How to Talk to Your Patients about Opioid-Induced Constipation: A Dialogue about New Advances

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Release Date: July 23, 2015
Expiration Date: July 23, 2017

Expected time to complete this activity as designed: 60 minutes
There are no fees for participating in or receiving credit for this online activity.

Program Overview

This accredited activity will focus on the critical need to educate nurse practitioners on the potential impact of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) on patients’ lives, and on how new treatment options can address this significant clinical problem. Practical guidance from clinical experts about how to initiate a productive conversation with patients concerning OIC, a side effect that is often unreported, will be discussed. Video-based patient simulations will be interspersed throughout the symposium to demonstrate how the information presented can be effectively applied in the practice setting.

Target Audience

Nurse practitioners who may provide care to patients with opioid-induced constipation (OIC).

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Outline prevalence, severity, and resulting burden of OIC on patients
  • Compare and contrast the best OIC treatment options for patient-specific situations
  • Demonstrate specific and targeted questions for patients that can improve patient-clinician communication about OIC


Faculty introductions, disclosures, and pre-activity survey – Michael Brennan, MD
Opioid-induced Constipation: What Are Your Patients Not Telling You? – Yvonne D'Arcy, MS, CRNP, CNS
New and Emerging Treatments for OICMichael Brennan, MD
Improving Patient-Clinician CommunicationYvonne D'Arcy, MS, CRNP, CNS

Instructions for Participation and Credit

This activity is eligible for credit through July 23, 2017. After this date, this activity will expire and no further credit will be awarded.
1. Read the target audience, learning objectives, and faculty disclosures.
2. You may be asked to complete a short pre-test before accessing the educational content. This must be completed in order to move forward in the activity.
3. Complete the educational content as designed.
4. Complete the post-test. To receive a certificate, you must receive a passing score of 70%.
5. Complete the activity evaluation survey to provide feedback and information useful for future programming.
6. Certificates for AANP CE (which includes 0.20 pharmacology hours) may be printed immediately after successfully completing the post-test and activity evaluation.

Faculty Biographies

Michael J. Brennan, MD
Medical Director
The Pain Center of Fairfield
Fairfield, Connecticut
Associate Director, Chronic Pain and Recovery Center
Silver Hill Hospital
New Canaan, Connecticut

Dr. Michael Brennan received his medical degree at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, and completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, where he served as chief resident. While at New York Hospital, Dr. Brennan also served as chief resident at the International Center for the Disabled in New York City. Dr. Brennan is a board certified physiatrist in private practice in Fairfield, Connecticut.

After completing his residency, Dr. Brennan was appointed to the faculty of New York Hospital and Cornell Medical College in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He served as acting chief of the rehabilitation service in the Department of Neurology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. After leaving Sloan-Kettering, Dr. Brennan became the medical director of the Rehabilitation Center of Fairfield County and Ahlbin Centers for Rehabilitation Medicine and chief of the section of physical medicine at Bridgeport Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He is currently a senior attending physician in the Department of Medicine at Bridgeport Hospital and consulting physician at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He is associate director of the interdisciplinary chronic pain and addiction program at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut, which is designed to address the complex needs of patients suffering with chronic pain and substance misuse, addiction and behavioral disorders.

Dr. Brennan has special interests in the emerging role of pharmacogenomics, particularly as to the role of variability and vulnerability to opioid and adjuvant analgesics in individuals suffering with pain. He has recently published articles on opioids and pharmacogenomics opioid metabolism as well as articles concerning deleterious effects of opioids on the endocrine system. Dr. Brennan has a long-held interest in the management of pain as well as disability in patients suffering from the acute and long-term effects of musculoskeletal diseases, neurological disorders, cancer, and various cancer treatments. He has published over 40 scholarly articles, abstracts, and textbook chapters on the treatment of cancer and noncancer related disabilities including lymphedema and pain. He is a reviewer for several medical journals and has served as guest editor for the Journal of Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation and as online editor for Recently, Dr. Brennan was awarded the Dr. Elizabeth Narcessian Memorial Award from Kessler Institute, recognizing his commitment to the treatment of patients suffering from chronic pain.

Yvonne M. D'Arcy, MS, CRNP, CNS
Nurse Practitioner, Pain Management and Palliative Care
Suburban Hospital-Johns Hopkins Medicine
Bethesda, Maryland

Ms. Yvonne D'Arcy holds a BS and MA in nursing and completed doctoral studies at the University of Maryland and the University of Florida where she also received her Nurse Practitioner Certificate. She is currently a nurse practitioner in pain management and palliative care at Suburban Hospital-Johns Hopkins Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland.

Ms. D’Arcy holds certification as an adult nurse practitioner (CRNP) and CNS (CS) from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is on the Astra Zeneca advisory board, and is a member of the American Pain Society and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. In addition, Ms. D’Arcy is on the editorial board Pain Management News; editorial advisory board The Nurse Practitioner, Nursing, The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, and Pain Management News; pain control column editor Nursing; and pain solutions editor for Journal for Nurse Practitioners. She has published more than 100 articles on pain management and palliative care in nursing


This program has been granted 1.0 contact hour of AANP CE (which includes 0.20 pharmacology hours) by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Program ID #1506291

This program was planned in accordance with AANP CE Standards and Policies and AANP Commercial Support Standards.


It is the policy of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners to require everyone who is in a position to control the content of an educational activity to disclose any financial relationship within the past 12 months with a commercial interest or any commercial product discussed in an education presentation. All real or potential conflicts of interest identified must be resolved prior to program development and approval.

Faculty Disclosures

Dr. Michael Brennan has received honoraria related to formal advisory activities, the development of educational materials, speakers’ bureau activities, and consultant fees from Insys Therapeutics, Inc., Kaleo, Inc., Purdue Pharma L.P., and Teva Pharmaceuticals, as well as speakers’ bureau activities from Depomed, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. He has received grant support related to research activities from Millennium Laboratories, LLC.

Ms. Yvonne D’Arcy has received honoraria related to formal advisory activities from Depomed, Inc., as well as speakers’ bureau activities and the development of educational materials from REMS. She has also received royalties or licensing fees from Springer Publications.

Planning Committee Disclosures

The individual listed below from MediCom Worldwide, Inc. reported the following for this activity: Joan Meyer, RN, MHA, executive director, has no relevant financial relationships.

The individual listed below from American Association of Nurse Practitioners reported the following for this activity: Michele McKay, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, has no relevant financial relationships.

Peer Reviewer Disclosure

In accordance with MediCom Worldwide, Inc. policy, all content is independently peer reviewed for balance, objectivity and commercial bias. The peer reviewers have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Off-Label Disclosures/Investigational Disclosures

This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings. Further, attendees/participants should appraise the information presented critically and are encouraged to consult appropriate resources for any product or device mentioned in this program.

Dr. Brennan and Ms. Yvonne D’Arcy have indicated that they do not intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics or diagnostics approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the US.

Dr. Brennan and Ms. Yvonne D’Arcy have indicated that they do not intend to discuss investigational drugs, mechanical devices, biologics or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the US.

Hardware/Software/Internet Requirements

MediCom Worldwide, Inc. requires Internet Explorer® version 9.0 or higher, the latest version of Google Chrome, or the latest version of Safari, a computer running Windows® Vista, Windows® 7, or Mac OS X, 512MB of RAM or greater, 1.5 GHZ or faster processor, and a screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher. Certain educational activities may require additional software to view. These activities will be marked with the information and/or links to the required software. That software may include Adobe® Flashreg; Player, Adobe® Acrobat®, Windows Media® Player and/or Microsoft® Silverlight.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this activity, please contact MediCom Worldwide, Inc. at 1-800-408-4242 or email us at

Sponsored by American Association of Nurse Practitioners™

Facilitated by MediCom Worldwide, Inc.

Supported by an educational grant from AstraZeneca

©2015 MediCom Worldwide, Inc., 101 Washington St., Morrisville, PA 19067, 800-408-4242.
No portion of this material may be copied or duplicated without the expressed permission of MediCom Worldwide, Inc.

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