI: 0.49-0.61) for oral corticosteroids. Such a seasonal pattern was observed each year across the 16-year study period, among healthcare plans, sexes, and ages. LABA containing control medication (ICS+LABA and LABA) fill rates were more prevalent in older asthmatics, while leukotriene receptor antagonists were more prevalent in the younger population.
CONCLUSIONS - A seasonal pattern of asthma medication fill rates likely represents a reactive response to a loss of disease control and increased symptoms. Adherence to and consistent use of asthma medications among individuals who use medications in reaction to seasonal exacerbations might be a key component in reducing the risk of asthma exacerbations.
BACKGROUND - Therapy for certain medical conditions occurs in a stepwise fashion, where one medication is recommended as initial therapy and other medications follow. Sequential pattern mining is a data mining technique used to identify patterns of ordered events.
OBJECTIVE - To determine whether sequential pattern mining is effective for identifying temporal relationships between medications and accurately predicting the next medication likely to be prescribed for a patient.
DESIGN - We obtained claims data from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas for patients prescribed at least one diabetes medication between 2008 and 2011, and divided these into a training set (90% of patients) and test set (10% of patients). We applied the CSPADE algorithm to mine sequential patterns of diabetes medication prescriptions both at the drug class and generic drug level and ranked them by the support statistic. We then evaluated the accuracy of predictions made for which diabetes medication a patient was likely to be prescribed next.
RESULTS - We identified 161,497 patients who had been prescribed at least one diabetes medication. We were able to mine stepwise patterns of pharmacological therapy that were consistent with guidelines. Within three attempts, we were able to predict the medication prescribed for 90.0% of patients when making predictions by drug class, and for 64.1% when making predictions at the generic drug level. These results were stable under 10-fold cross validation, ranging from 89.1%-90.5% at the drug class level and 63.5-64.9% at the generic drug level. Using 1 or 2 items in the patient's medication history led to more accurate predictions than not using any history, but using the entire history was sometimes worse.
CONCLUSION - Sequential pattern mining is an effective technique to identify temporal relationships between medications and can be used to predict next steps in a patient's medication regimen. Accurate predictions can be made without using the patient's entire medication history.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - The negative consequences of narcotic use and diversion for nonmedical use are on the rise. A growing number of narcotic abusers obtain narcotic prescriptions from multiple providers ("doctor shopping"). This study sought to determine the effects of multiple postoperative narcotic providers on the number of narcotic prescriptions, duration of narcotics, and morphine equivalent dose per day in the orthopaedic trauma population.
METHODS - Our prospective cohort study used the state-controlled substance monitoring database to identify all narcotic prescriptions filled three months prior to admission and six months following discharge for enrolled patients. Patients were assigned into two groups: a single narcotic provider group with prescriptions only from the treating surgeon (or extenders) or a multiple narcotic provider group with prescriptions from both the treating surgeon and an additional provider or providers.
RESULTS - Complete data were available for 130 of 151 eligible patients. Preoperative narcotic use, defined by three or more narcotic prescriptions within three months of admission, was noted in 8.5% of patients. Overall, 20.8% of patients sought multiple narcotic providers postoperatively. There were significant increases in postoperative narcotic prescriptions (p < 0.001) between the single narcotic provider group (two prescriptions) and the multiple narcotic provider group (seven prescriptions), in duration of postoperative narcotic use (p < 0.001) between the single narcotic provider group (twenty-eight days) and the multiple narcotic provider group (110 days), and in morphine equivalent dose per day (p = 0.002) between the single narcotic provider group (26 mg) and the multiple narcotic provider group (43 mg). Patients with a high school education or less were 3.2 times more likely to seek multiple providers (p = 0.02), and patients with a history of preoperative narcotic use were 4.5 times more likely to seek multiple providers (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS - There is a 20.8% prevalence of postoperative doctor shopping in the orthopaedic trauma population. Patients with multiple postoperative narcotic providers had a significant increase in postoperative narcotic prescriptions, duration of narcotics, and morphine equivalent dose per day.
Copyright © 2014 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated.
The purpose of this study was to assess whether antidepressant prescribing during pregnancy decreased following release of U.S. and Canadian public health advisory warnings about the risk of perinatal complications with antidepressants. We analyzed data from 228,876 singleton pregnancies among women (aged 15-44 years) continuously enrolled in Tennessee Medicaid with full pharmacy benefits (1995-2007). Antidepressant prescribing was determined through outpatient pharmacy dispensing files. Information on sociodemographic and clinical factors was obtained from enrollment files and linked birth certificates. An interrupted time series design with segmented regression analysis was used to quantify the impact of the advisory warnings (2002-2005). Antidepressant prescribing rates increased steadily from 1995 to 2001, followed by sharper increases from 2002 to late 2004. Overall antidepressant prescribing prevalence was 34.51 prescriptions [95 % confidence interval (CI) 33.37-35.65] per 1,000 women in January 2002, and increased at a rate of 0.46 (95 % CI 0.41-0.52) prescriptions per 1,000 women per month until the end of the pre-warning period (May 2004). During the post-warning period (October 2004-June 2005), antidepressant prescribing decreased by 1.48 (95 % CI 1.62-1.35) prescriptions per 1,000 women per month. These trends were observed for both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and non-SSRI antidepressants, although SSRI prescribing decreased at a greater rate. We conclude that antidepressant prescribing to pregnant women in Tennessee Medicaid increased from 1995 to late 2004. U.S. and Canadian public health advisories about antidepressant-associated perinatal complications were associated with steady decreases in antidepressant prescribing from late 2004 until the end of the study period, suggesting that the advisory warnings were impactful on antidepressant prescribing in pregnancy.
PURPOSE - To assess the safety of psychotropic medication use in children and adolescents, it is critical to be able to identify suicidal behaviors from medical claims data and distinguish them from other injuries. The purpose of this study was to develop an algorithm using administrative claims data to identify medically treated suicidal behavior in a cohort of children and adolescents.
METHODS - The cohort included 80,183 youth (6-18 years) enrolled in Tennessee's Medicaid program from 1995-2006 who were prescribed antidepressants. Potential episodes of suicidal behavior were identified using external cause-of-injury codes (E-codes) and ICD-9-CM codes corresponding to the potential mechanisms of or injuries resulting from suicidal behavior. For each identified episode, medical records were reviewed to determine if the injury was self-inflicted and if intent to die was explicitly stated or could be inferred.
RESULTS - Medical records were reviewed for 2676 episodes of potential self-harm identified through claims data. Among 1162 episodes that were classified as suicidal behavior, 1117 (96%) had a claim for suicide and self-inflicted injury, poisoning by drugs, or both. The positive predictive value of code groups to predict suicidal behavior ranged from 0-88% and improved when there was a concomitant hospitalization but with the limitation of excluding some episodes of confirmed suicidal behavior.
CONCLUSIONS - Nearly all episodes of confirmed suicidal behavior in this cohort of youth included an ICD-9-CM code for suicide or poisoning by drugs. An algorithm combining these ICD-9-CM codes and hospital stay greatly improved the positive predictive value for identifying medically treated suicidal behavior.
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
UNLABELLED - Use of opioid analgesics for pain management has increased dramatically over the past decade, with corresponding increases in negative sequelae including overdose and death. There is currently no well-validated objective means of accurately identifying patients likely to experience good analgesia with low side effects and abuse risk prior to initiating opioid therapy. This paper discusses the concept of data-based personalized prescribing of opioid analgesics as a means to achieve this goal. Strengths, weaknesses, and potential synergism of traditional randomized placebo-controlled trial (RCT) and practice-based evidence (PBE) methodologies as means to acquire the clinical data necessary to develop validated personalized analgesic-prescribing algorithms are overviewed. Several predictive factors that might be incorporated into such algorithms are briefly discussed, including genetic factors, differences in brain structure and function, differences in neurotransmitter pathways, and patient phenotypic variables such as negative affect, sex, and pain sensitivity. Currently available research is insufficient to inform development of quantitative analgesic-prescribing algorithms. However, responder subtype analyses made practical by the large numbers of chronic pain patients in proposed collaborative PBE pain registries, in conjunction with follow-up validation RCTs, may eventually permit development of clinically useful analgesic-prescribing algorithms.
PERSPECTIVE - Current research is insufficient to base opioid analgesic prescribing on patient characteristics. Collaborative PBE studies in large, diverse pain patient samples in conjunction with follow-up RCTs may permit development of quantitative analgesic-prescribing algorithms that could optimize opioid analgesic effectiveness and mitigate risks of opioid-related abuse and mortality.
Copyright © 2013 American Pain Society. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - The U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy targets for 2015 include "increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for persons living with HIV in the United States" (PLWH-US).
OBJECTIVE - To demonstrate the utility of the NA-ACCORD (North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design) for monitoring trends in the HIV epidemic in the United States and to present trends in HIV treatment and related health outcomes.
DESIGN - Trends from annual cross-sectional analyses comparing patients from pooled, multicenter, prospective, clinical HIV cohort studies with PLWH-US, as reported to national surveillance systems in 40 states.
SETTING - U.S. HIV outpatient clinics.
PATIENTS - HIV-infected adults with 1 or more HIV RNA plasma viral load (HIV VL) or CD4 T-lymphocyte (CD4) cell count measured in any calendar year from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2008.
MEASUREMENTS - Annual rates of antiretroviral therapy use, HIV VL, and CD4 cell count at death.
RESULTS - 45 529 HIV-infected persons received care in an NA-ACCORD-participating U.S. clinical cohort from 2000 to 2008. In 2008, the 26 030 NA-ACCORD participants in care and the 655 966 PLWH-US had qualitatively similar demographic characteristics. From 2000 to 2008, the proportion of participants prescribed highly active antiretroviral therapy increased by 9 percentage points to 83% (P < 0.001), whereas the proportion with suppressed HIV VL (≤2.7 log10 copies/mL) increased by 26 percentage points to 72% (P < 0.001). Median CD4 cell count at death more than tripled to 0.209 × 109 cells/L (P < 0.001).
LIMITATION - The usual limitations of observational data apply.
CONCLUSION - The NA-ACCORD is the largest cohort of HIV-infected adults in clinical care in the United States that is demographically similar to PLWH-US in 2008. From 2000 to 2008, increases were observed in the percentage of prescribed HAART, the percentage who achieved a suppressed HIV VL, and the median CD4 cell count at death.
PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE - National Institutes of Health; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Canadian HIV Trials Network; and the government of British Columbia, Canada.
Cholesterol reduction from statin therapy has been one of the greatest public health successes in modern medicine. Simvastatin is among the most commonly used prescription medications. A non-synonymous coding single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs4149056, in SLCO1B1 markedly increases systemic exposure to simvastatin and the risk of muscle toxicity. This guideline explores the relationship between rs4149056 (c.521T>C, p.V174A) and clinical outcome for all statins. The strength of the evidence is high for myopathy with simvastatin. We limit our recommendations accordingly.