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Hannah

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Hannah here. My meds are messing me up so bad I can't concentrate, focus, or remember anything. I now have the reading level of a 3rd grader. Yay! Since I have to go back to school soon, I have decided to get off all my meds. (I don't agree with half their diagnoses anyway, and these meds are doing more harm than good.) As of yesterday I have gone cold turkey on my Effexor, Wellbutrin, and have cut my 400/d of Lamictal down to 200/d; goal to be med free. I've read a lot on this forum, and others, about all the nasty withdraw side effects, especially about weaning too quickly, and I'm not stupid. I know what I'm doing is not smart, but I need to get my head on straight before school. I can't afford to spend a year weaning. I just want to do it and get it out of the way. Have read about getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating a healthy diet. Will do. Open to any advice on how to lessen the suckiness of withdraw.

Edited by Karma
Added member name to introduction

9-16-12: Lamictal 400, Effexor 150, Wellbutrin 300, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-17-12: Lamictal 200, C/T Effexor, C/T Wellbutrin, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-21-12: Lamictal 100, Effexor 150, Ambien 10, Klonopin 3

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Hannah

 

You are not thinking clearly at all. This is NOT THE ROUTE TO BE READY FOR SCHOOL - you will be so shaken up you will be unable to participate!! Do not go cold turkey! You will regret this decision. Please take advice as shown on this board about tapering! You need help, you are not in a position to make these decisions!

I think! Too much!

Jan. 2009 150 mg. Venlafaxine

2012

5 June 112.5 mg. Venflx

25 June 75 mg. Venflx

8 July Fluox 5ML (0 Venflx)[/b]

10 July aprox. 20 mg Fluoxetine liquid, trouble measuring between 4 - 5 ml, 0 Venflx.

15 July Fluox 5 ML + Vnflx. 10 - 6 grains

24 July Fluox 5ML + 37.5 mg Venflx.

10 Aug Fluox 4.5 ML

13 Aug.Fluox 18 mg liquid; 18 Aug. Fluox 17 mg; 25 Aug. Fluox 16 mg;

2 Sept Fluox 15 mg; 10 Sept Fluox 14 mg; 17 Sept. Fluox 13.6 mg; 29 Sept. Fluox 13 mg.

7 Oct. Fluox 12 mg; 14 Oct. Fluox 11 mg; 21 Oct; Fluox 10 mg; 23 Oct. 9mg; 26 Oct. 8 mg.

21 Nov. 5 mg; 3 Nov. ZERO

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Please please rethink this. You may feel ok now but very few get away with cold turkey, withdrawals can come and bite you in the bum weeks/months down the road and can be crippling. If you taper properly you will be able to function at school whilst tapering much much better than if you cold turkey, I've been there done that and worn the t shirt sadly.

 

Have a look in the tapering forum for ideas of how to do this in a way that will be much much gentler on your body and soul.

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

hello hannah, i can only reiterate what strawberry and amj have said. Sometimes the bite in the bum comes a few months down the track, sometimes it starts right away. You will likely do much, much better if you reinstate and go slow - you will get your head back faster - i know it feels counter intuitive, but as so many of us can attest it is the only way to go.

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Cold Turkeying Effexor is bad enough never mind Wellbutrin and cutting your Lamictal dose on top of it! Like the others have said, please rethink this, it's a BBBAAADDDD idea!

 

I completely understand wanting to get off ur meds so you can do well at school. I am in the same position - I want off my Effexor because it plays havoc with my memory and concentration. But, at the minute, I'm having to sit still and get stable and it's driving me crazy because I just want to taper off ASAP.

 

However,I know what the alternative is - taper too quickly and become completely non-functional! I tapered Effexor over a month last year and had a terrible experience. Brain zaps, nausea, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, even worse memory/concentration(!!!). This first round of symptoms weren't so bad, but then I had terrible anxiety, akathisia, derealisation, suicidal thoughts, etc. it was absolutely

awful! I got back on the drug and had to take two weeks off work while I waited for it to kick in again, I was completely

non-functional!

 

I beg you to reconsider and taper the safe way. Yes, it will take longer but you'll be able to function and go to school. You'll probably find that your cognition improves as you lower the dose.

2003-2011: Paroxetine,Citalopram,Effexor; Aug/Sept 2011: Effexor to Mirtazapine; Oct 2011: C/T Mirtazapine back to Effexor; Nov/Dec 2011: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell; Feb 2012: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg; June 2012: Dropped to 35.6mg; Jan 2016: Propranolol 2.5mg per day for general anxiety; Feb 2016: Finasteride 0.25mg per week to slow hair loss; 18th May - 8th June 2019: Started Vyvanse 7.5mg and increased by 7.5mg weekly to 30mg (lowest “therapeutic” dose for adults).; 21st June 2019 - 12th July: Cross tapered from venlafaxine brand Rodomel to Efexor (1/4 > 1/2 > 3/4 weekly before ditching Rodomel); 13th July 2019: Cut Vyvanse dose to 15mg; 15th July 2019: Akathisia returned after years of being free; 16th July 2019: Went back up to Vyvanse 30mg

Supplements: Omega-3, Vitamin D, Zinc, Phosphatidylserine 

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  • Administrator

Hi Hannah

 

This is your introductory post/thread. I added your name to your topic title. This is where you will post updates and ask questions to the community.

 

There is little I can add to the advice that has been offered. The fact of the matter is that you only have one central nervous system and you are playing Russian roulette with it. We do not recommend going cold turkey off of any antidepressant medication.

We have a number of topics for tapering off of your polypharma situation (see Discussions > Support > Tapering) and there is a good chance that like many of us you will regain your cognitive function and be able to taper off of your medications. Use the Search box on the upper right hand side to find topics associated with your particular medications.

 

It would help if you could indicate which med came first and how long you have been on each - when did you first start noticing the cognitive dysfunction?

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Wow I just read this and have to say O.M.G . DO NOT DO THIS ! I just tried a 2month taper of Effexor, felt good for a month and then WHAM> Worst anxiety/insomnia for the next 5 months and I just had to go back on another medication because Effexor didn't work anymore. YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS. I ALMOST LOST MY BREATH WHEN I READ WHAT YOU TYPED> seriously, taper, taper, it's your first chance, get back on and take it slow, everyone will tell you this cause we have experienced it, you will feel fine for a little bit and then totally lock up with the worst feelings in the world. LISTEN TO EVERYBODY I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH. You will need this med through school as you taper slowly....it's the best and only way if you want to successfully come off this stuff. Been there done that, got the t-shirt too !

 

These shirts are handed out like Candy !

2007-2012started Effexor xr 225mg -150mg- Varied2months of Taper,(March 22/2012 Off Med/in W/D)Currently No medicationMarch 22/2012- August 16/2012 - Totally Off Effexor( Rough Rough time) Reinstatement for a week(didn't work)****** New Doctor******* Very nice/helpful and in touch.Tried Zoloft- No successAUGUST 17/2012- STARTED 37.5 EFFEXOR FOR ONE WEEK - NOT GOOD < STOPPED.Started Buspar Oct 11th 2012----10 mg for the first 7 days and then 15mg a day---- Taking a new route----Racing thoughts - Gone.Oct 9th ( Done Zoloft,wellbutrin week project trial to feel better) - OFFICIALLY OFF ANTI DEPRESSANT !Oct 26 - Raised Buspar to 20mg a day- Tolerating wellJan 2nd 2013-

Reduce Buspar until full off march 20th 2015 Off all medication !

Tried natural supplements to no avail

Gluten/sugar free since december 2013

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Oh, my. No response yet from Hannah. I do hope she is okay. If she went cold turkey, she may not be in shpae to even come here for help. Or, possibly, she chooses to ignore our advice and is not wanting to discuss it. :(

 

Hannah, doing the "right things" exercise, healthy food, etc. is wisdom but at this point should be done WHILE TAPERING... and making these beneficial choices a way of life. You cannot just wave a wand and make everything right over night. Life is just not like that. Unfortunately!

 

Hannah, if you do see our messages please just say hello.... you obviously have people who here who are concerned for you; because we have "been there." There is plenty of support on this site.

I think! Too much!

Jan. 2009 150 mg. Venlafaxine

2012

5 June 112.5 mg. Venflx

25 June 75 mg. Venflx

8 July Fluox 5ML (0 Venflx)[/b]

10 July aprox. 20 mg Fluoxetine liquid, trouble measuring between 4 - 5 ml, 0 Venflx.

15 July Fluox 5 ML + Vnflx. 10 - 6 grains

24 July Fluox 5ML + 37.5 mg Venflx.

10 Aug Fluox 4.5 ML

13 Aug.Fluox 18 mg liquid; 18 Aug. Fluox 17 mg; 25 Aug. Fluox 16 mg;

2 Sept Fluox 15 mg; 10 Sept Fluox 14 mg; 17 Sept. Fluox 13.6 mg; 29 Sept. Fluox 13 mg.

7 Oct. Fluox 12 mg; 14 Oct. Fluox 11 mg; 21 Oct; Fluox 10 mg; 23 Oct. 9mg; 26 Oct. 8 mg.

21 Nov. 5 mg; 3 Nov. ZERO

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I really have been reading your input, and am taking it into consideration. But there's this: 4 years ago my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Never had any psych problems previously. My anxiety and depression related to this led to multiple inpatient stays. I have been on so many meds I can't remember their names. The more meds they try on me, the worse I feel. I've been switched off meds and onto new ones like the flick of a switch. I've only been taking the Wellbutrin for a couple of months or so, so I'm not too worried about that. I've gone cold turkey with Effexor before while inpatient, and have never had a problem with it. Lamictal is the only one I'm worried about with trying to wean too quickly. It scares me quite a bit. I've read that it's hell. Many of you have told me it's hell. That said, I've already been through hell and back. The past 2 years of my life has been a living hell, with multiple attempts to escape it. So I'm here, and I'm thinking if I wean as quickly as I'd like to, I go through more hell, and possibly go back inpatient. OK. Maybe they put me back on Prozac, maybe some anti-anxiety to help me through the withdraw. My husband watches me like a hawk, so if I start to get sick and go psycho, he'd just return me to inpatient. I feel so bad right now, and certainly expect to feel a lot worse through this. But what do I have to lose? This is not living, it's like I'm treading water barely keeping my head above water. Like someone has pressed the pause button on my life, and I can't move forward until I get off this stuff. I can handle the physical aspects of withdrawal, and feel like I have a safety net to cover any psych problems. Please explain the flaws in my plan: I'm sure there are many, but I don't care if I have to go through more hell to get my life back.

9-16-12: Lamictal 400, Effexor 150, Wellbutrin 300, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-17-12: Lamictal 200, C/T Effexor, C/T Wellbutrin, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-21-12: Lamictal 100, Effexor 150, Ambien 10, Klonopin 3

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  • Moderator Emeritus

The key flaw is that you might not get your life back. There are plenty of people here who tapered too fast and went cold turkey and are now stuck in protracted withdrawal. There body hasn't adjusted to living without the drugs and they have an array of really distressing symptoms with no end on sight and at that point reinstating the drugs might not help.

 

You may have jumped around before, going off one and onto another but that's different to going from three to none.

Also your past history might make you more susceptible to withdrawal effects.

 

 

People who go cold turkey tend to think the worst is at the start and it gets better from there. That's not necessarily the case. Sometimes people go ok for a while and then it hits them like a ton of bricks.

 

Everyone here would support you coming off but the aim should be to do this well not fast.

 

Would you walk on a broken leg because you'd decided you didn't want to be on crutches? No, you would recognize that your body needs to heal, that you need to support it during the process and gradually over time reduce that support and do things that make it stronger.

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Oh and it's the physical stuff that got to me when I went cold turkey. Nausea, dizziness and extreme insomnia totally ruined my life, every day for 3 months. They didn't diminish over that time they got worse

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Yep no matter what you have gone through in the past, right now is what counts. Seriously listen to everybody you want to talk to your doctor and establish a slow weaning plan, do not do this by yourself, tell them the situation and explain that you want to come slowly off these drugs without putting more into your body. Trust me the first few weeks off and month maybe are really fine it's just physical and then BOOM the mental part comes into play when the drugs are fully out of your body/system. Educate yourself from this site and make a plan, that is the best you can do, don't feel like you have to have these drugs come out right away cause it doesn't work like the that, take your time and do it right. We reply because we care and have been there,

2007-2012started Effexor xr 225mg -150mg- Varied2months of Taper,(March 22/2012 Off Med/in W/D)Currently No medicationMarch 22/2012- August 16/2012 - Totally Off Effexor( Rough Rough time) Reinstatement for a week(didn't work)****** New Doctor******* Very nice/helpful and in touch.Tried Zoloft- No successAUGUST 17/2012- STARTED 37.5 EFFEXOR FOR ONE WEEK - NOT GOOD < STOPPED.Started Buspar Oct 11th 2012----10 mg for the first 7 days and then 15mg a day---- Taking a new route----Racing thoughts - Gone.Oct 9th ( Done Zoloft,wellbutrin week project trial to feel better) - OFFICIALLY OFF ANTI DEPRESSANT !Oct 26 - Raised Buspar to 20mg a day- Tolerating wellJan 2nd 2013-

Reduce Buspar until full off march 20th 2015 Off all medication !

Tried natural supplements to no avail

Gluten/sugar free since december 2013

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  • Administrator

Hello, Hannah.

 

I can't improve on any of the advice you've gotten so far.

 

One can have a normal life while tapering. Please consider reinstating all your drugs immediately and figuring out a rational, gradual tapering plan.

 

Wellbutrin is least likely to have a withdrawal syndrome -- although some people do get it -- and you may be able to go off it fairly quickly. It has a lot of side effects, too, so just being off that may make you feel better.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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First of all, I'm completely taken aback by the people on this forum who've taken time to give me this much needed advice. Thank you. Secondly, I'm extremely pissed off at the psychs who prescribe these meds. It's like they're handing you a bottle of jelly beans which actually turns out to be like crack/meth when you want to d/c them. I have an appointment with my crack-peddling psychiatrist tomorrow. He'll be supremely pissed if I tell him what I've been up to this week. What if I just stay on my cut dose of 200/d of Lamictal for a few months, cold turkey the others, and see what happens? Then I could take more time to wean off the other 200 of Lamictal. Today was the best day I've had in the better part of a year, but I'm not fooling myself. I know the #%!*'s gonna hit the fan at some point. Don't know what I'm going to do, don't know what I'm going to tell him tomorrow... I keep thinking all of you can't be wrong. FYI: I'm not going to just not reply to your posts. I appreciate them too much. If y'all don't hear from me for a couple of weeks straight I went psycho and went inpatient. If I just disappear from this forum for longer than a couple of weeks, that probably means

 

Someone mentioned protracted withdraw... How would that be different from hell?

9-16-12: Lamictal 400, Effexor 150, Wellbutrin 300, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-17-12: Lamictal 200, C/T Effexor, C/T Wellbutrin, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-21-12: Lamictal 100, Effexor 150, Ambien 10, Klonopin 3

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  • Administrator

Protracted withdrawal is a lot like hell, except it's something you can avoid if you want to.

 

Is there some reason you want to punish yourself? I get it you want to punish your psychiatrist -- I say beat him with a rubber chicken -- but don't hurt yourself to show him how much you hate him.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Why can't there be a forum called "Successfully Discontinuing Lamictal the Quick and Easy Way!" Sign me up for that.

9-16-12: Lamictal 400, Effexor 150, Wellbutrin 300, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-17-12: Lamictal 200, C/T Effexor, C/T Wellbutrin, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-21-12: Lamictal 100, Effexor 150, Ambien 10, Klonopin 3

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Hannah and welcome to the site.

 

You may be able to CT the Wellbutrin, I've done that without a problem. The Effexor is a big gamble from what I've learned on this forum. You could be fortunate and be able to do it but there's no way to know before the damage is possibly done.

 

From what I can gather from the Internet, it's easier to withdraw from meth than these psychotropics. That's sad. I even found a comment that someone had an easier time coming off heroin than one of the drugs I'm trying to come off of, Risperdal.

 

The gamble with Effexor is very risky. If WDs kick in later then it might not help to reinstate. I'm not trying to scare you, instead I'm hoping to spare you from the hell others have found themselves in.

 

Sorry, if I'm repeating anything you've been told already, I'm just concerned.

 

Please be aware that if you become an inpatient, there's a big possibility the professionals will taper you much too quickly. Usually when that happens they treat the WDs as relapse and insist on more meds.

 

Take care,

 

Tezza

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Had the best day ever yesterday, and then the worst night ever. Felt so bad just wanted to die (husband put the Vicodin up.) You've convinced me not to cold turkey the Effexor, so went back on prescribed dose of 150/d this morning. Am done with the Wellbutrin, will stay on the Effexor until I'm weaned off Lamictal, then wean off Effexor. Good plan? Will see what the psych says today about how to wean, then compare it with your onsite recommendations. Trust you guys almost more than him. Thanks all. Also, was not trying to punish my psych. Harbor no ill will against him, just want to get back to myself and get on with my life...

9-16-12: Lamictal 400, Effexor 150, Wellbutrin 300, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-17-12: Lamictal 200, C/T Effexor, C/T Wellbutrin, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-21-12: Lamictal 100, Effexor 150, Ambien 10, Klonopin 3

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  • Administrator

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Psych said fine to cold turkey Wellbutrin, continue 150/d Effexor, and to cut my Lamictal in half again- now!? From 400 to 100 in 5 days? That can't be right. Is it because I've only been on it for about 6 mos? So far I've just been light-headed.

9-16-12: Lamictal 400, Effexor 150, Wellbutrin 300, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-17-12: Lamictal 200, C/T Effexor, C/T Wellbutrin, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-21-12: Lamictal 100, Effexor 150, Ambien 10, Klonopin 3

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

Alto knows more about how to safely come off these meds than most doctors do. A lot of members are here because they followed their doctors advice. The doctors just don't know any better, although that's no excuse.

 

You are right, Hannah, that is much too fast to taper the Lamictal. Lamictal may cushion withdrawal from Effexor. I'm no expert, like Alto and others, I'm just repeating things I've learned from them.

 

Wishing you a safe and happy taper.

 

Love,

 

Tezza

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I really have been reading your input, and am taking it into consideration. But there's this: 4 years ago my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Never had any psych problems previously. My anxiety and depression related to this led to multiple inpatient stays. I have been on so many meds I can't remember their names. The more meds they try on me, the worse I feel. I've been switched off meds and onto new ones like the flick of a switch. I've only been taking the Wellbutrin for a couple of months or so, so I'm not too worried about that. I've gone cold turkey with Effexor before while inpatient, and have never had a problem with it. Lamictal is the only one I'm worried about with trying to wean too quickly. It scares me quite a bit. I've read that it's hell. Many of you have told me it's hell. That said, I've already been through hell and back. The past 2 years of my life has been a living hell, with multiple attempts to escape it. So I'm here, and I'm thinking if I wean as quickly as I'd like to, I go through more hell, and possibly go back inpatient. OK. Maybe they put me back on Prozac, maybe some anti-anxiety to help me through the withdraw. My husband watches me like a hawk, so if I start to get sick and go psycho, he'd just return me to inpatient. I feel so bad right now, and certainly expect to feel a lot worse through this. But what do I have to lose? This is not living, it's like I'm treading water barely keeping my head above water. Like someone has pressed the pause button on my life, and I can't move forward until I get off this stuff. I can handle the physical aspects of withdrawal, and feel like I have a safety net to cover any psych problems. Please explain the flaws in my plan: I'm sure there are many, but I don't care if I have to go through more hell to get my life back.

 

Hannah,

 

Wow! You have had a MAJOR life event propel you into the revolving door of psychiatryland. I am so sorry. Have you had good counseling and support throughout this time of crisis? Too often, people are treated with drug after drug and the core issue - your VERY NATURAL REACTION to husband's cancer diagnosis - is pathologized, never addressed or grieved. Even if cured, the diagnosis of cancer is a trauma that leaves scars and fear.

 

It feels like you've been in "fight or flight mode" continually for 4 years, triggered by crisis and (likely) exacerbated by drugs. I've been on that merry-go-round, switched on and off all classes of psychotropic drugs cold-turkey over many years. I now recognize that what I was experiencing throughout that time was not depression or anxiety, it was withdrawal-induced chaos.

 

You've been in this for a relatively short period of time. You can stop the madness that took over your life when you were most vulnerable.

 

You say your husband watches over you like a hawk. How does he feel about your desire to discontinue drugs?

 

You asked what was wrong with your plan.. I'm very concerned that you feel you have "a psychiatry safety net" in the inpatient setting. I've been there. It's a place to get more drugs. You say your goal is to get off of drugs but are already preparing to go back into the hospital to get more drugs..

 

This is very do-able if done with caution. I'm glad to see you've heeded the advice with Effexor. I'm not an expert in tapering, but your doctor's plan for Lamictal sounds extremely aggressive.

 

You ask what you have to lose... you have a lifetime to lose todrugs. You've been in a spiral for 4 short years. I lost nearly 20 years. Read thru Rhiannon's thread. She was in a similar hell to yours for nearly 2 decades. Gianna (Beyond Meds blog) has been completely disabled by psych drugs. It is not unusual that people are on your "treatment plan" for 15-20 years and wake up when they're in their 40s - 50s - 60s to a lost life, lost career, no friends, marriages and families shattered. And in financial ruins.

 

I'm glad you found this group. I worked with research psychiatrists for many years and the information contained on this site is far beyond what is taught in any med school or psychiatry residency program.

 

How is your husband doing now?

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • Administrator

Risk of withdrawal syndrome occurs after you've been on the medication for 1 month. We have people here who have gotten severe withdrawal syndrome even when they've been on the drug for less than a month.

 

Doctors think Lamictal has no withdrawal syndrome, but it does.

 

I'm not a doctor, but I wouldn't go off those drugs like that. Just dumping the Wellbutrin can be destabilizing; not a good idea to decrease Lamictal at the same time. How about cutting the Wellbutrin by 25% a week instead?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks for asking. My husband is in remission, so I'm not in fight or flight mode anymore. My husband has spend hours researching all possible side effects of withdrawal from my meds, and is cautiously optimistic (he hasn't been introduced to this site yet...for a reason.) He asks me all the time how I'm feeling, and is watching for effects of withdrawal. We're in agreement that I don't need the meds anymore. I've been experiencing a decline in cognitive function since I began taking psych meds, but it's REALLY gotten bad since my psych has been upping the Lamictal. I know you all think I'm an idiot, and I probably am, but I think I can do this. If I go inpatient, I would ask them to put me back on Prozac, which worked well for a long time. I feel like my psych at that particular "vacation spot" really listens to me and takes my wants into consideration. I ache for the life I used to have, and the person I used to be. I've been trapped in my head for too long. I need to break out of the DR, and dark place these meds have put me in. So I'm taking a leap of faith, or jumping off a cliff. Don't know which.

9-16-12: Lamictal 400, Effexor 150, Wellbutrin 300, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-17-12: Lamictal 200, C/T Effexor, C/T Wellbutrin, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-21-12: Lamictal 100, Effexor 150, Ambien 10, Klonopin 3

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Thanks for asking. My husband is in remission, so I'm not in fight or flight mode anymore. My husband has spend hours researching all possible side effects of withdrawal from my meds, and is cautiously optimistic (he hasn't been introduced to this site yet...for a reason.) He asks me all the time how I'm feeling, and is watching for effects of withdrawal. We're in agreement that I don't need the meds anymore. I've been experiencing a decline in cognitive function since I began taking psych meds, but it's REALLY gotten bad since my psych has been upping the Lamictal. I know you all think I'm an idiot, and I probably am, but I think I can do this. If I go inpatient, I would ask them to put me back on Prozac, which worked well for a long time. I feel like my psych at that particular "vacation spot" really listens to me and takes my wants into consideration. I ache for the life I used to have, and the person I used to be. I've been trapped in my head for too long. I need to break out of the DR, and dark place these meds have put me in. So I'm taking a leap of faith, or jumping off a cliff. Don't know which.

 

Hannah,

Im very glad to hear your husband is in remission. Also good to know he's supportive of your taper. I understand completely why you have chosen to keep this site as a refuge or safe place for yourself. It's a very special group of people but, to anyone not experiencing this hell and betrayal by Western Medicine, it won't fully *make sense*.

 

Just to clarify, when I said "it feels like you've been in fight or flight mode...", I meant that it feels that way TO ME while reading your intro. Sorry if that came across as me presuming to know your feelings. I sure don't, but sensed an urgency in your writing. You may be experiencing neuro-emotion due to withdrawal also. I've had an intense urgency to reclaim my life since I *woke up* to what was happening. URGENCY TO RECLAIM LIFEdiscussion: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2319-urgency-to-reclaim-lifemake-up-for-lost-time/page__fromsearch__1

 

It sounds like you know and trust your psychiatrist. I had one main psychiatrist for many years who treated me with respect personally. The hospital programs I went to in a different geographical area treated me horribly and never addressed the simple fact that I was forced into medical retirement at age 39 and was lost. Lotsa skeletons there for me in relation to inpatient experience. Just to know where a few of us are coming from:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2344-hospitalizationpast-treatment-trauma/page__fromsearch__1

 

Alto and others can best steer you to avoid any further crises and inpatient stints. However, in the event you do need help, can you have a treatment plan set up with your doctor to not introduce more drugs than you've already been exposed to (like Prozac, as you mention)? I don't want to overstep my position, but being that Prozac (fluoxetine) is often used to bridge and taper, it seems there could be worse choices. I suspect many people fall into hands of psychiatrists they don't know when admitted for inpatient treatment, especially in crisis mode. Many drugs are used to stabilize and then never stopped. As you know, the more starts and stops with different drugs destabilizes the CNS.

 

You don't sound at all like an idiot. We're very protective of anyone embarking on this process, so that is what you are hearing. :) And "don't do what I did!" from those of us who wish we could have a do-over.

 

It's interesting to know how people responded initially to different drugs. I suspect that a pattern will eventually emerge with that information and withdrawal patterns and symptoms. Lamictal is one I tried very briefly for "treatment resistant/atypical depression" (ie. BS) and recall no effect. Is the Lamictal cognitive dulling associated with drowsiness or entirely separate?

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Hannah....

 

I was taken back by your post to go cold turkey from 3 medications. It is a very dangerous risk, and chances are high that you will have WD.

 

I am so sorry and I feel for you over your husband. Thank goodness he is in remission.

 

Anything you think you don't have anymore like 'fight & flight' can return with a vengeance.

In addition to many other symptoms that may take years to possibly recover from.

 

It sounds like over medication which alot of people do experience.

 

I am in agreement with the other members here. There is a window of opportunity to reinstate.

When this window passes you can be taking medication and it will not work and will cause WD symptoms even at a full dose.

 

We aren't doctors. We are people who have been affected by trying to get off or on medication.

 

Bottom line is that it is your decision. We just don't want to see anyone go thru WD Hell.

 

Whatever your decision, you can always pop in and post with your progress.

 

I hope we are all wrong. Some people (not many) do not have WD symptoms from a drastic cut in dosage or CT. Sincerely, I hope you fall into this category. I do understand your frustration in being put on so many medicines and the bad side effects from them.

 

There are other websites you can check in on and blogs out there you might want to run this by, so you can obtain information to help you out.

 

Nikki

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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No, you were right. I was in crisis mode for a long time, and things haven't been normal ever since. And the psych I trust is my inpatient psych, my outpatient psych not so much. He's the one that said to go from 400/d of Lamictal to 100/d in 5 days. The cognitive and memory problems are not related to drowsiness. I have these problems when I'm fully awake. I have a really good therapist that I started seeing every week, and I also go to skills group every week. I'm trying to learn how to handle my anxiety for when I'm off all meds. I think it's cause of the DR, but nothing seems real to me anymore. This site and the people on it don't seem real. All the horrible things I've read about withdrawal on this forum don't seem real. I feel dead most of the time; maybe all this is just my head. (OMG- I have written the word "I" in just this entry like 20 times. I am that self absorbed.) I'm just gonna do it. Otherwise I'm gonna be stuck in this forever. I need to take a break from this forum for a week or so and see what happens. If anything good/bad happens I'll post. Please don't reply to me though cause I feel compelled to respond, then I get more worked up cause I know what I'm doing is idiocy. This message will self destruct in 10 seconds...

9-16-12: Lamictal 400, Effexor 150, Wellbutrin 300, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-17-12: Lamictal 200, C/T Effexor, C/T Wellbutrin, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-21-12: Lamictal 100, Effexor 150, Ambien 10, Klonopin 3

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cognitively Challenged Girl is back. Did end up going cold-turkey with the Lamictal, Effexor, and Wellbutrin. Got all the fun, flu-like symptoms: nausea, vomiting, headache, vertigo, loss of balance, and became super fatigued and irritable. Can handle that stuff OK. No worsening depression, no manic episodes. Just one little hiccup last week that landed me inpatient for a while. Will spare you the details, but I feel better since I went in. The doctor I like there agreed that all my problems (and subsequent diagnoses,) could possibly have stemmed from uncontrolled anxiety, and just spiraled down from there. So anxiety is all I'm being treated for now. I had wanted to go off all my meds, but if I have to stay on Buspar for anxiety I'm OK with that. Has anyone had any experience with Buspar? I specifically requested a drug that I can just stop taking if I want to, without any problem. And since I've been taking it, the crappy withdraw side effects have gone away. So they want me on Buspar 30/d, Trazadone qhs, and Vistiril prn. Instead I will be taking Buspar 30/d, Ambien 10qhs, and Klonopin ASMUCHASIWANThahahaha! My main problem in the foreseeable future is that feeling of living in a dream, like nothing's real. Anyone have experience with that? I know it's related to anxiety, so I'm trying to keep that down. It scares the *@#% out of me, that I'll be stuck in this forever. (It's already been a year an a half, so I know that the rapid withdraw from the above drugs didn't cause it.) Still having memory problems and lots of confusion. Hoping that will go away. Didn't do a great job of taking the advice you've already offered me, but if you want to throw any out there I'll take it. Seriously... I'm not even sure I'm on the right forum anymore.

 

Still fully expecting to get smacked in the face at some point for the crazy C/T thing I did.

9-16-12: Lamictal 400, Effexor 150, Wellbutrin 300, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-17-12: Lamictal 200, C/T Effexor, C/T Wellbutrin, Ambien 5, Klonopin 2

 

9-21-12: Lamictal 100, Effexor 150, Ambien 10, Klonopin 3

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feeling of living in a dream, like nothing's real. Anyone have experience with that?

It's very common that doctors will attribute any withdrawal symptom to anxiety.

 

Many people on this board have had that feeling that nothing's real, a withdrawal symptom call depersonalization or derealization.

 

You may not be suffering from anxiety, but iatrogenic symptoms from your drug cocktails and cold turkey. However, you seem to be comfortable taking multiple medications and being in the psychiatric system, so I guess it's all good.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hannah, i am not sure that there is ANY psychiatric drug that you can simply stop taking when you want. All psychiatric drugs have far reaching effects on the brain - our brains are extremely complex and designed to be well balanced - when we upset one part of that with a drug there is a cascade of effects behind the scenes that are not 'seen'.

 

It is very probable that your initial problems DID stem from anxiety - you certainly had reason to be anxious - but it seems those problems have resolved - the ongoing anxiety could well be (as Alto has suggested) caused by the cocktail of drugs...

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Ambien 10qhs, and Klonopin ASMUCHASIWANThahahaha! My main problem in the foreseeable future is that feeling of living in a dream, like nothing's real. Anyone have experience with that?

 

Yeah. I've experienced that. Ambien is fun stuff. Been seeing things that weren't there?? Sorry but I think you are making some major mistakes here. You are messing with some powerful drugs that may be affecting the only brain you will ever get. Good luck with that.

 

I agree with Barb..... you are getting some mighty fine drugs at the hospital. I was put on xanax at the emergency room 17 years ago and now I'm addicted, planning on a very well thought out tapering plan to get off of it. I've wasted part of my life and was not "present" for my family for part of their youth. I'm not pissed at my doctors and I've forgiven myself but I certainly am not proud of being able to get drugs ( hahahahaha).

 

Good luck Hannah.

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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