• 12 Jan 2018 12:25 PM | Deleted user

    Greater Kansas City Society of Health-System Pharmacists (GKCSHP)

    Upcoming Events:

    February 15th, 2018: Topic: Clinical Considerations in Neuromuscular Blockade Management, Location: Plaza III Steakhouse
    Social Hour: 6:00-6:30 pm
    Presentation: 6:30 pm
    RSVP: at Capacity

    March 22nd, 2018: Topic TBD, Location TBD
    Social Hour: 6:00-6:30 pm
    Presentation: 6:30 pm
    Location: TBD

    April 19th, 2018: Topic TBD, McCormick and Schmick’s
    Social Hour: 6:00-6:30 pm
    Presentation: 6:30 pm

    Incoming 2018 Board Members:
    President – Katie Korte
    Past President – Bryan Schuessler
    President Elect – Lauren Mishler
    Secretary – Annie Ungerman
    Treasurer – Sayo Weihs
    Membership Chair – Kat Burnett
    Programs Coordinator – Brianna Zinser
    Programs Coordinator Elect – Mel Smith
    Newsletter Editor – Suzy Burros
    Technician Liaison – Josh Brooks
    Resident Liaison – Lainie Linafelter
    Student Liaison (2017-2018)
    UMKC – Kyle Klindworth
    KU – Shiloh Wedermyer

    Outgoing 2017 Board Members:
    President – Bryan Schuessler
    Past President – Erin Pender
    President Elect – Katie Korte
    Secretary – Annie Ungerman
    Treasurer – Sayo Weihs
    Membership Chair – Ashley Duty
    Programs Coordinator – Lauren Mishler
    Programs Coordinator Elect – Brianna Zinser
    Newsletter Editor – Mel Smith
    Technician Liaison – Travis Myer
    Resident Liaison – Patricia Hoover
    Student Liaison (2016-2017)
    UMKC – Sundus Awan
    KU – Shiloh Wedermyer

    Statement from 2017 President Bryan Schuessler:
    We had a great year, and our members were able to enjoy a variety of programming and social activities throughout the year. We look forward to 2018 and all the exciting events planned by our new leadership!”

    GKCSHP is on Instagram! Follow us @gkcshp!

    President: Katie Korte, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP 

  • 12 Jan 2018 11:24 AM | Deleted user

    Get Fit with ENFit®

    Author: Sarah Bledsoe, PharmD, CPHIMS
    Assistant Director of Pharmacy, 
    Children’s Mercy Kansas City

    Make it your New Year’s resolution to pump up your pharmacy muscles by learning about the new enteral connections standards, ENFit®. A new novel enteral tubing system called ENFit® was designed to make enteral tubing and supplies incompatible with other traditional luer lock systems. The Joint Commission previously reported over 100 errors and 21 deaths have been attributed to the administration of enteral nutrition through intravenous lines.1 To prevent these errors from occurring, the Global Enteral Device Supplier Association (GEDSA), a nonprofit trade association, was formed to establish a voice for addressing issues that face manufacturers, suppliers and distributors and to facilitate communication to healthcare facilities across the globe on enteral tubing changes through the Stay Connected 2014 initiative.2

    The initiative will result in practice changes for healthcare organizations and providers that care for patients with enteral tubing. Examples of enteral tubing include nasogastic (NG), nasojejunal (NJ) and g-tube sites. While many patients use enteral systems for nutrition, some may also use it to administer medication. With the ENFit system design, patients will need their medications prepared in special ENFit compatible syringes in order to administer medications. It will be especially important that health-systems pharmacists engage their organization in planning for, educating and supporting these patients. GEDSA has shared that based on feedback from manufacturers, they estimate 28% of hospitals in the United States have already made the transition to ENFit® products. 3 To help you get started on your ENFit® journey, we have recommended some essential steps every healthcare organization should take to prepare for ENFit®.

    Step 1 – Identify your needs and key stakeholders

    • Each healthcare organization should do an assessment of their current enteral tubing practices. This includes creating a line item inventory of all current enteral supplies.
    • Because enteral tubing is typically utilized in multiple healthcare settings including inpatient and ambulatory practices, key stakeholders should be contacted to represent all areas. Based on our experiences with hospitals that have successfully implemented ENFit®, a project team should consistent of the following key members: medical staff champion, pharmacy, nursing, supply chain, home care, discharge planning, quality, safety, patients and families.
    • Transition checklists are available on the GEDSA Stay Connected website www.stayconnected.org to help guide key stakeholders on steps to take in their focus area.

    Step 2 – Plan for your practice change

    • Multiple vendors are available for ENFit® products. Health care providers and supply chain will need to perform a value based assessment of available products and select vendors for individual ENFit® products to replace their current enteral supplies.
    • Throughout the process of learning and evaluating the new ENFit® products, health care organizations may find that they need to revise their standard operating procedures for tube cleaning, medication preparation and discharge planning.
    • Transition adapters between the old and new enteral tubing systems are available. While these adapters are necessary during the transition, ISMP alerted in their September 2017 Acute Care Newsletter that transition adapters will be eventually eliminated and defeat the purpose of ENFit itself. 4 Healthcare organizations should carefully evaluate the role of transition adapters in their short term and long term conversion plans to ENFit®.

    Step 3 – Get ready to go ENFit

    • Education is key for a successful ENFit® transition and each health care organization will need to develop a strong education plan that encompasses all health care providers which may interact with enteral tubing supplies.
    • GEDSA has ENFit® interactive demonstration stations available for order by sending an email request to info@gedsa.org. The GEDSA Stay Connected website also offers a variety of videos and handouts from hospitals that have successfully implemented.
    • Implementation should be carefully coordinated across the healthcare organization. Adequate resources for switching supply rooms, changing patient tubes, preparing medications, assisting front line staff and educating patients should be available.

    To learn more about GEDSA, ENFit® and the Stay Connected initiative, please visit www.stayconnected.org


    1. Sentinel Event Alert. Issue 53. The Joint Commission. 8/20/2014 http://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/6/SEA_53_Connectors_8_19_14_final.pdf
    2. GEDSA Stay Connected 2014. http://stayconnected.org/about/. 9/30/2015
    3. GEDSA. September 2017.
    4. ISMP.http://www.ismp.org/newsletters/acutecare/issues/20170921.pdf. Vol 22. Issue 19. September 2017.

  • 12 Jan 2018 10:56 AM | Deleted user

    MSHP R&E Call for Award Nominations
    Author: Carla Zeilmann, PharmD, BCPS
    Executive Director, MSHP Research and Education Foundation

    MSHP R&E Foundation is currently accepting submissions and nominees for several awards. The deadline has been extended for all submissions and nominations will be April 5, 2018.

    Submit your Nomination

    MSHP R&E Best Practice Award

    The Best Practice Award program recognizes innovation and outstanding performance in a pharmacy directed initiative. The theme for the 2018 award focuses on Medication Safety. A poster of the program will be highlighted during the Spring Meeting Poster Session. The award recipient will be honored at a fundraising event during the Spring Meeting and have the opportunity to provide a brief podium presentation detailing the implementation and impact of the project to the attendees.

    Applicants will be judged on their descriptions of programs and practices currently employed in their health system based on the following criteria:

    • Inventiveness of the program
    • Significance of the program to the health system
    • Demonstration of benefit to patient care as supported by program evaluation data
    • Significance of the program to pharmacy practice
    • Quality of submitted program report
    • Relevance to other institutions

    Applicants must be active MSHP members practicing in a health-system setting such as a large or small hospital, home health, ambulatory clinic or other health care system. More than one successful program from a health system may be submitted for consideration.

    Award recipient will receive half off their meeting registration, a plaque and a $250 honorarium.

    Submission Instructions: A program summary not to exceed 400 words must be submitted with the application and include the following information:

    • Background – description of need for program
    • Goals and specific aims of the program
    • Program description/methods – description of development process, role(s) of the pharmacist, timeline
    • Results - when results are not yet available, include a description of how impact of the program will be measured
    • Conclusion – established and/or expected clinical impact of the program
    • Submissions may also include any pictures, graphs, figures or data tables that support the summary. Each of these must be clearly labeled and described. Such information will not count against the 400 word limit.
    • Email your submission to mshp@qabs.com with Best Practice Award Submission in the subject line.

    MSHP R&E Best Residency Project Award

    The Best Residency Project Award recognizes innovation and outstanding performance in a pharmacy residency project. A poster of the program will be highlighted during the Spring Meeting Poster Session.

    Applicants will be judged based on the following criteria:

    • Inventiveness of the project
    • Significance of the project to the health system
    • Demonstration of benefit to patient care as supported by project evaluation data
    • Significance of the project to pharmacy practice
    • Quality of submitted project report
    • Relevance to other institutions

    Applicants must be active MSHP members completing a residency in a health-system setting such as a large or small hospital, home health, ambulatory clinic or other health care system.

    Award recipient will receive half off their meeting registration, a plaque and a $250 honorarium.

    Submission Instructions: A program summary not to exceed 400 words must be submitted with the application and include the following information.

    • Background – description of need for project
    • Goals and specific aims of the project
    • Results - when results are not yet available, include a description of how impact of the project will be measured
    • Conclusion – established and/or expected clinical impact of the project
    • Email your submission to mshp@qabs.com with Best Residency Project Award Submission in the subject line.

    Garrison Award

    The Garrison award was established in 1985, named after Thomas Garrison for his long standing support of MSHP (past-president 1974-1976), ASHP (past-president 1984) and numerous professional and academic contributions to Pharmacy. The Garrison Award is presented each year in which a deserving candidate has been nominated in recognition of sustained contributions in multiple areas:

    • Outstanding accomplishment in practice in health-system pharmacy;
    • Outstanding poster or spoken presentation at a state or national meeting;
    • Publication in a nationally recognized pharmacy or medical journal;
    • Demonstrated activity with pharmacy students from St. Louis or the UMKC Schools of Pharmacy;
    • Development of an innovative service in a health-system pharmacy in either education, administration, clinical service, or distribution;
    • Contributions to the profession through service to ASHP, MSHP and/or local affiliates.

    Each letter of nomination must include:

    • Name, work address, and telephone number of nominee;
    • Name, work address, and telephone number of nominator;
    • Sufficient explanation and documentation of the nominee’s accomplishment(s) to allow a proper decision by the selection committee; and Curriculum Vitae of the Nominee.
    • To be considered for the Garrison Award, the nominee must be a current active member of the Missouri Society of Health-System Pharmacists. The winner will be selected by the Board of Directors of the MSHP Research and Education Foundation. Email your nomination to mshp@qabs.com with Garrison Award Submission in the subject line.

    Preceptor of the Year Award

    MSHP R&E Foundation is pleased to honor a health system pharmacist for outstanding service to the profession as a preceptor to pharmacy students and/or residents. Below are the Criteria and Procedures to nominate a preceptor for the award.


    • Must be a member of MSHP;
    • Must have been a clinical preceptor for minimum of 3 years;
    • Must have not received the award within the last five years; attention will be given to previous nominations.


    The award will be presented to a health system pharmacist that exemplifies the core values (Professionalism, Desire to educate and share knowledge with students, Willingness to mentor, Willingness to commit the time necessary for precepting, Respect for others, Willingness to work with a diverse student population) and the following characteristics:

    • Partner in education: Is actively involved in instructing and educating in pharmacy practice
    • Role model: Demonstrates willingness to mentor and serve as an example
    • Experience: Has depth of experience and knowledge in area of expertise
    • Coaching: Provides timely and meaningful feedback to the learner
    • Enthusiasm: Demonstrates passion towards the profession and advancement of practice
    • Professionalism: Conducts himself/herself with highest level of dignity and professionalism
    • Teamwork: Facilitates team work and approach to patient care
    • Opportunity: Creates innovative learning experiences and opportunities to for growth
    • Research: Makes regular contributions to the profession through papers or presentations
    • Education
    • Evaluation
    • Investment
    • Negotiation
    • Guidance
    Submit your Nomination

    Questions:  Please contact Jim Andrews at MSHP 

    Alternative Submission: Please briefly explain (in no more than 500 words) the ways in which the nominee models these core values. Email your submission to mshp@qabs.com with Preceptor of the Year Award Submission in the subject line.
  • 12 Jan 2018 10:47 AM | Deleted user

    Author: Elaine Ogden, PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM
    MSHP Secretary/Kansas City VA Medical Center


    The MSHP board is in the process of reviewing and updating all of our policies and plan to have all polices updated this year.
    • The MSHP board has been reviewing and collaborating with MHA regarding the role of technician certification...move to come so stay posted!!
    • Our membership committee is working on establishing a new practitioner committee - let us know if you are interested in being on the committee.
    • The programming committee is working closely with KCHP to standard the format for the Spring meeting!
    • The board is studying the strategic plan closely and working on each element for the new year!
    December: The board took a little holiday break, but are excited to get back to work in January!
  • 12 Jan 2018 9:45 AM | Deleted user

    MSHP Public Policy Committee
    Author: Amy Benson, PharmD, MHA
    MSHP Public Policy Chair/Director of Pharmacy at Liberty Hospital

    The MSHP Public Policy Committee has been receiving monthly reports from the Hospital Advisory Committee (HAC). The following information was submitted by Greg Teale, on behalf of the HAC:

    • In the past three months, the HAC has worked with the Board of Pharmacy, Department of Health and Senior Services and Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) to review the DHSS pharmacy regulations. Senate bill 501 required the removal of duplicative language from the DHSS regulations. The committee reviewed the current language and compared it with the CMS conditions of participation. The committee reviewed the current language and made recommendations to remove several sections that are already covered by CMS language.
    • The HAC was also provided language on expanded pharmacy technician roles developed in collaboration with MHA. This language would allow for hospitals to implement pharmacy technicians and/or pharmacy interns to check the work of another pharmacy technician or intern. There are requirements around quality assurance and patient safety. In addition, there was recommended language added to allow for electronic supervision of pharmacy technicians utilizing camera or video technology.
    • All of these changes were submitted in December to meet the deadline required by DHSS.
    • All of these recommendations will be open for comment in early 2018, with an expected implementation of July 2018.

    Practice Advancement Initiative
    Author: Daniel H. Good, MS, FASHP
    Regional Executive Director of Pharmacy-Mercy

    Do you remember the Medication Therapy Services (MTS) statute from 2007?

    Landmark Legislation for Missouri to grant pharmacists more opportunity to affect positive patient outcome in medication therapy?

    For the past 10 years, pharmacists across the state have been training and practicing MTS to the benefit of Missouri citizens. This past year, a coalition of pharmacists from MSHP, MPA, BoP, MHA and the Colleges of Pharmacy have been working together to take the MTS practice to the next level with a legislative proposal. The coalition has identified some best practice settings that maximize the MTS opportunities as well as identify additional professional services pharmacists could provide to patients if the regulations allowed. The coalition has asked the legislative pundits at MHA and MPA to work together to identify a Bill Sponsor in the Legislature and prepare a bill for consideration. The coalition is currently working on writing some short narratives and case studies to describe the benefits and potential benefits of pharmacy services in the current model and in the proposed future state. These narratives can be shared with key stakeholders and elected officials to gain support for this proposal. We are asking pharmacists to attend the Pharmacy Legislative Day on March 28th in Jefferson City and support this effort in your local communities.

    2018 Missouri Legislative Session
    Author: David Wolfrath, PharmD, MS
    Inpatient Pharmacy Manager: University of Missouri Hospital

    We are a little over a week into the 2018 Missouri Legislative session and there are many pharmacy-related bills that have been introduced. Representative Holly Rehder is again sponsoring her prescription drug monitoring program bill (House Bill 1619) which would establish the Narcotics Control Act. Another bill of interest is House Bill 1870. HB 1870 bill is sponsored by Representative Jay Barnes. HB 1870 would allow certain medications in multi-dose containers used by a patient during a hospital stay to be sent with the patient at discharge. As it remains very early in the legislative session, a hearing for this bill has not been filed yet. The language was derived from suggestions from several years ago from the DHSS Hospital Pharmacy Working Group draft rule that was not acted on. During recent Board of Pharmacy Hospital Advisory Committee review of the DHSS rules, the language was modified. This amended language is not included in the current version of the bill. HB 1870 can be found at: http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills181/hlrbillspdf/5479H.01I.pdf.

  • 06 Dec 2017 2:54 PM | Anonymous

    Monoclonal Antibodies Use in Clostridium Difficile Infections

    Authors: Karli Kurwicki, STLCOP Pharm.D. Candidate 2018
    Kendall Shultes, Pharm.D.

    Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs) affected approximately half a million patients in 2011 and its incidence continues to grow.1 CDIs are a major health concern as they can be associated with a mortality rate as high as 38%.2 CDIs add nearly $1 billion to the overall health-care related costs in the United States. A recurrence of CDI occurs in up to 35% of patients who have completed appropriate initial therapy.3 Patients who are associated with a higher risk of recurrent CDIs are age 65 years and older, severe initial CDI, use of proton-pump inhibitors or H2 receptor antagonists, prolonged hospitalization, and current use of antibiotics for other infections.4 With the high incidence of recurrence and growing costs, studies have sought additional therapies for treating and preventing CDIs. Studies have shown the benefit of monoclonal antibodies in both the initial treatment and prevention of CDI recurrence and may fill that niche.

    The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) clinical practice guidelines recommend either vancomycin 125 mg by mouth four times daily or metronidazole 500 mg by mouth three times daily for 10-14 days for mild, moderate, and severe uncomplicated infections. Severe, complicated infections are treated more aggressively with a combination of vancomycin 500 mg by mouth and metronidazole 500 mg intravenously. SHEA and IDSA guidelines recommend this same treatment strategy for the first recurrence of CDI.5

    In current practice, metronidazole is generally considered first line treatment for the initial CDI and recurrence of CDI. A recently published retrospective study comparing vancomycin and metronidazole treatment demonstrated that patients with severe CDI who received vancomycin had a statistically significant lower rate of mortality compared to patients who were given metronidazole (p = 0.01) however, there was no statistical or clinical difference between vancomycin and metronidazole in the prevention of CDI recurrence. As these medications are the mainstay of therapy but do not prevent the recurrence of CDIs, there is a need for a preventative agent to help lower the risk of recurrence.6

    CDIs are caused by two exotoxins, TcdA and TcdB. Toxins TcdA and TcdB are found in healthy individuals’ gastrointestinal tract. When a patient is exposed to antibiotics, the activity against the natural bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract compromises the body’s natural defense against CDIs. This allows the toxins to bind to cell receptors in the gastrointestinal tract and upon entry into the cell, inactivate enzymes that lead to the release of interleukin 8 (IL-8) and an increase in cell permeability. The release of IL-8 and increased permeability of the cells leads to severe diarrhea that can occur several times per day.7

    Monoclonal antibodies, such as actoxumab and bezlotoxumab, which bind to toxins A and B respectively, have shown great promise for preventing recurrence in patients who have had CDIs through neutralizing toxins and preventing binding to cells in the gastrointestinal tract.8 Two clinical trials, MODIFY I and MODIFY II, recently studied the use of monoclonal antibodies in the prevention of recurrent CDIs. Subjects in these trials were randomized to receive either bezlotoxumab 10 mg/kilogram (kg) alone, bezlotoxumab and actoxumab 10 mg/kg each, actoxumab 10 mg/kg alone in MODIFY I, or placebo in addition to their standard of care antibiotics which included vancomycin, metronidazole, or fidaxomicin. MODIFY I showed that actoxumab alone did not demonstrate efficacy and had more deaths and adverse effects associated with its therapy so it was not analyzed in MODIFY II. If randomized to the treatment group, patients received one 60-minute infusion along with their standard of care antibiotics as indicated above. Both studies demonstrated that bezlotoxumab statistically significantly decreased the recurrence of CDIs compared to placebo, MODIFY I 28% vs 17%, and MODIFY II 26% vs 16%, each p< 0.001. These trials also demonstrated that subjects receiving bezlotoxumab alone compared to placebo had improved sustained clinical cure rates (MODIFY I 60% vs. 55%; MODIFY II 67% vs. 52%). The results were statistically significant in MODIFY II (p< 0.001). Common adverse effects reported in the treatment groups from MODIFY I and II were headache, nausea, and diarrhea.3

    Based on trials, bezlotoxumab is FDA approved for use in patients greater or equal to 18 years old who are receiving antibiotic treatment for a CDI and who have a high risk of recurrent CDI.9 Bezlotoxumab is given as a one-time infusion at 10 mg/kg given over 60 minutes. Bezlotoxumab needs to be given with a low protein binding filter (0.2-5 microns) and should be diluted prior to use with 0.9% sodium chloride or 5% dextrose. Once it has been diluted, bezlotoxumab can be stored at room temperature for 16 hours or in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Common adverse effects associated with bezlotoxumab are nausea, pyrexia, and headache. In clinical trials, patients with a history of heart failure who received bezlotoxumab experienced a worsening of their heart failure and it should be used cautiously in this patient population.9

    Another agent with a similar mechanism of action as monoclonal antibodies is intravenous immune globulin (IVIG). It works by neutralizing toxins A and B to provide passive immunity against Clostridium difficile toxins. IVIG, although does not have FDA approval for use in recurrent CDI prevention, is currently used last line for CDIs as a salvage treatment and is reserved for use in severe, complicated CDIs when patients do not respond to other available therapies.5 Treatment of CDIs with IVIG in combination with metronidazole and vancomycin has been shown to decrease the rate of recurrence of CDIs by up to 14%.10 Unfortunately, a dose and duration for IVIG has not been standardized for the treatment of CDIs. A dose that has been studied for treatment of severe CDI is a single 400 mg/kg dose either three times weekly or as two single doses.11 Common adverse effects of IVIG are headache, pyrexia, edema, fatigue, nausea, and hypotension.12

    CDI is a major healthcare problem affecting the United States and as the mortality rates for CDIs continue to grow, it is important to find a treatment that helps the initial cure rates and decreases the recurrence of CDIs. Monoclonal antibodies have shown great benefit in reducing the recurrence of CDIs when used with standard of care antibiotics. Although expensive, they offer promise in decreasing mortality associated with CDIs. As research continues, monoclonal antibodies, such as bezlotoxumab, should be added into clinical practice guidelines to increase initial clinical cure rates, decrease recurrence, and decrease mortality caused by Clostridium difficile infections.


    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthcare-associated infections: Clostridium difficile infections. https://www.cdc.gov/hai/organisms/cdiff/cdiff_infect.html. Feb 25, 2015. Updated March 1, 2016. Cited July 9, 2017.
    2. Mitchell BG, Gardner A. Morality and Clostridium difficile infection: a review. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2012;1(20):1-6.
    3. Wilcox MH, Gerding DN, Poxton IR, et al. Bezlotoxumab for prevention of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(4):305-317.
    4. Kelly CP. Can we identify patients at high risk of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection? Clin Microbiol Infect. 2012;6:21-27.
    5. Cohen SH, Gerding DN, Johnson S, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for Clostridium difficile infections in adults: 2010 updated by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010;31(5):431-455.
    6. Stevens VW, Nelson RE, Schwab EM, et al. Comparative effectiveness of vancomycin and metronidazole for the prevention of recurrence and death in patients with Clostridium difficile infection. JAMA Intern Med. 2017:E1-E8. 
    7. Castagliuolo I, LaMont JT. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of Clostridium difficile infection. Keio J Med. 1999;48(4):169-174.
    8. Yang Z, Ramsey J, Hamza T, et al. Mechanisms of protection against Clostridium difficile infection by the monoclonal antitoxin antibodies actoxumab and bezlotoxumab. J Infect. 2015;83(2):822-831. 
    9. Zinplava (bezlotoxumab) [package insert]. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck & Co., Inc., 2016.
    10. Zhao S, Chose-Paul G, Zhang K, et al. Immune-based treatment and prevention of Clostridium difficile infection. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2014;10(12):3522-3530.
    11. Abourgeri MS, Kwon JH. Intravenous immunoglobulin for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection: a review. Dig Dis Sci. 2011;56:19-26.
    12. Gammaplex (intravenous immune globulin) [package insert]. Esltree, Hertforshire: Bio Products Laboratory Limited, 2015. 

  • 17 Nov 2017 11:38 AM | Deleted user

    Review of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitor Induced Angioedema and Current Pharmacologic Treatment Options

    Authors: Angela Chu, Pharm.D.; Truman Medical Centers PGY-1 Pharmacy Resident
    Kerra A. Cissne, Pharm.D.; Truman Medical Centers PGY-2 Critical Care Pharmacy Resident

    Program Number: 2017-11-01
    Approval Dates: 12/06/17 – 03/06/2018
    Approved Contact Hours: One (1) CE(s) per LIVE session.
    Submit Answers to CE Questions to Jim Andrews at: mshp@qabs.com

    MeSH terms: angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angioedema, hereditary angioedema, bradykinin, icatibant, C1-esterase inhibitor, kallikrein, emergency department

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Review the incidence and severity of ACE-i induced angioedema.

    2. Discuss the proposed mechanism of ACE-i induced angioedema.

    3. Review standard treatment options for acute complications of ACE-i induced angioedema.

    4. Evaluate literature regarding novel treatment options.

    5. Assess clinical recommendations of treatment options and future directions for therapy.

    Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-i) are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States owing to their utility across multiple disease states. Examples of these are captopril, enalapril and lisinopril. A rare, but potentially life-threatening, side effect of this drug class is angioedema. Angioedema is swelling of the soft tissues involving the deep dermal, subcutaneous and/or mucosal layers.1,2 It can affect any area of the body but is most commonly seen in the lips and face. If involvement of the larynx or pharynx is present, the risk of airway compromise increases drastically. This complication of ACE-i therapy is relatively rare, consistently reported as an incidence of 0.1 to 0.7%.1 Certain risk factors such as African-American race, concomitant non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use and C1-esterase inhibitor abnormalities have been suggested, but are difficult to link directly.1,3

    Proposed Pathophysiology

    The leading hypothesis behind the mechanism of ACE-i induced angioedema involves a pathological buildup of a naturally occurring substance, bradykinin. ACE-i work by inhibiting angiotensin-converting enzyme in the lung that blocks the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II, thereby producing a vasodilatory effect. However, angiotensin-converting enzyme is responsible for the inactivation of bradykinin, an endogenous substance which vasodilates and increases capillary permeability, subsequently leading to vascular fluid leak and edema.4 It is hypothesized that in the setting of ACE inhibition, bradykinin metabolism is shifted to a host of other metabolic processes, some of which are potential drug targets. C1-esterase inhibitors (C1-INH) cleave factor XIIa to kallikrein, an enzyme that cleaves kininogen to its active form of bradykinin.5 Novel pharmacologic agents have been developed to target these enzymes and will be discussed further in this article.

    Standard of Care Treatments

    In contrast to other related disease states such as hereditary angioedema (HAE), treatment for ACE-i induced angioedema is based on less robust data and management is often comprised of supportive care. While ACE-i induced angioedema is frequently transient, self-limiting and self-resolving, a certain subset of patients will experience a more severe reaction. These patients may require airway intervention (intubation, cricothyrotomy, etc.) secondary to severe edema which may obstruct the patient’s airway.6 Management strategies have included a range of treatments from observation to administration of antihistamines, corticosteroids and intramuscular epinephrine. Based on the proposed mechanism of ACE-i induced angioedema, these pharmacologic interventions rarely have a full therapeutic effect in severe cases.

    Novel Pharmacologic Agents

    Although the exact mechanism of ACE-i angioedema has not been proven, the proposed link to bradykinin receptor activation – similar to hereditary angioedema – may help guide treatment. In 2013, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) conducted a systematic review to develop a clinical practice statement regarding the evaluation and treatment of ACE-i angioedema.6 A total of 27 studies were included for review. However, there was a lack of strong evidence to support any particular pharmacologic treatment and the AAEM could not make a formal recommendation regarding treatment. The following sections summarize off-label uses of novel agents that could potentially treat ACE-i angioedema emergently.

    Bradykinin (B2) Receptor Antagonist

    The most studied novel agent to treat ACE-i angioedema is icatibant. Icatibant is a synthetic, competitive bradykinin (B2) receptor antagonist that is not susceptible to bradykinin degrading enzymes, such as carboxypeptidase N or angiotensin-converting enzyme.7,8 Icatibant is a subcutaneous injection dosed at 30 milligrams (mg) and may be re-administered every 6 hours for 3 doses should symptoms worsen7 In a small case series conducted by Bas et al, 30 mg of icatibant was administered to eight patients diagnosed with ACE-i angioedema in the emergency department (ED).8 When icatibant was compared to a historical group of 47 patients treated with methylprednisolone and clemastine, icatibant had a mean time to first symptom improvement of 50.6 minutes, reduced mean time to complete resolution (4.4 hours vs. 33 hours, respectively), did not require tracheostomy or intubation (0 respiratory interventions vs. 5 respiratory interventions, respectively) nor redosing (0 second doses vs. 12 second doses of methylprednisolone). The only adverse effect patients experienced was injection site reaction.

    In a second case series conducted by Bova et al, thirteen patients with ACE-i angioedema were treated with standard therapy (epinephrine, corticosteroids and/or antihistamines) without relief of symptoms in the ED.9 The patients then received 30 mg of icatibant and saw a median time to symptom relief of 30 minutes, median time to complete resolution of 5 hours, did not have to receive tracheostomy or intubation, did not have to be redosed and only experienced injection site reactions. Of these 13 patients, 10 had a history of ACE-i angioedema and were compared to their icatibant treatment. Compared to previously received standard therapy alone, these patients had a significantly worse median time to complete resolution of 54 hours (p=0.002).

    Bas et al conducted a multicenter, double-blind, double-dummy, randomized phase two study comparing 30 mg of icatibant (n=13) versus standard therapy of intravenous prednisolone and clemastine (n=14) in ACE-i angioedema patients in the ED.10 Icatibant versus standard therapy resulted in a reduced median time to onset of symptom relief (2 hours vs. 11.7 hours, respectively, p=0.03) and a reduced median time to complete resolution (8 hours vs. 27.1 hours, respectively, p=0.002). Similarly to previously reported studies, icatibant was only associated with injection site reactions whereas one patient in the standard therapy group received a tracheostomy.

    Sinert et al conducted the first phase three, randomized, double-blind clinical trial comparing icatibant 30 mg (n=61) versus placebo (n=60) injection in moderately severe or worse ACE-i angioedema.11 All participants were administered standard of care treatment, then study drug if not improved. Unlike previously published studies, they did not find a clinically significant difference in median time to discharge (4 hours for both groups, p=0.63) nor median time to onset of symptom relief (2 hours for icatibant vs. 1.6 hours for placebo, p=0.57). Both groups had a similar overall rate of adverse effects with injection site reaction occurring more frequently in the icatibant group. Only one patient in the icatibant group required endotracheal intubation. The authors cited potential reasons for study result differences including delay in study drug administration as compared to other studies, possible non-bradykinin mediated angioedema, increased African-American patients who may be more susceptible to bradykinin-mediated angioedema and the predominant use of lisinopril which has a short half-life compared to other ACE-i. More studies to validate these results are needed to develop a strong recommendation for or against icatibant use.

    C1-esterase Inhibitor (C1-INH) Concentrates

    C1-INH concentrates have only been trialed in HAE patients and the couple of case reports done in ACE-i angioedema patients have shown symptom relief, but randomized, controlled trials are still needed to confirm this off-label use in ACE-i angioedema.12,13 Patients with HAE types I or II have a deficiency in either the quantity or function of C1-INH, respectively.14 Human plasma derived C1-INH concentrates have been developed to restore this enzyme in these patients to decrease the activation of bradykinin.5 Three human derived products – Berinert®, Cinryze® and Haegarda® – and one recombinant product – Ruconest® – have been FDA approved to treat hereditary angioedema. These agents are dosed by body weight and administered through intravenous injection.

    Craig et al performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II/III study to compare Berinert®, a C1-INH concentrate, 10 international units per kilogram (IU/kg, n=39) versus 20 IU/kg (n=43) versus placebo (n=42) in the acute treatment of abdominal and facial angioedema in HAE patients.14 Berinert® dosed at 20 IU/kg was significantly reduced the median time to onset of symptom relief compared to placebo (0.5 hours vs. 1.5 hours, respectively, p=0.0025) and median time to complete resolution (4.92 hours vs. 7.79 hours, p=0.0237). Berinert® dosed at 10 IU/kg, however, did not yield statistically significant median time to onset of symptom relief compared to placebo (1.17 hours vs. 1.5 hours, respectively, p=0.2731). Berinert® patients experienced fewer adverse effects compared to placebo with headache, abdominal pain and nausea being the most commonly reported events.

    In 2011, Craig et al conducted a follow-up study to assess long-term safety and efficacy of Berinert® 20 IU/kg (n=57) in treating any type of HAE angioedema in all patients who had previously been enrolled in their study.15 Median time to onset of symptom relief remained similar to their previous study at 0.46 hours. There were more adverse events noted in more patients but a relatively low incidence amongst total attacks (n=1085), with headache and abdominal pain still being the most common.

    Zuraw et al conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial comparing C1-INH concentrate dosed at 1000 IU/kg (n=35) versus placebo (n=33).16 Median time to onset of relief was significantly reduced in patients who received the C1-INH concentrate versus placebo at 2 hours versus over 4 hours, respectively (p=0.02). Twenty-three patients in the treatment group and 28 patients in the placebo group received a second dose after one hour if symptoms still existed or worsened. Median time to complete resolution remained significantly better in the treatment group at 12.3 hours versus 25 hours, respectively (p=0.004). A larger, open-label study echo similar results.17

    Although ACE-i angioedema patients have functional C1-INH, these agents may still be useful to further decrease bradykinin activation to hasten symptom resolution.

    Kallikrein Inhibitor

    As discussed previously, kallikrein is responsible for cleaving bradykinin from its inactive precursor. As bradykinin is the most likely culprit for angioedema complications, a drug to target kallikrein would in theory prevent its production.

    Ecallantide (trade name Kalbitor) is a recombinant plasma kallikrein inhibitor. It was approved by the Food and Drug administration (FDA) in 2009 for HAE. In order to evaluate its use in ACE-i induced angioedema, a phase 2, triple blind, randomized controlled study was conducted. Study patients included those in the ED in which corticosteroids and antihistamines failed.18 Groups included treatment with ecallantide versus placebo with the option for open label ecallantide. The primary efficacy endpoint was defined as meeting predetermined criteria for ED discharge within four hours of treatment. Fifty patients were randomized, 26 to ecallantide and 24 to placebo. Thirty-one percent of patients in the treatment arm met the primary outcome criteria, while 21% of the placebo group did the same (95% CI, -14% to 34%). These results are not statistically significant but the study was likely underpowered with a small number of randomized patients. No adverse events were attributed to study drug administration.

    Lewis and colleagues carried out a phase 2, double blind, placebo controlled trial comparing three different strengths of ecallantide (10mg, 30 mg and 60 mg) versus placebo.19 The primary endpoint included discharge within six hours. At an interim analysis, the study was halted due to an overwhelming response rate in all arms. Of note, the treatment group experienced new or worsening angioedema, affecting 20 ecallantide-treated patients as opposed to 4 patients in the placebo group.

    Of import, ecallantide has not yet been compared to other target-specific therapies in the setting of ACE-I induced angioedema. Therefore, it is difficult to place it in a certain order while considering other treatment options.

    Reactions associated with ecallantide are generally mild and include headache, nausea, fatigue and diarrhea.20 However, with a boxed warning for anaphylaxis of 4% within one hour, it is difficult to recommend this drug even in the emergent setting.21

    Fresh Frozen Plasma

    Owing to its proposed mechanism, angioedema has intermittently been treated using fresh frozen plasma or FFP. While levels of bradykinin theoretically climb, administration of FFP can inhibit this process to some degree by providing kininase II – identical to angiotensin converting enzyme.22

    In a case series by Hassen et al, seven patients were identified as having “refractory” angioedema.23 They were treated with corticosteroids, antihistamines and epinephrine before FFP was administered. While their swelling had progressed with previous treatments, it either stopped or seemed to resolve within 2 to 4 hours of FFP administration. Dosing was variable based on provider’s preference and ranged from 1 to 3 units per patient. The authors note that this was a retrospective review, limiting the conclusions that may be drawn from the events.

    A single case study by Chayaa et al re-demonstrated a similar scenario in which a patient with refractory ACE-i induced angioedema was successfully treated with FFP.24 In the emergency department, he received the familiar cocktail including corticosteroids, antihistamines and epinephrine but still required intubation. A fiberoptic nasal intubation was unsuccessful due to the amount of swelling so a cricothyroidotomy was performed, after which the patient desaturated and eventually required emergent tracheostomy. Two units of FFP were administered postoperatively and his symptoms resolved completely within four hours.

    FFP is not a benign product and has numerous potential adverse effects including delay from preparation to administration, potential for viral transmission and volume overload with particular concern in patients with heart failure. Of particular note, FFP does contain bradykinin so this may exacerbate symptoms, particularly in a patient with HAE.22 These characteristics should be considered when developing a patient’s treatment algorithm.

    Clinical Recommendation and Future Directions

    The exact mechanism of ACE-i angioedema still needs to be further elucidated in order to develop targeted treatment options. Novel therapies are aimed at proposed mechanisms based on what is known about hereditary angioedema. Reducing bradykinin concentration either through C1-esterase or kallikrein inhibition and directly antagonizing bradykinin receptors are the underlying concepts to novel therapy options. While limited studies and case reports suggest successful treatment with bradykinin inhibitors, C1-esterase inhibitor concentrates, kallikrein inhibitors and fresh frozen plasma, their routine use cannot be recommended at this time. Additional large, placebo or standard therapy controlled, randomized trials are needed to validate published literature regarding potential treatment options. However, standard therapy with epinephrine, corticosteroids and antihistamines have yielded poor results in treatment efficacy and the novel agents detailed in this article should be considered during treatment failure or severe exacerbation.

    CE Questions

    1. Which part of the body may be affected by ACE-i induced angioedema?

    a. Hands
    b. Lips
    c. Larynx
    d. All of the above

    2. Which of the following drug regimens are considered standard therapy for ACE-i induced angioedema?

    a. Fresh frozen plasma + antihistamines=
    b. Corticosteroids alone
    c. Antihistamines + corticosteroids + epinephrine
    d. None of the above

    3. Which of the following molecules is most often attributed to the pathophysiologic dysfunction in ACE-i induced angioedema?

    a. Angiotensin converting enzyme
    b. Kininogen
    c. Kallikrein
    d. Bradykinin

    4. What is the most clinically relevant adverse effect associated with ecallantide therapy?

    a. Headache
    b. Anaphylaxis
    c. Thromboembolism
    d. Gastrointestinal hemorrhage

    5. Based on published case reports, what is the most common dosing range of FFP in refractory ACE-i induced angioedema?

    a. One to three units
    b. Three to five units
    c. Five to seven units
    d. Seven to ten units

    6. What is the recommended dose of icatibant for ACE-i induced angioedema?

    a. 10 mg
    b. 20 mg
    c. 30 mg
    d. 60 mg

    7. What is the most common adverse drug reaction to icatibant?

    a. Angioedema
    b. Injection site reaction
    c. Nausea
    d. Headache

    8. What is the mechanism of C1-esterase inhibitors?

    a. Cleaves factor XII to kallikrein
    b. Antagonizes bradykinin receptors
    c. Breaks down kininogen
    d. Breaks down bradykinin

    9. Berinert® is FDA approved for which indication?

    a. ACE-i induced angioedema
    b. IgE mediated allergic reaction
    c. Hereditary angioedema
    d. Hypertension

    10. The American Academy of Emergency Medicine recommends what therapy for ACE-i induced angioedema?

    a. Icatibant
    b. Ecallantide
    c. FFP
    d. No therapy can be recommended at this time

    Submit your answers for CE Credit


    1. Kaufman MB. ACE inhibitor–related angioedema: are your patients at risk? P T. 2013;38(3):170-172.

    2. Roberts JR, Lee JJ, Mathers DA. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor angioedema: the silent epidemic. Am J Cardiol. 2012;109:774–777.

    3. Inomata N. Recent advances in drug-induced angioedema. Allergol Int. 2012;61:545-557.

    4. Cugno M, Nussburger J, Cicardi M, et al. Bradykinin and the pathophysiology of angioedema. Int Immunopharmacol. 2013; 3(3):311-317.

    5. Farkas H, Varga L. Human plasma-derived, nanofiltered, C1-inhibitor concentrate (Cinryze®), a novel therapeutic alternative for the management of hereditary angioedema resulting from C1-inhibitor deficiency. Biol Ther. 2012 May; 2(2):1-17.

    6. Winters ME, Rosenbaum S, Vilke GM, Almazroua FY. Emergency department management of patients with ACE-inhibitor angioedema. J Emerg Med. 2013 Nov; 45(5):775-80.

    7. Lexicomp [Internet]. Hudson (OH): Lexicomp Inc. c.1978-2017. Icatibant, Mechanism of action, Dosing: adult; [cited 2017 Sep 24]; [2 screens]. Available from: http://lexicomp.com.

    8. Bas M, Greve J, Stelter K, et al. Therapeutic efficacy of icatibant in angioedema induced by angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors: A case series. Ann Emerg Med. 2010 Sept; 56(3):278-82.

    9. Bova M, Guilarte M, Sala-Cunill A, et al. Treatment of ACEI-related angioedema with icatibant: a case series. Intern Emerg Med. 2015; 10:345-50.

    10. Bas M, Greve J, Stelter K, et al. A randomized trial of icatibant in ACE-inhibitor-induced angioedema. N Engl J Med. 2015 Jan; 372(5):418-25.

    11. Sinert R, Levy P, Bernstein JA, et al. Randomized trial of icatibant for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor-induced upper airway angioedema. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2017 May; 5(5):1402-09.e3.

    12. Lipski SM, Casimir G, Vanlommel M, et al. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors-induced angioedema treated by C1 esterase inhibitor concentrate (Berinert®): about one case and review of the therapeutic arsenal. Clin Case Rep. 2015 Feb; 3(2):126–130.

    13. Gurmen ES, Dogan S, Sert E, et al. Effect of C1 esterase inhibitor in hereditary angioedema treatment. Ann Emerg Med. 2017: 942.e5-e6.

    14. Craig TJ, Levy RJ, Wasserman RL, et al. Efficacy of human C1 esterase inhibitor concentrate compared with placebo in acute hereditary angioedema attacks. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Oct; 124(4):801-8.

    15. Craig TJ, Bewtra AK, Bahna SL, et al. C1 esterase inhibitor concentrate in 1085 hereditary angioedema attacks - final results of the I.M.P.A.C.T.2 study. Allergy. 2011; 66:1604-11.

    16. Zuraw BL, Busse PJ, White Mhttp://lexicomp.com, et al. Nanofiltered C1 inhibitor concentrate for treatment of hereditary angioedema. N Engl J Med. 2010 Aug; 363(6):513-22.

    17. Riedl MA, Hurewitz DS, Levy R, et al. Nanofiltered C1 esterase inhibitor (human) for the treatment of acute attacks of hereditary angioedema: an open-label trial. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2012 Jan; 108(1):49-53.

    18. Bernstein JA, Moellman JJ, Collins SP. Effectiveness of ecallantide in treating angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor-induced angioedema in the emergency department. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2015; 114:245-249.

    19. Lewis LM, Graffeo C, Crosley P, et al. Ecallantide for the acute treatment of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor-induced angioedema: a multicenter, randomized, controlled study. Ann Emerg Med. 2015; 65(2):204-213.

    20. Levy RJ, Lumry WR, McNeil DL, et al. EDEMA4: a phase 3, double-blind study of subcutaneous ecallantide treatment for acute attacks of hereditary angioedema. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2010; 104(6):523.

    21. Lexicomp [Internet]. Hudson (OH): Lexicomp Inc. c.1978-2017. Ecallantide, Mechanism of action, Warnings; [cited 2017 Sep 24]; [2 screens]. Available from: http://lexicomp.com.

    22. Tharayil AM, Chanda AH, Shiekh HA, et al. Life threatening angioedema in a patient on ACE inhibitor (ACEI) confined to the upper airway. Qatar Med J. 2014, 2014:92-97.

    23. Hassen GW, Kalantari H, Parraga M. Fresh frozen plasma for progressive and refractory angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor-induced angioedema. J Emerg Med. 2013; 44(4):764.

    24. Chaaya G, Afridi A, Faiz A. When nothing else works: fresh frozen plasma in the treatment of progressive, refractory angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor-induced angioedema. Cureus. 9(1):e972.

  • 17 Nov 2017 11:16 AM | Deleted user

    Vancomycin Utilization in the Obese Population and Future Monitoring Strategies

    Authors: Ryan Buckman, UMKC Pharm.D. Candidate, 2018
    Kathryn Burnett, Pharm.D., Kansas City VAMC PGY-2 Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Resident

    Vancomycin was isolated in 1957 by an Eli Lilly chemist, Dr. E.C. Kornfield, from a soil sample collected in the jungle of Borneo.1,2 The sample was isolated from a fungus that yielded bactericidal activity against Staphylococci. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fast tracked the compound, due to concerns over growing resistance of Staphylococci. The compound was given the generic name vancomycin, a term derived from the word vanquish.1,2 Fast forward nearly 60 years and there is still controversy surrounding the optimal dose monitoring parameters for vancomycin.

    Vancomycin is a glycopeptide antibiotic widely used in the United States for serious gram-positive infections involving methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Vancomycin exhibits multicompartmental pharmacokinetics. Several strategies have been studied to determine pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics monitoring parameters for predicting vancomycin outcomes. Strategies for dose monitoring include: percentage of time the dosing interval that the drug concentration remains above the minimum inhibitory concentration (T>MIC), the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC): MIC ratio, and the maximum concentration: MIC (Cmax: MIC) ratio. Optimal dosing and monitoring for vancomycin will assist in reducing the occurrence of subtherapeutic and supratherapeutic levels leading to resistance and/or toxicity.

    In 2009, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), Infectious Diseases Society of America (ISDA), and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) addressed vancomycin therapeutic drug monitoring.11 The panel recommended that trough serum vancomycin concentrations, as a marker for AUC, as the most accurate and practical method at monitoring vancomycin effectiveness (Level of evidence II, Grade B). Trough concentrations should be measured at steady-state, which occurs approximately before the fourth dose. Dosing is based on actual body weight and concentrations of 15-20mg/kg every 8-12 hours to be utilized in complicated infections for most patients (normal renal function) to achieve target concentrations.11 Trough concentrations of 15 to 20 μg/mL to achieve efficacy in complicated infections while maintaining trough concentrations > 10 μg/mL to prevent the development of resistance.

    According to the current consensus recommendation, vancomycin dosages should be calculated on adjusted body weight (ABW) for all patients, including the obese population, and then adjusted based on serum vancomycin concentrations to achieve therapeutic trough concentrations.

    Challenges with Vancomycin Dosing in Obese Patients A 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition examination survey revealed more than 78 million (35.7%) adults in the United States are obese (body mass index (BMI) > 30kg/m2).5 Projections for 2030 estimate more than half of adults in the U.S. will be obese.8 These numbers are concerning because obesity is associated with an increased risk of infection, as well as increased morbidity and mortality.5,6 Vancomycin dosing for obese and extremely obese patients provides challenges. Increase in body weight can affect vancomycin pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. It has been observed that obese patients display physiological changes that include increased adipose tissue and muscle mass that can alter vancomycin’s volume of distribution.1,2 Additionally, increased kidney mass, increased renal blood flow, increased creatinine clearance and increased vancomycin clearance.1,2,4 Due to the altered physiological changes and dosing challenges, obese patients may be at greater risk for nephrotoxicity.

    Dosing Strategies
    Divided load strategy
    Denetclaw and colleagues developed a divided-load dosing strategy for obese patients. The study was designed as an 8-month prospective, uncontrolled analysis of 54 patients at a single community hospital. Patients initially received 750mg, 1000mg, or 1250mg dose intravenously every 6 hours. The initial dose given was based upon patient’s ideal body weight ≥ 137% and body weight ±83 kg IBW (Table 1). The first trough concentration was drawn before the third dose. If the first pre-steady state trough concentration was within target range, then the initial dose was maintained and frequency was altered according to estimated creatinine clearance using the modified Cockcroft-Gault equation (Table 2 and 3). If first pre-steady state trough concentration was below range then the initial frequency was maintained and a second pre-steady state trough concentration was drawn before the fifth dose. If the second trough was within goal range then they followed the previous mentioned strategy of maintaining dose and adjusted the frequency of administration (Table 4). If either of the two troughs were above target range the dose was held and then restarted with the same initial dose but change in frequency according to estimated creatinine clearance and followed traditional dosing guidelines. They found that 89% of patients exhibited pre-steady-state concentrations between 10 to 20 µg/mL with 12 hours after dose initiation. The mean non-steady-state concentration was 14.5 ± 3.2 µg/mL.

    Based upon the study protocol developed by Denetclaw and colleagues, Dr. Burnett implemented a divided-load dosing strategy in morbidly obese patients assessed in an urban hospital. The study sought to determine the safety and efficacy of the alternative dosing strategy. The study was designed as a retrospective study that examined patients who met inclusion criteria between December 2015 and March 2016 for a baseline group and from December 2016 to March 2017 for divided dose implementation group.

    Utilizing the primary outcome measure of percentage of time in therapeutic range after maintenance regimen had been initiated, 36 of 99 patients reached target trough concentrations and were in the therapeutic range 41.9% ± 22.5% in the pre-implementation group. In the divided-dose group 11 of 19 patients reached target trough concentrations and were in the therapeutic range 24.4% ± 26.1%. The results revealed no statistical significance between the two groups (pre 41.9 + 22.5% vs post 35.6 + 34.4; p=0.579). A limitation of small sample size was due to patients missing doses, levels not drawn per protocol and vancomycin therapy being discontinued prior to a level being drawn during the maintenance regimen. The results were not anticipated for the divided-dose patients based upon the study done by Denetclaw et al.

    Allometric strategy
    Brown and colleagues examined allometric versus consensus dosing strategies to achieve target vancomycin trough concentrations.7 Allometric dosing aims to optimize empirical therapy across all body weights by improving the attainment of target drug concentrations. Allometric theory can be used to extrapolate drug dosing that utilizes a two-variable mathematical power to approximate doses according to body size. Dosing was based upon allometric equation, which is expressed as follows: allometric dose (mg) = average dose (mg) X {TBW (kg) / average TBW (kg)] β, where β is the allometric exponent that is scaled according to patient’s body size.7 The trial was a retrospective pre-and post-protocol implementation from January to June 2013 and January to June 2014. The primary outcome measure was percentage of patients achieving initial vancomycin trough concentrations between 10-20 mg/L. Eighty-one patients were included in each group. Allometric dosing resulted in 77% of patients achieving vancomycin trough concentration targets versus 57% for consensus guideline dosing.7 Since allometric dosing adjusts for patient’s body size, use could be considered for obese patients.

    Even though vancomycin has been around for decades, dosing methods have varied and leaders in the area are still determining the best strategy. The 2009 consensus statement recommended trough levels to determine vancomycin effectiveness because of its practicality and relative accuracy. Although this model can be applied to most patients with reliable results, in obese patients dosing provides challenges due to physiological changes that can alter vancomycin volume of distribution. Dr. Burnett and others have studied divided dosing in obesity with mixed results but more data needs to be obtained to determine utility of this strategy in therapy. The updated consensus statement for vancomycin will include AUC/MIC as the preferred monitoring method over trough concentrations based on discussion from Michael Ryback, PharmD, MPH at IDWeek 2017. This method of dosing and monitoring will hopefully obtain better outcomes for all subsets of patients and reduce the development of resistance.


    1. Davies SW, Efird JT, Girdry CA, et al. Vancomycin-associated nephrotoxicity: The obesity factor.
    2. Denetclaw TH, Yu MK, Moua M, et al. Performance of a divided-load intravenous vancomycin dosing strategy for obese patients. Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 2015; 49(8): 861-868.
    3. Rybak MJ, Lomaestro B, Rotschafer JC, et al. Therapeutic monitoring of vancomycin in adults: Summary of consensus recommendations from the American Society of Heath-System Pharmacists, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2009; 66: 82- 98.
    4. Grace E. Altered vancomycin pharmacokinetics in obese and morbidly obese patients: What we have learned over the past 30 years. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2012; 67; 1305-1310.
    5. Ogden CL, Carrol MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity in the United States, 2009-2010. United States Department of Health and Human Services: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Available at www. Cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db82.pdf Accessed 08/22/2017.
    6. Wang YC, McPherson K, Marsh T, et al. Health and economic burden of the projected obesity trends in the USA and the UK. Lancet. 2011; 379 (9793): 815-825.
    7. Brown ML, Hutchison AM, McAtee AM et al. Allometric versus consensus guideline dosing in achieving target vancomycin trough concentrations. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2017; 74: e312-e320.
    8. Holmes NE, Tumidge JD, Munchof WJ et al. Vancomycin AUC/MIC ratio and 30-day mortality in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia. Antimicrobial Agents in Chemotherapy. 2013; 57(4): 1654-1663.
    9. Moellering RC. Vancomycin: A 50-year reassessment. Clin Infect Diseases. 2006; 42: s1-4.
    10. Morill HJ, Caffrey AR, Noh E, et al. Vancomycin dosing considerations in a real-world cohort of obese and extremely obese patients. Pharmacotherapy. 2015; 35(9): 869-875.
    11. Moise-Broder PA, Forrest A, Birmingham MC, et al. Pharmacodynamics of vancomycin and other antimicrobials in patients with Staphylococcus aureus lower respiratory tract infections. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2004;43(13):925-42.
    12. Rubinstein E, Keynan Y. Vancomycin revisted-60 years later. 2014; 217(2): 1-7.
  • 17 Nov 2017 11:03 AM | Deleted user

    Megan Griffey; UMKC PharmD Candidate, Class of 2018,
    Diane McClaskey, RPh, BCPS: Assistant Director of Experiential Learning-UMKC at MSU,
    Valerie Ruehter, PharmD, BCPP; Director of Experiential Learning-UMKC

    The role of a pharmacist in the health care system continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Pharmacists are becoming more involved in every aspect of patient care. While, many pharmacists across the nation may be utilizing the similar guidelines, dosing protocols, and thought processes, until 2014 there was not an agreed upon consistent patient care process. The vision of the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP) is to see patients achieve optimal health and medication outcomes with pharmacists as essential and accountable providers within patient-centered, team-based healthcare. The JCPP, seeing a need for consistency in the profession, developed the standardized Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process (PPCP).

    The PPCP was developed to be a contemporary and comprehensive approach to promote consistency across the profession and encourage collaboration with other members of the health-care team. The PPCP is applicable to a variety of patient care services and provides a framework for delivering patient care in any setting. An active patient-pharmacist relationship and open effective communication with patients, family and caregivers are vital components to patient-centered care. Pharmacists must continuously collaborate and communicate with other health care providers and provide thorough documentation to ensure patients receive optimal care. The patient care process can be further improved by efficient interoperable information technology systems.

    The Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process

    Collect: The pharmacist assures the collection of necessary subjective and objective information about the patient in order to understand the relevant medical/medication history and clinical status of the patient.

    Assess: The pharmacist assesses the information collected and analyzes the clinical effects of the patient’s therapy in the context of the patient’s overall health goals in order to identify and prioritize problems and achieve optimal care.

    Plan: The pharmacist develops an individualized patient-centered care plan, in collaboration with other health care professionals and the patient or caregiver that is evidence-based and cost-effective.

    Implement: The pharmacist implements the care plan in collaboration with other healthcare professionals and the patient or caregiver.

    Follow-up (Monitor and Evaluate): The pharmacist monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of the care plan and modifies the plan in collaboration with other health care professionals and the patient or caregiver as needed.

    The Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process can be applied to countless services pharmacists practice on a daily basis. One example includes during a comprehensive medication review you must collect a medication history, assess the information collected and identify drug-related problems. You then develop a Medication-Related Action Plan, communicate and collaborate with the patient’s prescriber, then follow-up with the patient to monitor and evaluate any changes. IV to PO medication conversions require pharmacists to investigate and assess the appropriateness of a particular dosage form, make changes when necessary and properly communicate those changes with all health care professionals involved as well as the patient. Pharmacists collect demographic and disease state information from patients and assess whether they are in need of immunizations or other preventative care services. Chronic disease state management should involve this process at every patient encounter. Identifying drug related problems at the counseling window of a community pharmacy employs the PPCP and provides a process for effective interventions to be made. Even a medication reconciliation at any transition of care utilizes the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process. Many pharmacists may be utilizing components of this process already, but strategically applying the PPCP to the services offered will ensure consistency and logical flow to patient-centered care.

    As a quality improvement exercise, you may evaluate your existing patient care services to ensure all aspects of the PPCP are being met. To begin, select an existing patient care service and rate how it aligns with the components of the PPCP. Rate items with low alignment as level 1. Rate items with high alignment as level 3. For any rating less than 3, develop strategies for improvement and an implementation timeline.

    Once you recognize how the PPCP can be applied to the services you provide patients, you can begin incorporating pharmacy student-interns and residents into this process. Early in the pharmacy school curriculum students learn the basics of patient health and medication assessment as well as identifying potential drug related problems and barriers to adherence. Involve students in the Collect and Assess stages of the PPCP through direct instruction and modeling to help them develop good professional communication skills and organization. As students progress through the curriculum mentor them through the critical assessment, plan, implement and follow-up stages. Emphasize the importance of evidence-based recommendations and detailed documentation and follow-up. After gaining an understanding of the baseline knowledge and experience of an APPE student, allow them to work independently through each of the PPCP stages providing coaching and facilitating when appropriate. High level learners, like pharmacy residents, can help teach and precept younger learners.

    The Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process provides a standardized approach to patient care promoting consistency across the profession. Learning to implement the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process in a variety of different pharmacy services will help achieve optimal team-based patient-centered care. Developing learners’ ability to understand and effectively use the PPCP will ensure pharmacists remain an essential member of the health care team.


    • Pharmacy Collaborating for a Healthier America. (n.d.). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from https://jcpp.net/
    • Bennett, M., & Kliethermes, M. A. (2015). How to implement the pharmacists patient care process. Washington, DC: American Pharmacists Association.
    • O'Sullivan, T. A., PharmD, & Lau, C., PharmD. (2017). Analysis of the Student Experience in an Attending Pharmacist Model General Medicine Advance Pharmacy Practice Experience. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 81(4), 66th ser., 1-11. Retrieved June 26, 2017, from http://www.ajpe.org/
  • 17 Nov 2017 10:26 AM | Deleted user

    Author: Sarah Cook, PharmD (Clinical Pharmacist at SSM Health St. Joseph’s Hospital – St. Charles)

    On the path to obtaining a residency, candidates are invariably faced with constructing a CV, writing letters of intent, and interviewing with programs. To help you succeed in your pursuit, several Residency Program Directors from programs across Missouri have generously offered their advice! (For those reading who are not pursuing residency, many of these tips easily transfer to obtaining your ideal job as well.) Below are some tips for putting your best foot forward:

    Crafting your CV:
    Remove items from your CV that you cannot speak to.
    It is important that the content of your CV highlights your achievements and involvement, and you should be able to speak to what is on it in a meaningful way. If you have a journal club or presentation listed, you should be able to highlight the take-home points. If you cannot, remove it. The content of your CV should show your interests, strengths, and uniqueness – the quality of the content is more important than the quantity. In fact, having too much “fluff” can distract from what you want to showcase about yourself, rather than impressing programs with the amount that you have done. For more information on crafting a CV (for residency and throughout your career), go to: https://www.ashp.org/pharmacy-student/pharmacy-student-forum/career-development/cv-development.

    Formatting tip: Use tables in Microsoft Word when formatting your CV and then hide the gridlines.
    This will allow you to have a neat, organized CV with multiple columns without having to waste time tabbing and spacing to try to get everything aligned just right. It also will save you from the struggle of having to realign text when you make edits to CV throughout your career.

    Have as many people as possible peer-review your CV.
    Seek out mentors, peers, and/or ASHP reviewing systems to look over your CV. This will reduce the chance for errors within your CV and will give you the chance to get feedback on its organization, readability, and content.

    Writing Letters of Intent:
    Make your letters of intent as specific to each program as possible.
    Prior to interviews, programs must rely primarily on the content of the application packet to decide who to invite for interviews. When writing your letters of intent, showcase your interests and skills and how they align with that specific program. Also, include how the program aligns with your short and long-term goals. Furthermore, some programs have specific guidance on what they desire to see in your letter or have additional materials which they want you to submit. Be sure to submit what each program asks for, as not doing so will indicate that you likely did not fully research the program.

    Showcasing yourself during interviews:
    Wear a suit!Although interview attire may be changing in certain occupations, wearing a suit to residency program interviews is still standard practice.

    Research interview questions and practice prior to interview day.
    Your interview should feel natural and non-rehearsed. However, it is also important to highlight your uniqueness and set yourself apart from other candidates. Practicing interviewing and researching interview questions allows you to think about your experiences and strengths so that you will be able to give specific, meaningful examples come interview day rather than generic, forgettable answers. Additionally, having an in-person practice interview with a mentor or other experienced individual will give you an opportunity to get feedback on how you convey yourself – including potentially distracting mannerisms, overuse of filler words like “um”, etc.

    Be professional and respectful.
    Even if you are interviewing at a place you are very familiar with or are currently employed at, showing professionalism and respect throughout the day is important and expected.

    Ask meaningful questions!
    It is not only important that interviewers get a good feel for how you will fit in with their program but also that you can assess if the program is a good fit for you. Asking questions that are specific to the program will also show that you have done your research on the program and that you have a genuine interest in the residency.

    For additional preparation for residency interviews, consider reading the following article detailing a Residency Program Director’s perspective on the ideal resident, which was published in an issue of Hospital Pharmacy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3859286/pdf/hpj4810-825.pdf .

    Special thanks to the Residency Program Directors who contributed to this article: Nicole Gattas, Tony Huke, Allison King, Stephanie Lager, and Chelsea Landgraf.

    Finally, if you have a best practice which you feel others in the state would benefit from reading about, please contact me – Sarah Cook, Vice Chair of the MSHP Newsletter Committee – at Sarah.Cook@ssmhealth.com.

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