Release Date: Monday, January 6, 2014
Expiration Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Educational Overview
Opioids are increasingly prescribed to treat chronic cancer and noncancer pain. Opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is one of the most common and troublesome adverse events associated with opioids, impacting the majority of patients being treated for chronic pain. In addition to the clinical consequences, OIC is also associated with diminished quality of life, compromised pain management, and increased use of healthcare resources. For many, laxatives remain the treatment of choice in preventing and managing OIC, but these agents are associated with significant limitations and risks. More recent advancements have led to the development of a more targeted approach that specifically counteracts the effects of opioids in the gastrointestinal tract. As the role of health-system pharmacists in managing patients with chronic pain grows within the multidisciplinary team, it is imperative that pharmacists improve their competence in the prevention and treatment of OIC. This can include utilizing effective prevention strategies, recognizing the early signs of OIC, and selecting the optimal approach to treat OIC based on patient-specific factors. This program provides an overview of the burden and pathophysiology of OIC and offers practical solutions in the prevention and treatment of OIC through case-based discussions.

Target Audience
This continuing pharmacy education activity is planned to meet the needs of pharmacists in a variety of practice settings, including large and small healthcare systems, outpatient clinics, managed care organizations, long-term care facilities, community pharmacies, and academia. This program targets pharmacists who are involved in the management of patients with or at-risk for OIC.

Learning Objectives
Healthcare professionals participating in this educational activity will be able at its conclusion to:

  • Describe the pathophysiology of opioid-induced constipation
  • List evidence-based approaches to minimize the risk of OIC in patients receiving opioids
  • Evaluate the use of laxatives versus targeted therapy to manage opioid-induced constipation

Educational Format
This online activity is based on the CE Satellite Symposium conducted at the 48th ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition in Orlando, FL. Please note if you have received credit for attending the live symposium by the same name, you are not eligible to apply for credit for this online version.  

The online activity is comprised of three evidence-based presentations:

Recognizing the Growing Burden of OIC
Bill H. McCarberg, MD

The Pharmacist’s Role in Preventing and Managing OIC:
A Case-based Approach to Care

Gregory L. Holmquist, PharmD, CPE

New Approaches to Treating OIC:
Taking Advantage of the Latest Advances

Bill H. McCarberg, MD



Gregory L. Holmquist, PharmD, CPE
Pain and Palliative Care Specialist
Certified Pain Educator
Palliative Care Strategies

Seattle, WA

Bill H. McCarberg, MD
Founder, Chronic Pain Management Program
Kaiser Permanente San Diego
Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor
University of California San Diego

San Diego, CA



Center for Independent Healthcare Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. Center has assigned 1.0 contact hour (0.1 CEU) of continuing pharmacy education credits for participating in this activity.

ACPE UAN:  473-999-14-002-H01-P
Activity type: Knowledge-based

For questions regarding the accreditation of this activity, please contact us at

Method of Participation and Instruction for Credit

  1. Review the entire CE information including target audience, learning objectives, and disclosures.
  2. Review the online activity
  3. Complete the Post Test, Evaluation, and Credit Application Form.
  4. Please note that to receive credit you must achieve a score of at least 80%.
  5. The information that you participated will be uploaded to CPEMonitor and you will be able to access your credits from the profile you set up with NABP. For more information, please visit

Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

In accordance with policies set forth by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), Center for Independent Healthcare Education requires all faculty members and planning committee with an opportunity to affect the content of a continuing education activity to disclose any relevent financial relationships during the past 12 months with commercial interests. A commercial interest is any entity producing, marketing, reselling or distributing health care goods or services consumed by or used on patients. Relationships with commercial interests and conflicts of interest resulting from those relationships must be revealed to the audience and resolved prior to the activity.

Relevant relationships include roles such as speaker, author, consultant, independent contractor (including research), employee, investor, advisory committee member, board member, review panelist, and investigator. If a potential speaker or author indicates a possible conflict of interest, the conflict will be resolved by choosing another speaker or author for that topical area, or the slides, handouts, and/or monograph will be reviewed and approved by a qualified commercially-disinterested peer.

Planning Committee Members

Gregory L. Holmquist, PharmD, CPE
Bill H. McCarberg, MD
Paul DeLisle
Marco Cicero, PhD
Maja Drenovac, PharmD




Disclosure of Financial Interest Summary
Gregory L. Holmquist, PharmD (faculty/planner) has relevant financial relationships with the following commercial interests:
    Speaker Bureau: Salix
Dr. Holmquist does not discuss the off-label use of a product.

Bill H. McCarberg, MD  (faculty/planner) has relevant financial relationships with the following commercial interests:
    Advisory Board: Iroko, Pfizer, Zogenix, Collegium, Millennium, Mallinckrodt, Inspirion
    Shareholder: Johnson and Johnson, Protein Design Labs, Biospecifics Technologies, 
    Nektar Therapeutics
Dr. McCarberg does not discuss the off-label use of a product.

No other speakers, authors, planners or content reviewers have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Content review confirmed that the content was developed in a fair, balanced manner free from commercial bias. Disclosure of a relationship is not intended to suggest or condone commercial bias in any presentation, but it is made to provide participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a presentation.


This activity is cosponsored by Center for Independent Healthcare Education and Vemco MedEd.

Commercial Support

This activity is supported by an educational grant from Salix Pharmaceuticals.

There is no fee to participate in this activity.

Hardware/Software Requirements

Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Google Chrome with the QuickTime Plug-in Note: Please disable any “pop-up blocker” features.

Adobe® Reader version 7 or above to view PDF files (If you do not have Adobe® Reader, you can download it for free from Adobe Flash Player version 10 or above to view multimedia content (If you donot have Adobe Flash Player, you can download it for free from

Connection Speed
Cable, DSL, or better of at least 300 kbps

System Check
Please e-mail any questions or concerns to

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014 Vemco MedEd, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Permission for accreditation use granted to Center for Independent Healthcare Education.

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