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How Did 274,000 Infants Finish Up on Psychiatric Meds?


This text was beforehand revealed September 19, 2019, and has been up to date with new data.

Within the U.S., an estimated 21 million American adults skilled no less than one main depressive episode in 2020.1 The reported numbers for the previous a number of years2 have persistently been highest amongst these aged between 18 and 25.3 Nevertheless, not solely is there proof that despair is vastly overdiagnosed, however there’s additionally proof displaying it is routinely mistreated.

With regard to overdiagnosis, it’s been ongoing for a very long time, with one 2013 research4 discovering solely 38.4% of contributors with clinician-identified despair really met the DSM-4 standards for a serious depressive episode, and solely 14.3% of seniors 65 and older met the factors.

As for remedy, the overwhelming majority are prescribed antidepressant medication, regardless of the very fact there’s little to no proof to recommend they supply significant assist, and loads of proof displaying the harms are higher than sufferers are being informed.

In accordance with a 2017 research,5 1 in 6 Individuals between the ages of 18 and 85 had been on psychiatric medication, most of them antidepressants, and 84.3% reported long-term use (three years or extra). Out of 242 million U.S. adults, 12% had been discovered to have stuffed a number of prescriptions for an antidepressant, particularly, in 2013. By 2021 within the midst of the pandemic, 1 in 4 Individuals over age 18, or 50 million individuals, had been on prescription psychological well being medication.6

In accordance with knowledge7 offered by a watchdog group in 2014, a whole bunch of 1000’s of toddlers are additionally being medicated with highly effective psychiatric medication, elevating critical moral questions, together with questions concerning the future psychological and bodily well being of those kids.

And, a research revealed in The BMJ in 20138 discovered that “In utero publicity to each SSRIs and non-selective monoamine reuptake inhibitors (tricyclic antidepressants) was related to an elevated danger of autism spectrum problems, notably with out mental incapacity” within the offspring.

Research are additionally shedding a lot wanted mild on the addictive nature of many antidepressants, and reveal that the advantages of those medication have been overblown whereas their unwanted side effects — together with suicidal ideation — and have been downplayed and ignored for many years, putting sufferers at pointless danger.

The Chemical Imbalance Fantasy

One researcher liable for elevating consciousness about these necessary psychological well being points is professor Peter C. Gøtzsche, a Danish physician-researcher and outspoken critic of the drug trade (as his guide, “Lethal Medicines and Organized Crime: How Large Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare,”9 suggests).

Gøtzsche helped discovered the Cochrane Collaboration in 1993 and later launched the Nordic Cochrane Centre. In 2018, he was expelled by the Cochrane governing board following the publication of a scathing critique of a Cochrane evaluation of the HPV wherein he and his coauthors identified a number of methodological flaws and conflicts of curiosity.

Over the previous a number of years, Gøtzsche has revealed various scientific papers on antidepressants and media articles and a guide discussing the findings. In a June 28, 2019 article,10 Gøtzsche addresses “the dangerous delusion” about chemical imbalances — a debunked speculation that continues to drive the usage of antidepressants to today. He writes, partially:11

“Psychiatrists routinely inform their sufferers that they’re in poor health as a result of they’ve a chemical imbalance within the mind and they’ll obtain a drug that fixes this …

Final summer time, one among my researchers and I collected details about despair from 39 standard web sites in 10 nations, and we discovered that 29 (74%) web sites attributed despair to a chemical imbalance or claimed that antidepressants may repair or right that imbalance …

It has by no means been attainable to indicate that frequent psychological problems begin with a chemical imbalance within the mind. The research which have claimed this are all unreliable.12

A distinction in dopamine ranges, for instance, between sufferers with schizophrenia and wholesome individuals can’t inform us something about what began the psychosis … [I]f a lion assaults us, we get terribly frightened and produce stress hormones, however this doesn’t show that it was the stress hormones that made us scared.

Individuals with psychoses have typically suffered traumatic experiences prior to now, so we should always see these traumas as contributing causal elements and never scale back struggling to some biochemical imbalance that, if it exists in any respect, is extra prone to be the results of the psychosis moderately than its trigger.13

The parable about chemical imbalance could be very dangerous. It makes individuals imagine there’s something severely incorrect with them, and typically they’re even informed that it’s hereditary.

The results of that is that sufferers proceed to take dangerous medication, yr after yr, maybe even for the whole thing of their lives. They worry what would occur in the event that they stopped, notably when the psychiatrists have informed them that their scenario is like sufferers with diabetes needing insulin.”

Actual Reason for Despair Is Sometimes Ignored

In accordance with Gøtzsche, there isn’t a identified psychological well being challenge that’s brought on by an imbalance of mind chemical substances. In lots of instances, the true trigger is unknown, however “fairly often, it’s a response to unhealthy dwelling situations,” he writes.14

He additionally cites the guide,15 “Nervousness — The Inside Story: How Organic Psychiatry Acquired It Fallacious,” written by Dr. Niall McLaren, wherein the creator reveals that anxiousness is a significant component in and set off of most psychiatric problems.

“A psychiatrist I respect extremely, who solely makes use of psychiatric medication in uncommon instances … has stated that most individuals are depressed as a result of they reside miserable lives,” Gøtzsche writes.

“No drug may also help them reside higher lives. It has by no means been proven in placebo-controlled trials {that a} psychiatric drug can enhance individuals’s lives — e.g., assist them return to work, enhance their social relationships or efficiency in school, or stop crime and delinquency. The medication worsen individuals’s lives, no less than in the long term.16

Gøtzsche rightfully factors out that antipsychotic medication create chemical imbalances; they do not repair them. As a bunch, they’re additionally considerably misnamed, as they don’t deal with psychotic states. Reasonably, they’re tranquilizers, rendering the affected person passive. Nevertheless, calming the affected person down doesn’t really assist them heal the underlying trauma that, in lots of instances, is what triggered the psychosis within the first place.

As famous in a single 2012 meta-analysis17 of research taking a look at childhood trauma — together with sexual abuse, bodily abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, neglect, parental loss of life and bullying — and subsequent danger of psychosis:

“There have been important associations between adversity and psychosis throughout all analysis designs … Sufferers with psychosis had been 2.72 instances extra prone to have been uncovered to childhood adversity than controls … The estimated inhabitants attributable danger was 33% (16%-47%). These findings point out that childhood adversity is strongly related to elevated danger for psychosis.”

Financial system of Affect in Psychiatry

A associated article,18 written by investigative journalist Robert Whitaker in 2017, addresses the “financial system of affect” driving the usage of antidepressant medication in psychiatric remedy — and the “social harm” that outcomes. As famous by Whitaker, psychological problems had been initially categorized in response to a illness mannequin in 1980 by the American Psychiatric Affiliation.

“We’re all aware of the second ‘financial system of affect’ that has exerted a corrupting affect on psychiatry — pharmaceutical cash — however I imagine the guild affect is de facto the larger downside,” he writes.

Whitaker particulars the corruption inside the APA in his guide “Psychiatry Beneath the Affect,” one aspect of which is “the false story informed to the general public about medication that fastened chemical imbalances within the mind.” Different types of corrupt conduct embrace:

  • The biased designs of medical trials to attain a predetermined outcome
  • Spinning outcomes to assist preconceived conclusions
  • Hiding poor long-term outcomes
  • Increasing diagnostic classes for the aim of business achieve
  • Creating medical trial pointers that promote drug use

In his article, Whitaker goes on to dissect a 2017 evaluation19 revealed within the American Journal of Psychiatry, which Whitaker claims “defends the occupation’s present protocols for prescribing antipsychotics, which incorporates their common long-term use.”

As Whitaker factors out, there’s ample proof displaying antipsychotic medication worsen outcomes over the long run in these recognized with psychotic problems corresponding to schizophrenia.

The evaluation in query, led by American psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, was aimed toward answering persistent questions raised by the mounting of such proof. Alas, their conclusions dismissed issues that the present drug paradigm could be doing extra hurt than good.

“In a subsequent press launch and a video for a Medscape commentary, Lieberman has touted it as proving that antipsychotics present an incredible profit, psychiatry’s protocols are simply superb, and that the critics are ‘nefarious’ people intent on doing hurt,” Whitaker writes.20

The Scientific Bias of Psychiatric Therapy

5 of the eight researchers listed on the evaluation have monetary ties to drug firms, three are audio system for a number of drug firms and all eight are psychiatrists, “and thus there’s a ‘guild’ curiosity current on this evaluation, on condition that they’re investigating whether or not one among their remedies is dangerous over the long-term,” Whitaker notes.21

Not surprisingly, the evaluation ignored research displaying detrimental results, together with research displaying antipsychotics have a detrimental impact on mind quantity. What’s extra, whereas withdrawal research assist the usage of antipsychotics as upkeep remedy over the long run, these research don’t deal with how the medication have an effect on sufferers’ long-term well being.

“They merely reveal that after an individual has stabilized on the remedy, going abruptly off the drug is prone to result in relapse,” Whitaker writes.22 “The deal with long-term outcomes, no less than as offered by critics, gives proof that psychiatry ought to undertake a selective-use protocol.

If first-episode sufferers usually are not instantly placed on antipsychotics, there’s a important proportion that may recuperate, and this ‘spontaneous restoration’ places them onto a superb long-term course. As for sufferers handled with the drugs, the aim can be to attenuate long-term use, as there may be proof that antipsychotics, on the entire, worsen long-term outcomes.”

Huge Majority of Psychotic Sufferers Are Harmed, Not Helped

In his deconstruction of Lieberman’s evaluation, Whitaker particulars how biased considering influenced the evaluation’s conclusions. It is a moderately lengthy article, however effectively price studying by if you wish to perceive how a scientific evaluation could be skewed to accord with a preconceived view.

Particulars I wish to spotlight, nevertheless, embrace findings referring to the quantity wanted to deal with (NNT) and the share of sufferers harmed by the routine use of antipsychotic medication as a first-line remedy.

As famous by Whitaker, whereas placebo-controlled research reveal the effectiveness of a drug in comparison with an inert substance, they don’t successfully reveal the ratio of profit versus hurt among the many affected person inhabitants. NNT refers back to the variety of sufferers that need to take the drug to be able to get one constructive response.

A meta-analysis cited in Lieberman’s evaluation had an NNT of 6, which means that six sufferers should take the drug to ensure that one to profit from the remedy. The remaining 5 sufferers — 83% — are doubtlessly harmed by the remedy. As famous by Whitaker:23

“The purpose … is that this: reviewers searching for to advertise their drug remedy as efficient will look solely at whether or not it produces a superior response to placebo. This results in a one-size-fits-all protocol.

Reviewers that wish to assess the benefit-harm impact of the remedy on all sufferers will have a look at NNT numbers. On this occasion, the NNT calculations argue for selective use of the medication …”

Antidepressants Are Not Helpful within the Lengthy Time period

Whereas usually not as harmful as antipsychotics, antidepressants additionally depart a path of destruction of their wake. A scientific evaluation24 by Gøtzsche revealed in 2019 discovered research assessing hurt from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) fail to supply a transparent and correct image of the harms, and subsequently “can’t be used to analyze persistent harms of antidepressants.”

On this evaluation, Gøtzsche and colleagues sought to evaluate “harms of SSRIs … that persist after finish of drug consumption.” The first outcomes included mortality, practical outcomes, high quality of life and core psychiatric occasions. In all, 22 papers on 12 SSRI trials had been included. Gøtzsche discovered a number of distinct issues with these trials. For starters, solely two of the 12 trials had a drop-out fee under 20%.

Gøtzsche and his staff additionally notice that “End result reporting was much less thorough throughout follow-up than for the intervention interval and solely two trials maintained the blind throughout follow-up.” Importantly, although, all the 22 papers got here to the conclusion that “the medication weren’t helpful in the long run.”

One other necessary discovering was that each one trials both “reported harms outcomes selectively or didn’t report any,” and “Solely two trials reported on any of our major outcomes (faculty attendance and variety of heavy consuming days).”

Just a few years later, in April 2022, a research utilizing knowledge from america’ Medical Expenditures Panel Survey for sufferers who had despair discovered, “The actual-world impact of utilizing antidepressant drugs doesn’t proceed to enhance sufferers” health-related high quality of life (HRQoL) over time.25

Antidepressants Are Extra Addictive Than Admitted

In a June 4, 2019, article,26 “The Despair Tablet Epidemic,” Gøtzsche writes that antidepressant medication:

“… would not have related results on despair; they enhance the danger of suicide and violence; and so they make it harder for sufferers to reside regular lives.27 They need to subsequently be averted.

We now have been fooled by the drug trade, corrupt docs on trade payroll, and by our drug regulators.28 Certainly, many sufferers and docs imagine the tablets are useful, however they can’t know this, as a result of individuals are likely to develop into a lot better with time even when they don’t seem to be handled.29

Because of this we’d like placebo-controlled trials to seek out out what the medication do to individuals. Sadly, just about all trials are flawed, exaggerate the advantages of the medication, and underestimate their harms.”30

Addictive Nature of Antidepressants Skews Outcomes

In his article,31 Gøtzsche evaluations a number of of the methods utilized in antidepressant drug trials to magnify advantages and underestimate the harms. One little-known fact that helps skew research ends in the drug’s favor is the truth that antidepressants are typically way more addictive than formally admitted. He explains how this conveniently hides the skewing of outcomes as follows:32

“Nearly all sufferers within the trials are already on a drug much like the one being examined towards placebo. Subsequently, because the medication are addictive, among the sufferers will get abstinence signs … when randomized to placebo …

These abstinence signs are similar to these sufferers expertise once they attempt to cease benzodiazepines. It’s no marvel that new medication outperform the placebo in sufferers who’ve skilled hurt on account of chilly turkey results.

To learn how lengthy sufferers must proceed taking medication, so-called upkeep (withdrawal) research have been carried out, however such research are also compromised by chilly turkey results. Main psychiatrists do not perceive this, or they faux they do not.

Most interpret the upkeep research of despair tablets to imply that these medication are very efficient at stopping new episodes of despair and that sufferers ought to subsequently proceed taking the medication for years and even for all times.”

Scientific Literature Helps Actuality of Person Complaints

Through the years, a number of research on the dependence and withdrawal reactions related to SSRIs and different psychiatric medication have been revealed, together with the next:

In a 2011 paper33 within the journal Habit, Gøtzsche and his staff seemed on the distinction between dependence and withdrawal reactions by evaluating benzodiazepines and SSRIs. Benzodiazepines are identified to trigger dependence, whereas SSRIs are stated to not be addictive.

Regardless of such claims, Gøtzsche’s staff discovered that “discontinuation signs had been described with related phrases for benzodiazepines and SSRIs and had been very related for 37 of 42 recognized signs described as withdrawal reactions,” which led them to conclude that:

“Withdrawal reactions to selective serotonin re‐uptake inhibitors look like much like these for benzodiazepines; referring to those reactions as a part of a dependence syndrome within the case of benzodiazepines, however not selective serotonin re‐uptake inhibitors, doesn’t appear rational.”

Two years later, in 2013, Gøtzsche’s staff revealed a paper34 within the Worldwide Journal of Threat & Security in Drugs, wherein they analyzed “communications from drug businesses about benzodiazepine and SSRI withdrawal reactions over time.”

By looking the web sites of drug businesses in Europe, the U.S., U.Okay. and Denmark, they discovered that it took years earlier than drug regulators lastly acknowledged the truth of benzodiazepine dependence and SSRI withdrawal reactions and commenced informing prescribers and sufferers about these dangers.

A big a part of the issue, they discovered, is that drug businesses depend on spontaneous reporting of opposed results, which “results in underestimation and delayed details about the issues.”

In conclusion, they state that “Given the expertise with the benzodiazepines, we imagine the regulatory our bodies ought to have required research from the producers that might have elucidated the dependence potential of the SSRIs earlier than advertising and marketing authorization was granted.”

A 2019 paper35 within the Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences journal notes “It took nearly 20 years after the SSRIs entered the marketplace for the primary systematic evaluation to be revealed.” It additionally factors out that evaluations claiming withdrawal results to be gentle, temporary in period and uncommon “was at odds with the sparse however rising proof base.”

In actuality, “What the scientific literature reveals is in shut settlement with the 1000’s of service consumer testimonies accessible on-line in massive boards. It means that withdrawal reactions are fairly frequent, that they could final from a couple of weeks to a number of months and even longer, and that they’re typically extreme.”

Antidepressants Improve Your Threat of Suicide and Violence

In his June 2019 article,36 Gøtzsche additionally stresses the truth that antidepressants could be deadly. In one among his research,37 revealed in 2016, he discovered antidepressants “double the incidence of occasions that may result in suicide and violence in wholesome grownup volunteers.”

Different analysis38 has proven they “enhance aggression in kids and adolescents by an element of two to three — an necessary discovering contemplating the numerous faculty shootings the place the killers had been on despair tablets,” Gøtzsche writes.

In middle-aged girls with stress urinary incontinence, the selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) duloxetine, which can also be used to deal with incontinence, has been proven to double the danger of a psychotic episode and enhance the danger of violence and suicide 4 to 5 instances,39 main the authors to conclude that harms outweighed the advantages.

“I’ve described the soiled methods and scientific dishonesty concerned when drug firms and main psychiatrists attempt convincing us that these medication shield towards suicide and different types of violence,”40 Gøtzsche writes.41 “Even the FDA was pressured to present in when it admitted in 2007, no less than not directly, that despair tablets may cause suicide and insanity at any age.

There isn’t any doubt that the large use of despair tablets is dangerous. In all nations the place this relationship has been examined, the sharp rise in incapacity pensions on account of psychiatric problems has coincided with the rise of psychiatric drug utilization, and despair tablets are these that are used essentially the most by far. This isn’t what one would count on if the medication had been useful.”

Drugmaker Lied About Paxil’s Suicide Threat

In 2017, Wendy Dolin was awarded $3 million by a jury in a lawsuit towards GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Paxil. Dolin’s husband dedicated suicide six days after taking his first dose of a Paxil generic, and proof introduced forth within the case convincingly confirmed his suicide was the results of the drug, not emotional stress or psychological sickness.42

The authorized staff behind that victory, Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman, additionally represented different victims of Paxil-induced violence and loss of life. On the time, lawyer R. Brent Wisner stated:43

“The Dolin verdict despatched a transparent message to GSK and different drug producers that hiding knowledge and manipulating science is not going to be tolerated … When you create a drug and know that it poses critical dangers, no matter whether or not shoppers use the model identify or generic model of that drug, you will have an obligation to warn.”

GSK’s personal medical placebo-controlled trials really revealed topics on Paxil had practically 9 instances the danger of making an attempt or committing suicide than the placebo group. To realize drug approval, GSK misrepresented this surprising knowledge, falsely reporting a better variety of suicide makes an attempt within the placebo group and deleting among the suicide makes an attempt within the drug group.

An inside GSK evaluation of its suicide knowledge additionally confirmed that “sufferers taking Paxil had been practically seven instances extra prone to try suicide than these on placebo,” Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman experiences, including:44

“Jurors within the Dolin trial additionally heard from psychiatrist David Healy, one of many world’s foremost consultants on Paxil and medicines in its class … Healy informed the jurors that Paxil and medicines like it could create in some individuals a state of maximum ’emotional turmoil’ and intense inside restlessness often known as akathisia …

‘Individuals have described it like a state worse than loss of life. Demise can be a blessed aid. I wish to leap out of my pores and skin,’ Dr. Healy stated. Wholesome volunteer research have discovered that akathisia can occur even to individuals with no psychiatric situation who take the drug …

One other Paxil facet impact identified to extend the danger of suicide is emotional blunting … apathy or emotional indifference … [E]motional blunting, mixed with akathisia, can result in a psychological state wherein a person has ideas of harming themselves or others, however is ‘numbed’ to the results of their actions. Medicine within the Paxil class may trigger somebody to ‘go psychotic, develop into delirious,’ Dr. Healy defined.”

Tons of of Hundreds of Toddlers on Psychiatric Medicine

Contemplating the numerous critical psychological and bodily dangers related to psychiatric medication, it is surprising to study that a whole bunch of 1000’s of American toddlers are on them. In 2014, the Residents Fee on Human Rights, a psychological well being watchdog group, highlighted knowledge displaying that in 2013:45

  • 274,000 infants aged 1 and youthful got psychiatric medication — Of those, 249,699 had been on anti-anxiety meds like Xanax; 26,406 had been on antidepressants corresponding to Prozac or Paxil, 1,422 had been on ADHD medication corresponding to Ritalin and Adderall, and 654 had been on antipsychotics corresponding to Risperdal and Zyprexa
  • Within the toddler class (2- to 3-year-olds), 318,997 had been on anti-anxiety medication, 46,102 had been on antidepressants, 10,000 had been prescribed ADHD medication and three,760 had been on antipsychotics
  • Amongst kids aged 5 and youthful, 1,080,168 had been on psychiatric medication

These are surprising figures that problem logic. How and why are so many kids, infants even, on addictive and dangerously mind-altering drugs? Contemplating these statistics are 6 years outdated, likelihood is they’re even larger in the present day. Simply what’s going to occur to all of those kids as they develop up? As talked about within the article:46

“Relating to the psychiatric medication used to deal with ADHD, these are known as ‘kiddie cocaine’ for a purpose. Ritalin (methylphenidate), Adderall (amphetamine) and Concerta are all thought-about by the federal authorities as Schedule II medication — essentially the most addictive.

ADHD medication even have critical unwanted side effects corresponding to agitation, mania, aggressive or hostile conduct, seizures, hallucinations, and even sudden loss of life, in response to the Nationwide Institutes of Well being …

So far as antipsychotics, antianxiety medication and antidepressants, the FDA and worldwide drug regulatory businesses cite unwanted side effects together with, however not restricted to, psychosis, mania, suicidal ideation, coronary heart assault, stroke, diabetes, and even sudden loss of life.”

Kids More and more Prescribed Psych Medicine Off-Label

Making issues even worse, current analysis reveals the variety of kids being prescribed remedy off-label can also be on the rise. An instance provided by StudyFinds.org,47 which reported the findings, is “a physician recommending antidepressant remedy for ADHD signs.”

The research,48 revealed within the journal Pediatrics, checked out tendencies in off-label drug prescriptions made for youngsters below the age of 18 by office-based physicians between 2006 and 2015. Findings revealed:

“Physicians ordered ≥1 off-label systemic drug at 18.5% of visits, normally (74.6%) due to unapproved situations. Off-label ordering was commonest proportionally in neonates (83%) and in absolute phrases amongst adolescents (322 orders out of 1000 visits).

Off-label ordering was related to feminine intercourse, subspecialists, polypharmacy, and power situations. Charges and causes for off-label orders diverse significantly by age. Relative and absolute charges of off-label orders rose over time. Amongst frequent courses, off-label orders for antihistamines and a number of other psychotropics elevated over time …

US office-based physicians have ordered systemic medication off label for youngsters at growing charges, most frequently for unapproved situations, regardless of current efforts to extend proof and drug approvals for youngsters.”

The researchers had been shocked by the findings, and expressed critical concern over this pattern. Whereas authorized, lots of the medication prescribed off-label haven’t been correctly examined to make sure security and efficacy for younger kids and adolescents.

As famous by senior creator Daniel Horton, assistant professor of pediatrics and pediatric rheumatologist at Rutgers Robert Wooden Johnson Medical Faculty, “We don’t all the time perceive how off-label drugs will have an effect on kids, who don’t all the time reply to drugs as adults do. They might not reply as desired to those medication and will expertise dangerous results.”

In 2020 psychological well being consultants and reviewers had been nonetheless at-odds over prescribing these medication for youngsters, but hesitant to name a cease to it:49

“Antidepressants are prescribed for the remedy of various psychiatric problems in kids and adolescents, nevertheless there may be nonetheless controversy about whether or not they need to be used on this inhabitants …

Therapy selections ought to be tailor-made to sufferers on a person foundation, so we advocate clinicians, sufferers and coverage makers to confer with the proof offered within the current meta-review and make selections about the usage of antidepressants in kids and adolescents making an allowance for various medical and private variables.”

Educate Your self In regards to the Dangers

When you, your youngster or one other member of the family is on a psychiatric drug, I urge you to coach your self concerning the true dangers and to think about switching to safer alternate options. Relating to kids, I can’t fathom a scenario wherein a toddler would wish a psychiatric drug and I discover it surprising that there are such a lot of docs on the market that, based mostly on a subjective analysis, would deem a psychiatric drug mandatory.


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