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pattypurple

Hi there!

 

Let's see...Introduction...I'm new here (obviously), and am looking to connect with others who are dealing with the intricacies of psychiatric drug withdrawal (again, obviously). I am 52 years old, have been on various meds for about 30 years. I have also had about 100 ECT treatments from 2003-2011, and my depression has been called "treatment resistant". I am a former RN, and have been psychiatrically and cognitively disabled since 2005. My current psychiatrist is resistant to me tapering off my drugs. I am hoping to find someone in my area who is familiar with and agreeable to getting these toxins out of my body!

In my free time, I enjoy jigsaw and crossword puzzles, yoga, walking, reading, cooking (I am vegan), perusing garage sales and thrift stores, spending time with my 95-pound mastiff/lab mix Molly, and Netflix!

Hoping to get (and to give) support and guidance in this journey!


Lexapro: Completed taper 9-30-15

Lamictal: Current dose 100mg (tapered from 250mg in 2014)--Hoping to begin taper mid-late 2016

Wellbutrin: Current dose 50mg IR in am only (tapered from 150mg XL starting late January 2016)--planning to stop completely in the next few weeks

Trazodone: Stopped late November 2015

Vistaril: Current dose 50mg as needed for anxiety (I take this about once or twice a month)

Melatonin: 10mg at bedtime
As I make the transition to less and less meds, I plan to continue/increase the following: yoga, exercise, light box therapy, gardening, whole foods/plant-based eating, acupuncture, meditation, and individual therapy (including possibly EMDR in the near future)--THESE are the best meds for me!

(BTW, I've been on many combinations of meds over the past 30 years. These are just my most recent ones.)

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Ginger

Patty purple,

Welcome and may you have peace and joy on your journey. You sound amazing and your determination is great. Fight on. Ginger


40 mg Paxil for 2.5 years

Quit cold turkey March 2006

WIthdrawal painful but gradually felt better after a year or so.

Now, ten years out, life has its problems because life is life But I am so happy and grateful for my life.

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Petunia

Welcome pattypurple,

Thank you for introducing yourself and for filling in your signature. It looks like you've done well with tapering lexapro so far. How are you feeling? Have you been using the 10% per month method?

 

I'm assuming you are going to continue with your lexapro taper. Here are our lexapro tapering tips if you haven't already seen them:

 

http://survivinganti...o-escitalopram/

 

We recommend only tapering one drug at a time. I'm concerned about the way you are planning on using Trazodone. This is an antidepressant and needs to be taken every day, and tapered if you decide to stop taking it. Otherwise you could experience withdrawal symptoms. Its not designed to be taken occasionally.

 

You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want. You will find a lot of friendly help and support here.

 

Petunia.


I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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pattypurple

Welcome pattypurple,

Thank you for introducing yourself and for filling in your signature. It looks like you've done well with tapering lexapro so far. How are you feeling? Have you been using the 10% per month method?

 

I'm assuming you are going to continue with your lexapro taper. Here are our lexapro tapering tips if you haven't already seen them:

 

http://survivinganti...o-escitalopram/

 

We recommend only tapering one drug at a time. I'm concerned about the way you are planning on using Trazodone. This is an antidepressant and needs to be taken every day, and tapered if you decide to stop taking it. Otherwise you could experience withdrawal symptoms. Its not designed to be taken occasionally.

 

You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want. You will find a lot of friendly help and support here.

 

Petunia.

Thanks, Petunia! Yes, I agree with doing one taper at a time, and with (hopefully) a doc's guidance. I was originally doing it on my own in a less than ideal way.

I'm on the trazadone just for sleep, and my doc has advised me to take it as needed, but come to think of it, I do better overall when I take it every night, instead of when I can't fall asleep, so maybe I am getting some antidepressant effect from it. In some part of my head I feel like there is a different stigma about taking something for sleep--like I should be able to at least find a way to SLEEP without drugs! I'm really just so tired of taking so many drugs!

Is there a chart on this site somewhere that I can print out and/or fill in online as I taper that lists dose and side effects to check off? The thought of creating one myself just feels daunting if there is already one out there.

I will check out the escitalopram taper info.

Thanks again!


Lexapro: Completed taper 9-30-15

Lamictal: Current dose 100mg (tapered from 250mg in 2014)--Hoping to begin taper mid-late 2016

Wellbutrin: Current dose 50mg IR in am only (tapered from 150mg XL starting late January 2016)--planning to stop completely in the next few weeks

Trazodone: Stopped late November 2015

Vistaril: Current dose 50mg as needed for anxiety (I take this about once or twice a month)

Melatonin: 10mg at bedtime
As I make the transition to less and less meds, I plan to continue/increase the following: yoga, exercise, light box therapy, gardening, whole foods/plant-based eating, acupuncture, meditation, and individual therapy (including possibly EMDR in the near future)--THESE are the best meds for me!

(BTW, I've been on many combinations of meds over the past 30 years. These are just my most recent ones.)

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pattypurple

Patty purple,

Welcome and may you have peace and joy on your journey. You sound amazing and your determination is great. Fight on. Ginger

Aw, thanks Ginger!


Lexapro: Completed taper 9-30-15

Lamictal: Current dose 100mg (tapered from 250mg in 2014)--Hoping to begin taper mid-late 2016

Wellbutrin: Current dose 50mg IR in am only (tapered from 150mg XL starting late January 2016)--planning to stop completely in the next few weeks

Trazodone: Stopped late November 2015

Vistaril: Current dose 50mg as needed for anxiety (I take this about once or twice a month)

Melatonin: 10mg at bedtime
As I make the transition to less and less meds, I plan to continue/increase the following: yoga, exercise, light box therapy, gardening, whole foods/plant-based eating, acupuncture, meditation, and individual therapy (including possibly EMDR in the near future)--THESE are the best meds for me!

(BTW, I've been on many combinations of meds over the past 30 years. These are just my most recent ones.)

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bluebalu86

Hi patty

 

Welcome to the forum and I wish you much success on your journey to be free of meds. We don't have garage sales in Bularia, but I love thrift store too! And dogs. When I get better I'm getting a cane corso dog, it's my favorite breed. 


I suffer from depression, anxiety, pure-o ocd, and panic attacks since 2004. Been on multiple different psychiatric drugs since 2006. Never had a significant WD problem before, only brain zaps for a month and then I'd be fine...............Been on Cipralex (escitalopram) 15 mg and Fluanxol (flupentixol) 1 mg since Sep 2014. Stopped taking the Cipralex after a fast 20-day taper.Took the last 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 5th, 2015. Then took Seroxat (paroxetine) 10 mg for a week, and stopped it too. Severe WD started suddenly on Feb 16th. RI 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 18th, 2015. RI worked and was relatively stable for a while................April 7 - decreased Fluanxol from 1 mg to 0.5 mg and took it at this dose for a week. - BIG MISTAKE; April 13 - WD starts creeping in; April 14 - RI full dose of Fluanxol 1 mg => severe muscle twitching and jerking when trying to relax and fall asleep, overwhelming sense of doom, dread, terror, and horror, insomnia, hoping to stabilize.
Tried doing a 10% cut off Fluanxol in the end of May for a few days, but quickly updosed to full dose because the twitching returned.
Experiencing waves and windows in the following months.
Unsuccessful brief taper attempt of Fluanxol by 5% on November 1st. Symptoms hit the next day. Too scared to continue tapering, reinstate full dose.
Severe crash in November after stupidly trying a barbiturate on November 9th. Grave mistake. Sense of unshakable inescapable internal torture, like my soul is in hell being tortured, terror/horror/dread/doom (probably akathisia?) that gets especially bad when trying to relax and fall asleep, muscles twitch, jerk and move on their own, shaking, insomnia, can't eat, confusion, disorientation, brain not working normally. Never felt so bad in my entire life. Never experiment with other meds while in WD! Praying to God I stabilize and get back to my baseline.
December - things getting even worse.

January - unbearable suffering

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Petunia

Is there a chart on this site somewhere that I can print out and/or fill in online as I taper that lists dose and side effects to check off?

 

I think this might be what you are looking for:

 

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist (PDF)


I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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pattypurple

Hello everyone...I had an interesting appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday about tapering my Lexapro. I am on now on 5mg, and haven't done any tapering since last fall, because when I tried to come off that last 5mg, I tried to do it very quickly and I had horrible side effects. Now my doc suggests doing an equally fast taper--take 2.5mg daily x 1-2 weeks then 2.5mg every other day for a week, then stop. From everything I've read, this is WAAAY too fast. I told him it was very important to me to taper much more slowly, and he insisted this was not necessary. I asked him to order the 5mg/5ml liquid suspension so I could do it more slowly. Finally, after insisting on it again and again, he agreed to taking 4mg x 2 weeks, then 3mg x 2 weeks, then 2mg x 2 weeks, then 1mg x 2 weeks, then stop. He didn't even know it was available in liquid suspension! He said he'd never advised a slower taper than his original recommendation and saw no need for it. Now I'm faced with the dilemma of whether to decrease by his schedule or do the 10% taper, and I'm leaning toward the 10% advised here, although truth be told, I'd like to be off this sooner rather than later:)  I am so glad I did some reading before my appointment. My doc seems clueless and of the "old school" of tapering that appears to be based on poor science/understanding of psych drugs!  


Lexapro: Completed taper 9-30-15

Lamictal: Current dose 100mg (tapered from 250mg in 2014)--Hoping to begin taper mid-late 2016

Wellbutrin: Current dose 50mg IR in am only (tapered from 150mg XL starting late January 2016)--planning to stop completely in the next few weeks

Trazodone: Stopped late November 2015

Vistaril: Current dose 50mg as needed for anxiety (I take this about once or twice a month)

Melatonin: 10mg at bedtime
As I make the transition to less and less meds, I plan to continue/increase the following: yoga, exercise, light box therapy, gardening, whole foods/plant-based eating, acupuncture, meditation, and individual therapy (including possibly EMDR in the near future)--THESE are the best meds for me!

(BTW, I've been on many combinations of meds over the past 30 years. These are just my most recent ones.)

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Altostrata

Hello, patty. I moved your post here as it's an update to your progress.

 

Good for you, you used the "voice of power" to get a prescription for liquid Lexapro.

 

You've had problems before going off 5mg, reason tells you this doctor doesn't know what he's talking about, why are you considering taking his advice now?

 

The 10% taper we advise may take a long time but it's a more assured way of getting safely off the drugs.

 

Never, ever skip doses to taper. Get your liquid Lexapro prescription filled, use it for gradual tapering, and if you need a refill, use the "voice of power" again. If that fails, any doctor can write the prescription, it doesn't have to be a psychiatrist.


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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pattypurple

Hello, patty. I moved your post here as it's an update to your progress.

 

Good for you, you used the "voice of power" to get a prescription for liquid Lexapro.

 

You've had problems before going off 5mg, reason tells you this doctor doesn't know what he's talking about, why are you considering taking his advice now?

 

The 10% taper we advise may take a long time but it's a more assured way of getting safely off the drugs.

 

Never, ever skip doses to taper. Get your liquid Lexapro prescription filled, use it for gradual tapering, and if you need a refill, use the "voice of power" again. If that fails, any doctor can write the prescription, it doesn't have to be a psychiatrist.

It's so frustrating, Altostrata. When he told me to taper by alternating 2.5mg every other day, after what I'd read here, a HUGE red flag went off in my brain, making me really question his guidance...So far, I've been doing a 10% taper. I'm too scared to do it any faster...


Lexapro: Completed taper 9-30-15

Lamictal: Current dose 100mg (tapered from 250mg in 2014)--Hoping to begin taper mid-late 2016

Wellbutrin: Current dose 50mg IR in am only (tapered from 150mg XL starting late January 2016)--planning to stop completely in the next few weeks

Trazodone: Stopped late November 2015

Vistaril: Current dose 50mg as needed for anxiety (I take this about once or twice a month)

Melatonin: 10mg at bedtime
As I make the transition to less and less meds, I plan to continue/increase the following: yoga, exercise, light box therapy, gardening, whole foods/plant-based eating, acupuncture, meditation, and individual therapy (including possibly EMDR in the near future)--THESE are the best meds for me!

(BTW, I've been on many combinations of meds over the past 30 years. These are just my most recent ones.)

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pattypurple

Hello all

 

Have been tapering Wellbutrin over the last few years and am finally down to my last 50mg IR, which I plan to stop in the next few weeks. Over the last few months, I've noticed pretty intense food cravings (especially salty and sugary foods). I find that I eat when I'm not hungry and I ignore my feelings of fullness. I remember hearing that Wellbutrin is a drug that is used for cravings, and that weight loss can be a pleasant side effect. Well, I'm wondering if these new cravings are due at least in part to my taper (i.e. a rebound effect). Certainly, there are emotional issues as well (as always), and these are perhaps less blunted as I taper off my meds, but this eating feels different--almost desperate. Has anyone else experienced this? If so, what did you do to handle it, and how long did it last?

 

Thanks!


Lexapro: Completed taper 9-30-15

Lamictal: Current dose 100mg (tapered from 250mg in 2014)--Hoping to begin taper mid-late 2016

Wellbutrin: Current dose 50mg IR in am only (tapered from 150mg XL starting late January 2016)--planning to stop completely in the next few weeks

Trazodone: Stopped late November 2015

Vistaril: Current dose 50mg as needed for anxiety (I take this about once or twice a month)

Melatonin: 10mg at bedtime
As I make the transition to less and less meds, I plan to continue/increase the following: yoga, exercise, light box therapy, gardening, whole foods/plant-based eating, acupuncture, meditation, and individual therapy (including possibly EMDR in the near future)--THESE are the best meds for me!

(BTW, I've been on many combinations of meds over the past 30 years. These are just my most recent ones.)

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AliG

Hi Patty.      Well done with your tapering, however I would rethink your fast taper.  A much slower taper is advised here. We advise tapering By 10 % of your current dose with a hold of approximately 4- 6 weeks depending on your withdrawal symptoms.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

It sounds like you are perhaps wanting to taper off all medications , and we can help you with that .

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

 Changes in appetite and weight are quite common in withdrawal . Many here have experienced this.  It is a common symptom. See 

" Symptoms & self- care ."  There are quite a few topics on weight.

Thank you for filling in your signature.

It sounds like you are heading in  a drug - free direction. If you are , you will find a lot of support , here. Have a read , and come back with any questions that you might have.

Ali


Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Shep

Hi, Patty.

 

I just moved your last post to your Intro thread to keep everything together. Please note there's only one Intro thread per member.

 

Like Ali said, those food cravings are very, very common.  And it may not be just from Wellbutrin - you mention this starting a few months ago, so it may be coming from your Trazadone taper which ended about 5 or 6 months ago. The older antidepressants are notorious for causing food cravings. So it could be a combination, but it will resolve in time. 

 

I found that going on a low blood sugar diet (low sugar and carbs and plenty of protein) helped, especially if I eat several small, healthy meals with protein evenly spread out throughout the day. 

 

Please be very, very careful of your melatonin use. 10 mg is a high dose, especially if your CNS has been compromised by coming off these drugs. Here's a thread you may find helpful on melatonin:

 

Melatonin for Sleep

 

And here's a good thread for finding non-drug methods of sleeping:

 

Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

I found Wellbutrin to be extremely stimulating, so hopefully your sleep will naturally improve as you come off and heal. 

 

You are already doing a lot of great things listed in your signature - yoga, exercise, light box, gardening, whole foods, acupuncture, etc. Looks like you're well on your way. Best of luck on your remaining tapers. 


Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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AliG

Patty.  As Shep said , 10 mg is far too  high . We advise starting on perhaps . 25 mg Melatonin. Less is more. If you start low you can work your way up, but often a low dose of melatonin can be more effective.

Ali


Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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pattypurple

Thanks for the melatonin cautions. I've played around with dosing for a while. Started with 2mg and no response. Went up to 3mg, which helped me fall asleep but not stay asleep. Found a 5mg one that was dual-release, delivering 3mg and then 2mg later, which helped some more, but still awake from 3am on. When I started on 10mg several weeks ago, I have slept MUCH better.

 

Two confounding factors:

1. I started having hot flashes almost immediately after starting Trazodone taper in Novemberish (I am 53, and was gently approaching menopause before then) and was waking at least hourly for about 5 months from the hot flashes, then unable to get back to sleep. Since taking the 10mg of melatonin, I have been having less hot flashes and less night waking and less difficulty falling back to sleep when I do have the occasional hot flash (maybe once/night?)

2. I am also taking 200-400mg of magnesium at bedtime

 

Come to think of it, the cravings have gotten the most intense since taking the larger dose of melatonin. I just looked up online about melatonin and blood sugar and found that melatonin is sometimes suggested to diabetics to regulate blood sugar, so I'm not sure if this is related...

 

This whole tapering process is so frustrating..It's hard to tease out what is causing what. I always find myself searching for THE answer. When it comes down to it, there is no one answer. I remember feeling this way when I was on various combinations of drugs. No one else was on that same combination, for that same period of time, and with the same history as me. I always felt like my treatment was a crap shoot, and I felt like an experiment. And now I feel that way again, but I have more control, I guess...But (and?) I feel that same angst. Grr...If you're still reading, thanks for listening to my rant:)


Lexapro: Completed taper 9-30-15

Lamictal: Current dose 100mg (tapered from 250mg in 2014)--Hoping to begin taper mid-late 2016

Wellbutrin: Current dose 50mg IR in am only (tapered from 150mg XL starting late January 2016)--planning to stop completely in the next few weeks

Trazodone: Stopped late November 2015

Vistaril: Current dose 50mg as needed for anxiety (I take this about once or twice a month)

Melatonin: 10mg at bedtime
As I make the transition to less and less meds, I plan to continue/increase the following: yoga, exercise, light box therapy, gardening, whole foods/plant-based eating, acupuncture, meditation, and individual therapy (including possibly EMDR in the near future)--THESE are the best meds for me!

(BTW, I've been on many combinations of meds over the past 30 years. These are just my most recent ones.)

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AliG

Patty.   I get it .  Withdrawal and hormones combined .  :wacko:   It is hard to tease out what is what , for sure. You seem to have a great attitude though and I think that will take you far .Like you said , there is no one answer. Everything matters. I have found that it's diet / exercise /sun / positive thinking and then more positive thinking !  


Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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