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Lamictal
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Lamictal

hi everybody,

i read in more than one forum that lamictal cause serious short memory loss, this was totally new to me.i have been on lamictal 200mg for three years

i used to suffer from short memory loss since high school and thought it was due to my depression (as i was diagnosed bach then).....my short memory is getting really worse and i did not think it could be lamictale..........i thought it just getting worse aging (am 29 now)

now i cannot recall very simple vocabullary during speaking, not to mention spelling while writing simple stuff like this post

Have anyone suffered from similar symptoms and using lamictal
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35 Comments Post a Comment
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574118_tn?1305138884
I bet it isn't the lamictal, it's your worries and depression. living on the edge of a cliff all the time and feeling insecure makes the person concentrate less, have volatile memory especially the short one. This happens to all of us.

I believe you should do something regarding your depression. Whereas it says that antidepressants worsen mania causing rapid cycling and mixed states, but most BP pts take them to be able to function. So long you are under mood stabilizers I would consider talkng to your pdoc about that.

lamictal is innocent

good luck
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925572_tn?1246543631
Good morning,
very kind of you to take the time and answer my post,, am convinced that depression had something to do with my short memory but it is noticeable and really embarrassing now while i talk even to my family members while am not  stressed.

the thing is , many people has the same remarks who took only lamictal with lithium or other MS...................am not aware about ur medication now Ezz,

it would be nice if any one who (in this forum) has long experience with lamictale preferably with not more than one MS to tell me about their experience to avoid the possibility of meds interaction.........at least till i see a pdoc in two weeks from now

good day to you all


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925572_tn?1246543631
where are everyone?
!!!!!!!!!!!!

no one is on lamictal???   i thought it is much more popular than that

Ezz provided me with info,,,,,,,,,,
no body has long or short personal experience with lamictale

i could use the feed back plz
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574118_tn?1305138884
Hi Malak

What you describe is an individual experience so you won't find someone to deny it as it will confuse you neither to assert it. For instance i just was reading posts on lamictal in another forum and one pt said it's the best MS ever that she tried.

This short memory could be accidental true many of us have it but because BP have it. There is a lot of correlation between lack of concentration, short memory, depression, cognitive confusion, panic etc...give it a little of time and you will find yourself memorizing again what you thought is lost from memory.

Even if your memory is affected, can you dispense of lamictal ? it's one of the best MS. Even so every MS has its drawbacks. With valproate you will lose much of your hair and gain weight. You may have severe headaches on others. memory problems become serious when you lose your home address say but if you say wrong things as you speak you are not the prime minister of our country to worry even so i bet he is not worried if he does. Your problem I presume is the depression moment in which you are passing through.

As to someone responding to your mail, sometimes people abstain not out of apathy but they may feel you want to speak it out to feel good. Besides, none here is a psychiatrist, i bet psychiatrists themselves are bloody ignorant of their speciality. This is a complicated kind of illness, it's the brain, who can tell. I had wished it's like math or phys where 1+1=2 this is 1+1=20 it's not all chemistry only. The proof is that you can find lamictal awfull while for others the best drug. Had it been easy, the world would have resolved this disease, it's outside our capabilities. We only try and get the support of others, we are a community of people trying to sort things out as much as we can and pass information to one another, that's all.

so calm down and go have a walk on the beach it will make you good and eat popecorn
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925572_tn?1246543631
thank you for your concern
:)
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791606_tn?1240597111
I've been on Lamictal for 6 months now and have not noticed the short term memory getting worse. I've had a short term memory problem long before the Lamictal.
Take care,
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952564_tn?1268372247
I'm on Lamotrigine which is the generic Lamictle. I've only been on it for 7days. In the past 3 years I've noticed my short term memory getting worse. I used to be a memory machine, now to say that about me would be a joke. I'm very forgetful. When I'm manic I have a much worse memory. I'm starting to wonder if it is just a side effect of bipolar more than it is meds, after all it is our neurotransmitters and brain chemestry that are the ones in the direct line of fire. I have never been on meds before for this. Since it is only 7 days for me I can't answer your question if the meds make it worse.

Sorry. :(
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874521_tn?1375890587
I have been on lamotrigine for abt 18 months...I have chronic depression and all the SSRI's I've tried only work for a short while...this one seems to keep me from getting depressed.
However I too have been noticing my memory becoming really bad! I have always been proud of my good spelling skills...now I need spell ck.
and I need lists around the house to remind me to do simple things!!
I am 59 and no this isn't alzheimers (I know the diff)...but none the less concerning to me!!
I just hadn't even thought of there being a connection between lamotrigine and memory...have you found a site anywhere that claims this or is it only your findings?
I sure want to look into this more myself.
thx
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925572_tn?1246543631
Hi,
sorry for taking a long time to answer your post.

Actually i do not remember if i searched the side effects of Lmictal on any site,,it is just i came across it in many forums and all of them agree that Lmictal affects short memory loss but not long memory

Here are the links for these forums

http://www.bipolarworld.net/Phelps/ph_2006/ph1419.htm
http://bipolar.about.com/b/2003/06/29/does-lamictal-cause-memory-loss.htm
http://www.depressionforums.org/forums/Lamictal-Loss-Concentration-Short-Te-t22117.html
http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20090330/msgs/888084.html
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Pharmacy-1407/Lamictal-1.htm
http://www.************.com/boards/showthread.php?t=450905&highlight=cytomel
http://www.epilepsy.com/blogentry/961287
http://www.medications.com/se/lamictal/short-term-memory-loss


i will try to search this subject on sites rather than forums and will inform you as soon as i do

take care
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874521_tn?1375890587
thx for the sites, I will do some reading also
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691509_tn?1251617954
hi.  when I had severe cognitive problems a few yrs ago I was on Lamictal at 400 mg and Valproex Acid (depakote) at 1500 mg.

My pdoc said that Lamictal was probably the big  culprit and lowered the dose to 250 mg.  the valproex was reducecd as well, but he definitely thought that Lamictal was more likely the problem.

Now I'm off Lamictal and on Wellbutrin and Valproex.  My memory is sharp like it used to be, and I have no cognitive dulling.

I'm at 750 mg Valproex now, 300 mg Wellbutrin and 1 mg Clonazepam
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874521_tn?1375890587
Hi again...I did some reading on the websites you sent..and found the information alot more thorough than most sites..thx.
And yes there are MANY reports of
short term memory problems
fumbling for correct word when speaking &/or typing
retaining a train of thought
profuse sweating
spelling
forgetfullness
and many more I just listed the one I have noticed in MYSELF
I almost am thankful that I can now attribute the problems I am experiencing to lamtotrigine and NOT to age....
But since I do compensate for these side effects at the moment and now know what to report to my psych doctor and can monitor the benefits vs. side effects for my own self interest I am grateful......since I have noticed an improvement in my depression I will for now continue with this medication.
Are you still currently taking this? Or have you decided to discontinue?

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925572_tn?1246543631
Hi

yes am still on lamictal because i have no other choice,,,,,,,,,,,,i need it for depression and it is the safest option we can get as far as i know.

i just try to relax and  stop being angry form these side effects and keep on exercising my memory.

you can read on the posts above how some members disagree and believe lamictal is innocent from this acusation especially Ezz (first post), maybe they are right and it maybe due to anxiety ,then our problem will be easier to solve.

plz ask you pdoc about lamictale and anxiety as reasons for short memory loss
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925572_tn?1246543631
Hi

yes am still on lamictal because i have no other choice,,,,,,,,,,,,i need it for depression and it is the safest option we can get as far as i know.

i just try to relax and  stop being angry form these side effects and keep on exercising my memory.

you can read on the posts above how some members disagree and believe lamictal is innocent from this acusation especially Ezz (first post), maybe they are right and it maybe due to anxiety ,then our problem will be easier to solve.

plz ask you pdoc about lamictale and anxiety as reasons for short memory loss
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952564_tn?1268372247
Although a lot of people are complaining of this we have no way of knowing if this is the case unless they do a clinical research on it. Corrolation does not always equal causation. Since Lamictle is already in generic form, I'm guessing it has been out for a long time. But, perhaps if it is the Lamictle causing memory loss then maybe they will study it on people who have been taking it longer than the original clinical research when it was originally created. There needs too be enough people complaining about it, though, and those complaints need to get back to whichever company makes it.

So, if it is a real concern to you then bring it up to your doctor and have them inform the pharmaceuticle company. I work in health care and if we see an issue with a med we always bring it to the attention of the representatives, but I don't think all clinics do that.
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909415_tn?1390585342
I am on a very low dose of lamictal because I am just starting out on it,(50mg/day) and I haven't experienced any memory loss. As a matter of fact, I've kind of amazed myself with my ability to remember song lyrics again and instrumental breaks (I'm a musician).  But again, on such a low dose, I don't know if this information will be any help or not.
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574118_tn?1305138884
One very important issue Malak raised about memory loss and concentration etc.. is the interference with anxiety. My father for example who is 64 and had always a very good memory the last 6 years his memory and concentration lessened tremendously. I can see the reason obviously due to my illness the family lives in extreme anxiety like they say on the edge of a cliff ready to collapse any time. So anxiety is the 1st enemy to memory and concentration. Being nervous and irritated you can't concentrate. Although i am not very well informed about lamictal but i think from my readings in comparison to other drugs it was a salvation to many pts.

Yesterday my mother offered me a trivial soduko to do, this couldn't take me more than a few minutes, yet yesterday i kept trying endlessly but in vain why because i had a terrible anxiety, even forgot about its rules.

Besides, if i choose between a proper med and a shortness of memory my option is the 1st. Topamax for example can cause kidneys stones, but who can tell? seroquel can cause cataract, but if a person of 50 years come and say this, one couldn't tell whether from seroquel or age, etc...

A bit of lack of memory i suppose is good, at least we shall forget about the dark moments of our life
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874521_tn?1375890587
I appreciate your opinions as always.........however I must comment that since being on lamictal(lamotrigine)...I DO NOT suffer from any anxiety or depression..therefore the memory loss cannot be attributed to this...the memory/spelling/word finding issues have only started this last year and since I BEGAN  using this medication. I did not think of there being a connection UNTIL I read the post from Malak.
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574118_tn?1305138884
of course it's only a guess i am not so informed about drugs. i know that lamictal doesn't help in anxiety either but doesn't worsen anxiety too. so you may be right about worsening memory. what about neurontin which you take or any other med. But if the majority of pts assure that under lamictal there is a decrease in concentration and memory then it may be so. but this needs extensive statistical calculations to ascertain such assumption. i am not defending lamictal it's only that the rest of the MS have frightening side effects, so i am pro this drug. besides it's the only FDA approved for bipolarity since lithium as a 1st line MS and especially for BP1 which is tedious. It's also excellent as far rapid cycling and mixed states. one major advantage you don't have to do regular blood tests like lithium or tegretol, etc.. it's also effective contrary to gabapentin which has minor side effects but weaker. The majority of the pts in the USA and Canada are under lamictal so i assumed it's good unless the company has a good marketing policy. But since millions of people are using it i don't think they all suffer from memory loss.

In any case you may be right the med is comparatively recent and it will take time untril they realise the danger of using it if there is one.  
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874521_tn?1375890587
AND EVERYONE with complaints abt a drug side effect.....I'm not sure how to complain to the manufacturer???
although there is one site Malak pointed out to me and you CAN list your side effects on there, I don't know if this info gets anywhere that it should or is it just a place to comment???
the site is
www.medications.com
click on SIDE EFFECTS and read also POST
any other ways Xila?
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874521_tn?1375890587
You have a good memory!!
Yes I am also on gabapentin.(for neuropathy, not as a MS)...have been for approx 5 years where the memory loss and other observations have been within the past year and the lamictal use began approx 18 months ago...since it has been the most recent med added I tend to think it would be more likely the culprit.
I agree lamictal has the least of negative effects and many pro qualities, thats why I decide to continue....the memory problems are not necessarily due to this medication it is only an observation to be aware of.
It is through awareness of others experiences that we learn than make our own decisions, again side effects vary for each of us.
take care, have a good day.
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952564_tn?1268372247
The best thing to do is tell your doctor. When a doctor prescribes a medication they are usually visited by the representatives of the pharmaceutical companies that make those medicines. These companies often make a lot of different medicines, so they can even request a rep for psychiatrics if necessary. (Or if you talk to your psychiatrist it will be easier than say a PCP.) Anyway, your doctor should contact the rep and say that "this patient has complained of memory loss and has reason to believe it is the Lamictal."

For example, recently we had a patient on Byetta (for diabetes) and this patient was getting a rash since starting it. So we contacted the rep. The rep then had to file a report to the clinical people. They then had to follow up with us to see how the patient was doing. Now, they are supposed to do this with any complaint that you give about a medication. Your report might not be what causes them to do research. But if more people do this, the better. For example, a few people died of pacreatitus while taking Byetta, so they are doing a study to see if Byetta causes pancreatitus (pancreatitis) or if it was caused by the normal risks of it when you already have diabetes.

The Pharmaceutical company that makes Lamictal is GlaxoSmithKline. If your doctor will not help you here is a link to their web site. It appears to be their US web site.
http://www.lamictal.com/

They do have a contact feature.
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574118_tn?1305138884
I don't want to sound sarcastic or anything of the sort, neither i wish to intrude or interfere in any discussion about lamictal nor am i interested to defend this med.

It only occurs to me, suppose REALLY lamictal causes memory loss, then who tells you to take it, no one imposes it or forces you to take it, it's you who decided and it's you who must bear the consequences. Try something else. If however you think it will help the company to produce a better version of lamictal that is safer as far as the memory loss is concerned then it will be sold under a different brand not lamictal.

one point remains though. The company may fear by bringing this issue up that pts will sue the company in which case in the pamphlet it can mention this memory loss thing. Incidentally if you read the pamphlet/brochure of any med say lithium you will never have the guts to use it. This is why companies mention all sorts of possible and NON-possible side effects to secure itself from complaints.

Perhaps lamictal causes memory loss but all the other drugs if they don't cause memory loss, still they cause something else

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952564_tn?1268372247
Actually it is by law that they have to list all side effects after a clinical research in the packaging. If they do not list them and then it turns out that they knew about it and did not list them, that is how companies get sued. By listing the side effects it then puts it in the patient's hands to determine if the medication is worth the risks listed. If it is found that even 1 person out of 4,000 or however many had memory loss and they could not attribute it to any other cause, they have to list it as a possible side effect. That is why some of these medications have lists that are so long.

If they know about it and do nothing, then they will get sued and lose law suits. If they did not know and try to rectify it by making a new brand, then they stand a much better chance of not losing everything.

In the end it is our job to be responsible as patients when choosing to take a medication by being aware of all possible side effects. It is also our responsability as patients to report these side effects, or any we may preceive, to our doctors. We have to take the best care of ourselves possible since our illness is chronic.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I've beenm taking Lamictal for over one year as well as Tegretol and Celexa.  I do have a bit of memory issues, specifically searching for words.  It's minor compared to what it was when I was taking Prozac.  You just have to weigh the good efffects and bad effects.  I am finally stable after years of trial and error.  A few instances of searching for my words are better than the other option.
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574118_tn?1305138884
concerning searching for words it happens to everybody. I have been talking about this phenomenon to many people because i was concerned and I don NOT take lamictal now and when i took it for a month it was 2mg infantile dose. Now many people have it, my father who is not bipolar has it too and sometimes i find him extremely extremely sad because he misses a word or spelling. it's ANXIETY believe me, not the lamictal. Now the book says 90% of BP pts have anxiety most of the time.

It's easy to find out the truth about memory loss. Now this forum is for BP, there are others for panic disorder, GAD, major depression and Schizoph.. now all you have to do is to ask whether anybody has a loss in concentration and memory. I bet all of them will agree. Besides if someone here asks: I have some itching in my neck and i take lithium, do you think folks that it might be from lithium. I bet everybody will agree and will start to feel itchings in the neck. This is called chronic worrying from the illness itself. I remember once i felt aches in my knee and my bones were hurting me, so i thought rheumatoid arthritis. I kept going to the pyramid area and buried myself in the hot sand for one whole year. I believed i had it and anybody questionning it i would shout at him because i was damn sure, no doubt about it. Until i happen to have met an orthopedist and he assured to me that it doesn't happen at my age and mostly to women, i was cured.

So the bad thing about our illness is that we believe wrong ideas, our illness can be comorbid with OCD and GAD and you just name it. It's the problem of the brain which functions incorrectly

good morning
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874521_tn?1375890587
thx for this info, again I don't necessarily say the problems I am having are due to Lamictal..........of course an assessment has to be done and all other possible reasons need to be taken into consideration....but I think everyone agrees that it is necessary for anyone taking medication to be aware of all possible side effects than to weigh the pros and cons for themselves.
thx again and have a good day
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Avatar_m_tn
my answer  to you it would be the illness in itself...lamictal  would take over that time frame to cause this..now deppreshion will cause thuis very rapid...i have alot of this and im unmedacted bp1..
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Avatar_f_tn
Over the past 25 years I have been on any number of psych. medications.  I first suffered major depression, and eventually a doctor tried me on Lithium.  Wow.  That was the first time I felt NORMAL.  I knew then that I was dealing with BPD.  It turned out that I was alergic (allergic) to Lithium, so it was disc.  However, several years later, during another hospitalization they picked up on my BPD and immediately put together a coctail of meds that included Depakote & literally saved my life.  I stayed on that coctail for over ten years, faithfully.  Over the 25 years of my illness, my memory was greatly affected.  I don't think it was due to medications, but the illness itself, the trauma of it.  After being asked multiple times, "do you remember this incident...that person...those places, etc.  I had zero memory. So in my case I honestly believe that what our mental illnesses do to us, traumatize the brain, and this causes poor concentration, and poor memory and memory loss.
Now I have not taken this coctail for several months, have gotten my weight down considerably, and have felt absolutely wonderful.  However, I am starting to see that I can go for long periods without sleep, and other things are manefesting in my psyche.  that tell me I may need to return to medication.  The conversation about Lamictal is very interesting, because my Psychiatrist suggested I take this.  I have it on hand, but have not started it.  My memory is fine at this time, and I was able to do Soduku while medicated.  It is only my opinion that when the brain has been traumatized by mental illnesses, or physical injuries, one can be prepared to experience a level of lower concentration, and memory, not necessiarily caused by medication, although I don't rule out some, but because the brain is ill.
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Avatar_f_tn
Here is a website that I found:

http://www.medications.com/se/lamictal/memory-loss

I am OBSESSED with doing reasearch on anything and everything to do with BP and the medications I'm on.  Aside from this website I've found a few more that have serious side effects for Lamictal.  The only problem I've found is that because it is a relatively new drug that they don't have any long term side effects listed, only short term.

Here is another site:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-05/uoc--ssb050603.php

This one talks about brain damage associated with BP.  According to some scientist they believe that BP will affect cognitive functions over time including short term memory and also the inability to do things like add/subtract, etc.  I'm an accountant and I need a calculator for everything.  It's a bit embarrassing actually.  

Another thing I've heard is that the medication actually slows down the rate of brain damage caused by BP, so the medication may in fact be helping this all.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've been on Lamictal and ONLY Lamictal for 7 years now. It was a miracle drug for me for many years, but for the last 3 years I have indeed suffered severe memory loss and ability to concentrate. My overall cognitive function has been severely impaired. My job performance has suffered and I've even lost my job and I'm desperately looking for another MS that will work better as far as this problem is concerned. If there is anyone out there who has suffered this problem and has found a better med for BPII that doesn't have this side effect, please post it! I'm seeing a doc in 2 days to try something new and if something works I'll be sure to post it.
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694876_tn?1227732877
I have been on lamictal for a while and memory loss was major.  Family members where pointing it out to me so it is not something I made up in my head. I had my dosage reduced but it will be a bit before any changes may occur.  I also have experience tingling down my arms to my finger tips some times it actually burned. Also at time physical pain.  I will say it does help with controlling mania but the side effects I experience as rough.
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Avatar_m_tn
I aways thought it was Lamotrigine causing my memory problem, I had been taking it for epilepsy.
It turned out that I had Hughes syndrome (sticky blood)
check out Hughes syndrome on the web their is treatment that helps
Karen
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Avatar_f_tn
I have short term memory problems but I had them before I started taking Lamictal so I don't think that is the cause.  The main side effects I suffer from when using Lamictal are dizziness and fatigue.  I take 400mg every night and it helps with the fatigue during the day, but I've just gotten used to not being able to walk in a straight line.  I don't get too many episodes of vertigo.  For a while I took Indomethacin to treat migraines (I was getting brain zaps like with SSRI discontinuation) and that medication gave me aphasia, which is when you have a word at the tip of your tongue but you can't remember it?  Maybe do some research on aphasia and see if there are any causes behind it.
Good luck!
Kara
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Avatar_m_tn
I cannot remember anything. My son asks me for milk and i literally have to say milk, milk, milk all the way to fridge or else i forget completely. i forget how to get to places ive been before. i forgot once that i opened the blinds and other stuff like that has happened before. it actually made me think my house was haunted. im scared. my psyhiatrist denies its the lamictal 400mg but its something!! he doesnt have any concern about it. im weaning myself and it has been a downward spiral. the withdrawls are bad.im 30f. your not alone.
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