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Hello all. It has been a little over a year that I have been Effexor free( after being on it for 18 years). At this point, I feel okay- not as bad as I feared. I don't know if depression is a genetic predisposition or circumstances in my childhood and life( or a bit of both), but struggling with it isn't as daunting as I was afraid it might be; certainly not as bad as it was when I began taking drugs for it.

Unfortunately, i didn't wean properly; I jumped from 18 mg to nothing, thinking I could handle it. I would strongly urge anyone to wean down to one granule if you can to avoid the severity of the withdrawal. 

The first six months were very difficult...I was very irritable and very sad- hopeless feeling most of the time. The physical symptoms were fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headache and the robotic sound of my eyeballs moving. Even now, though rarely, I can hear my eyeballs moving; this usually happens when I am over tired. I know that my brain has had to rewire itself, so I understand that all this is normal for withdrawal. I admit to at some points,wanting to go back to it because for me the best feeling I ever had was the first month or so on the drug- feeling happy beyond belief and feeling balanced. I would love to feel that way all the time, but the drug loses its efficacy after a time and makes me feel pretty much as I do now- low depression, with occasional feelings of happiness( or what I call normal).

At this point in my life, I have embraced meditation and mindfulness, and it has helped immensely. I hope you all are doing well and are able to get away from the drugs that ensnare us into that feeling of non being( at least, that was my experience....I was beginning to feel like a robot). Its a long road, but I really believe it is worth every agonizing moment. For me, at the end, what I am left with is purely "me"....and it's a better place to start healing.

Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you for sharing Coleen.

 

How are things now?

 

Hugs

Started Sertralin the spring of -13 and got up to 150 mgs (which was a mistake by my GP)

Decided to taper it form 150 mgs in sep -13 by reducing the dosage by 12.5 mgs every other week.

Got off Sertraline in Feb -14 and started noticing withdrawal after about 15 days off the meds.

Still experiencing withdrawal after 2 years and 5 months off the medicine.

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Great news. Colleen. Thanks for sharing. We need more success stories.

Prozac 1999-2009 quit semi cold turkey.

 

2012 Placed on Seroquel 25 mg, Tranxene (Clorezepate) 3.75 mg 3x a day, Remeron 30 mg for anxiety/akathesia.

 

Weaned off Seroquel and Tranxene .to Remeron 15 Mg.

In May 2014 tried quitting Remeron at its lowest dose. Had severe withdrawals.Reinstated Remeron at 30 mg by doctor. August 5 2014 entered hospital. Doctor pulled the Remeron and bridged it to Pamelor (Nortriptyline) 40mg and Zyprexa 2.5mg.After removing the Remeron all my bad symptoms went away and I am stable.

 

9/11/14 - 7.5 mg tranxene, 40mg Pamelor, Zyprexa 2.5mg

12/29/14 -  20mg Pamelor, 1/6/15,  7/31/15 3.5mg, 8/10/15 3.2 mg, 9/15/15 2.2mg, 10/15/15 1.8mg

(Feb 2016 - 1.4mg Pamelor only -  OFF OF TRANXENE AND ZYPREXA SINCE DEC 2014 BENZO FREE Since 2014. Nortrityline (Pamelor) .8mg Aug 2016

March 2017 DRUG FREE

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Great news.

2000 - took accutane for my acne 2001 - On Paxil for about 6 months. Stopped due to side effects mainly severe stomach pain, extreme fatigue, headaches

2006 to 2009 - Went on 150mg of Wellbutrin/Bupropion for about 3 years. Side effects were again stomach pain, fatigue and frequent urination. Didn't feel like it helped my anxiety/depression so I stopped cold turkey. I did not have any major problems after going cold turkey at the time.

2009 to 2012 - Starting taking 100 mg of 5htp and whack load of other supplements(multivitamin, omega 3, protein shake, amino acids, sage, magnesium, vitamin D3, apple cider vinegar pills) every other day. Helped with my anxiety/mood quite a bit.

April 2012 - first signs of sexual dysfunction(pre-cum all the time especially when going to the bathroom to pee and not aroused), but issues were minor. But also had feeling as if I am ready to ejaculate all the time.

June 2012 - major weight loss, was about 15 pounds underweight and severe stomach pain and cramps

Nov 27 2012 - Took last pill of 5htp 50mg. Worst issue severe sexual dysfunction(can't get or sustain an strong erection, loss of feeling, no orgasm, no desire for sexual activity, delayed ejaculation, pre-cum when i'm not aroused, feeling of arousal all the time without thoughts) and frequent urination which is why I stopped taking 5htp and all other supplements completely cold turkey. Experienced the following side effects the past year while still taking the supplement and while getting off;

Feb 2013 - started major symptoms of PGAD Dec 2013 - severe muscle tension. Neck shoulder and headaches and migraines.

-insomnia,hives,eye twitching, restless legs, frequent urination/tingling sensation/arousal(PGAD), upset stomach, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, severe sexual dysfunction(no erection, no feeling, no orgasm, delayed ejaculation, premature ejaculation, constant arousal, morning erection not as strong as it used to be, cold damp genitals) brain zaps, dizziness, nausea, chills, fatigue, anxiety. Lack of natural body sweat especially when active.no emotion,tinnitus
Nov 27, 2018 - 6 years off since I took my last pill of 5HTP, 8 years since taking last pill of Wellbutrin

Present Issues - sexual dysfunction and PGAD(frequent urination, Cold feeling in Genitals, etc) - 6 years

headaches, shoulder and neck tension - 5 years 
vertigo - 1 year

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Hey Coleen, yes, recovery does happen;I'm happy for you.

BTW, you have to change tour signature,because it says you still are on Effexor, and that is not the case.

 

Hugs, A.

4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 

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  • Administrator

Coleen, thank you so much for coming back to share that good news with us. I'm very happy for you.

 

I've closed your Intro topic http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1983-about-me-coleen/, which you started April 1, 2012 in the midst of Effexor withdrawal,  as a gesture towards this new chapter in your life.

 

Please post here and 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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  • 3 months later...

wow thank you this was very encouraging to read.....as a partial efexor surviver myself this gives me hope 

1st short round: from 2012 april ~ july 

Sertraline 50mg with 1mg Larazepam fast wd few problems

 

2013 may - 2014 january:  75mg Effexor XR +  1mg Rivotril + 10mg Ambien(zolpidem)

2014 january ~ june :        150mg Effexor XR +  2mg Rivotril    cold turkeyed both almost at the same time (crazy wd of course)

 

two days after cold turkey of Effexor I started 10mg of Lexapro for around a month then did a fast taper (for some days took little Ambien to combat wd)

 

Reinstated to 1mg of Klonopin on 2015.04.23  took the 1mg total for 10 days.  I did in three divided doses 0.25 morning + 0.25 afternoon + 0.5 before sleep.  

Now: 1 mgs total K, divided into .75 night .25 day

 

Started taking 3mg Lamictal on 05.07...... Slowly tiltrated up to 6mg....

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  • 6 months later...

I love the idea of getting off AD's but what are you doing about being depressed?  It's chronic with me.  It just doesn't go away.  Thanks.

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  • 9 months later...
Hopeinahpwr

Coleen,

Thank you for your success story, it gives many of us hope! I am praying for you.

Ben

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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Irvingkirsch

Hello all. It has been a little over a year that I have been Effexor free( after being on it for 18 years). At this point, I feel okay- not as bad as I feared. I don't know if depression is a genetic predisposition or circumstances in my childhood and life( or a bit of both), but struggling with it isn't as daunting as I was afraid it might be; certainly not as bad as it was when I began taking drugs for it.

Unfortunately, i didn't wean properly; I jumped from 18 mg to nothing, thinking I could handle it. I would strongly urge anyone to wean down to one granule if you can to avoid the severity of the withdrawal. 

The first six months were very difficult...I was very irritable and very sad- hopeless feeling most of the time. The physical symptoms were fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headache and the robotic sound of my eyeballs moving. Even now, though rarely, I can hear my eyeballs moving; this usually happens when I am over tired. I know that my brain has had to rewire itself, so I understand that all this is normal for withdrawal. I admit to at some points,wanting to go back to it because for me the best feeling I ever had was the first month or so on the drug- feeling happy beyond belief and feeling balanced. I would love to feel that way all the time, but the drug loses its efficacy after a time and makes me feel pretty much as I do now- low depression, with occasional feelings of happiness( or what I call normal).

At this point in my life, I have embraced meditation and mindfulness, and it has helped immensely. I hope you all are doing well and are able to get away from the drugs that ensnare us into that feeling of non being( at least, that was my experience....I was beginning to feel like a robot). Its a long road, but I really believe it is worth every agonizing moment. For me, at the end, what I am left with is purely "me"....and it's a better place to start healing.

 

Hi, I'm glad to hear you are doing better. Is it posssible that the fatigue you were feeling was a result of insufficient sleep? I've had horrible fatigue as a result of not being able to get enough sleep, but I don't seee too many people talk about that here. Instead people complain about the fatigue and I'm wondering if they just don't realize that sleeping 5 hours a night is not normal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

How long did it take for the fatigue to subside ?

Xanax PRN ( 1/2 of .25mg approximately 2-3 a month when needed ) since May 2015

In April 2016 started birth control and in my opinion it triggered anxiety for almost a week straight and took 1/2 .25mg Xanax everyday for that week ( never had taken that many in a row before )

Saw the family MD and gave me Prozac 20 mg.

took it for 6 days and could not handle the side effects and had to stop working

Went back to the dr on the 7 day and told me to stop CT . I told him that I was scared to stop so suddenly so he gave me 10mg to take to see if the side effects decreased

Took the 10mg that night and the next day felt so much worse . After that did take anything any more except and antibiotic due to UTI

It's been almost 7 weeks and I have a lot of weakness ( comes and goes) anxiety , cortisol urges at night and worse in the morning which usually lessens throughout the day , tinnitus , heavy leg feeling , fatigue and burning skin mostly my left arm, face and neck mainly when I fee the cortisol surges .

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Tootsieroll

 

Hello all. It has been a little over a year that I have been Effexor free( after being on it for 18 years). At this point, I feel okay- not as bad as I feared. I don't know if depression is a genetic predisposition or circumstances in my childhood and life( or a bit of both), but struggling with it isn't as daunting as I was afraid it might be; certainly not as bad as it was when I began taking drugs for it.

Unfortunately, i didn't wean properly; I jumped from 18 mg to nothing, thinking I could handle it. I would strongly urge anyone to wean down to one granule if you can to avoid the severity of the withdrawal.

The first six months were very difficult...I was very irritable and very sad- hopeless feeling most of the time. The physical symptoms were fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headache and the robotic sound of my eyeballs moving. Even now, though rarely, I can hear my eyeballs moving; this usually happens when I am over tired. I know that my brain has had to rewire itself, so I understand that all this is normal for withdrawal. I admit to at some points,wanting to go back to it because for me the best feeling I ever had was the first month or so on the drug- feeling happy beyond belief and feeling balanced. I would love to feel that way all the time, but the drug loses its efficacy after a time and makes me feel pretty much as I do now- low depression, with occasional feelings of happiness( or what I call normal).

At this point in my life, I have embraced meditation and mindfulness, and it has helped immensely. I hope you all are doing well and are able to get away from the drugs that ensnare us into that feeling of non being( at least, that was my experience....I was beginning to feel like a robot). Its a long road, but I really believe it is worth every agonizing moment. For me, at the end, what I am left with is purely "me"....and it's a better place to start healing.

Hi, I'm glad to hear you are doing better. Is it posssible that the fatigue you were feeling was a result of insufficient sleep? I've had horrible fatigue as a result of not being able to get enough sleep, but I don't seee too many people talk about that here. Instead people complain about the fatigue and I'm wondering if they just don't realize that sleeping 5 hours a night is not normal.

I second this. When i get enough sleep my brain fog isn't as bad. As sleep improves, so does everything else. This includes going to bed at the appropriate hours.

<p>10 years of ssri and finally tapered off in 2 years. Off Celexa by jan/28/2014 and off benzos by March/6th/2014 after only two months use and still experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

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Irvingkirsch

 

 

Hello all. It has been a little over a year that I have been Effexor free( after being on it for 18 years). At this point, I feel okay- not as bad as I feared. I don't know if depression is a genetic predisposition or circumstances in my childhood and life( or a bit of both), but struggling with it isn't as daunting as I was afraid it might be; certainly not as bad as it was when I began taking drugs for it.

Unfortunately, i didn't wean properly; I jumped from 18 mg to nothing, thinking I could handle it. I would strongly urge anyone to wean down to one granule if you can to avoid the severity of the withdrawal.

The first six months were very difficult...I was very irritable and very sad- hopeless feeling most of the time. The physical symptoms were fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headache and the robotic sound of my eyeballs moving. Even now, though rarely, I can hear my eyeballs moving; this usually happens when I am over tired. I know that my brain has had to rewire itself, so I understand that all this is normal for withdrawal. I admit to at some points,wanting to go back to it because for me the best feeling I ever had was the first month or so on the drug- feeling happy beyond belief and feeling balanced. I would love to feel that way all the time, but the drug loses its efficacy after a time and makes me feel pretty much as I do now- low depression, with occasional feelings of happiness( or what I call normal).

At this point in my life, I have embraced meditation and mindfulness, and it has helped immensely. I hope you all are doing well and are able to get away from the drugs that ensnare us into that feeling of non being( at least, that was my experience....I was beginning to feel like a robot). Its a long road, but I really believe it is worth every agonizing moment. For me, at the end, what I am left with is purely "me"....and it's a better place to start healing.

Hi, I'm glad to hear you are doing better. Is it posssible that the fatigue you were feeling was a result of insufficient sleep? I've had horrible fatigue as a result of not being able to get enough sleep, but I don't seee too many people talk about that here. Instead people complain about the fatigue and I'm wondering if they just don't realize that sleeping 5 hours a night is not normal.

I second this. When i get enough sleep my brain fog isn't as bad. As sleep improves, so does everything else. This includes going to bed at the appropriate hours.

 

 

Hi Tootsie Roll,

 

How long did it take after you got off all antidepressants did it take for your insomnia to get better?

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Tootsieroll

I'm 28 months out but I did have a benzo withdrawal right after I jumped off Celexa and that prolonged my recovery.  At this current moment, I still have insomnia and I have to try extra hard to get to bed.  I do this mantra when i try to sleep "My body is not my mind, and my mind is not my body" and I imagine my mind completely separate from my body.  So even though I feel heart palps as I lie there, my mind drifts off and this helps me sleep.  Good news is that each day that goes by, this situation improves and I no longer need an aid to get to sleep.  If I have an important apptment to get to the next morning, the most I'll ever take is maybe a tiny bite of melatonin.  Other than that, my sleep is deep enough to give me the energy needed for the next day.  I know insomnia is frustrating but be assured that it does get better.

<p>10 years of ssri and finally tapered off in 2 years. Off Celexa by jan/28/2014 and off benzos by March/6th/2014 after only two months use and still experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

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blazesboylan

Well Done Coleen. It is good to know that it is possible to wean off Effexor. I am on the same road myself.

 

:)

Previously - zopiclone, risperidone, lyrica (pregabalin), ativan (lorezapam)
 
01/Aug/2016 -  65mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
12/Aug/2016 -  75mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
03/Oct/2016 -  70mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
29/Oct/2016 -  65mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
25/Nov/2016 -  65mg effexor, 4mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
25/Dec/2016 -  60mg effexor, 3.6mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
18/Jan/2017 -  60mg effexor, 5.25mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
27/Mar/2017 -  54mg effexor, 5.25mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
23/Apr/2017 -  54mg effexor, 7.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
09/May/2017 -  75mg effexor, 7.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
08/Jun/2017 -  75mg effexor, 6.75mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
18/Jul/2017 -  75mg effexor, 6mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
 
Sometimes valium. Not daily. Supplements - Sterols and Stanols.
 
Note : I would really hope that nobody uses my tapering history as a guideline. It might not work well for somebody else tapering similar medications.

 

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Irvingkirsch

I'm 28 months out but I did have a benzo withdrawal right after I jumped off Celexa and that prolonged my recovery.  At this current moment, I still have insomnia and I have to try extra hard to get to bed.  I do this mantra when i try to sleep "My body is not my mind, and my mind is not my body" and I imagine my mind completely separate from my body.  So even though I feel heart palps as I lie there, my mind drifts off and this helps me sleep.  Good news is that each day that goes by, this situation improves and I no longer need an aid to get to sleep.  If I have an important apptment to get to the next morning, the most I'll ever take is maybe a tiny bite of melatonin.  Other than that, my sleep is deep enough to give me the energy needed for the next day.  I know insomnia is frustrating but be assured that it does get better.

 

Glad you are doing so much better. How long did it take you before you got to a point where you were getting enough sleep to have the energy needed for the next day?

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Tootsieroll

 

I'm 28 months out but I did have a benzo withdrawal right after I jumped off Celexa and that prolonged my recovery. At this current moment, I still have insomnia and I have to try extra hard to get to bed. I do this mantra when i try to sleep "My body is not my mind, and my mind is not my body" and I imagine my mind completely separate from my body. So even though I feel heart palps as I lie there, my mind drifts off and this helps me sleep. Good news is that each day that goes by, this situation improves and I no longer need an aid to get to sleep. If I have an important apptment to get to the next morning, the most I'll ever take is maybe a tiny bite of melatonin. Other than that, my sleep is deep enough to give me the energy needed for the next day. I know insomnia is frustrating but be assured that it does get better.

Glad you are doing so much better. How long did it take you before you got to a point where you were getting enough sleep to have the energy needed for the next day?

I'd have to say around 20 months was a turning point. My sleep before that was extremely broken and I would be so lethargic that I would forget things that had just happened. For example, I would eat dinner and forget I had eaten dinner and eat dinner again. I eat really small meals so I cant judge by fullness. Sometimes it's tough to function in such a haze.

<p>10 years of ssri and finally tapered off in 2 years. Off Celexa by jan/28/2014 and off benzos by March/6th/2014 after only two months use and still experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

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Irvingkirsch

 

 

I'm 28 months out but I did have a benzo withdrawal right after I jumped off Celexa and that prolonged my recovery. At this current moment, I still have insomnia and I have to try extra hard to get to bed. I do this mantra when i try to sleep "My body is not my mind, and my mind is not my body" and I imagine my mind completely separate from my body. So even though I feel heart palps as I lie there, my mind drifts off and this helps me sleep. Good news is that each day that goes by, this situation improves and I no longer need an aid to get to sleep. If I have an important apptment to get to the next morning, the most I'll ever take is maybe a tiny bite of melatonin. Other than that, my sleep is deep enough to give me the energy needed for the next day. I know insomnia is frustrating but be assured that it does get better.

Glad you are doing so much better. How long did it take you before you got to a point where you were getting enough sleep to have the energy needed for the next day?

I'd have to say around 20 months was a turning point. My sleep before that was extremely broken and I would be so lethargic that I would forget things that had just happened. For example, I would eat dinner and forget I had eaten dinner and eat dinner again. I eat really small meals so I cant judge by fullness. Sometimes it's tough to function in such a haze.

 

 

Thanks for responding Tootsie Roll. I guess recovery from insomnia is possible although it doesn't feel like it sometimes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am 8 months off Effexor I am getting it tough, thanks for posting your story ,it gives me heart.

I am off all meds 16 months I had been on olanzapine, Effexor zanex and assorted sleeping meds for approx 2 years.

Weaned off 375 mg effexor over two years, I had previously come off xanax, rivotrill and olazapine. Reinstated 75mg of effexor on the 22/12/16

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  • 2 years later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi there,

 

The staff at SA are wondering how you are.  We'd love to hear how you are doing now.   Would you mind dropping by and giving an update?

 

Thanks.

CC

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from July 2021:  Pristiq 0.13mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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