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Shingles pain
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Shingles pain

Hi--

I was diagnosed with shingles last thursday after about 3-5 days of (what i thought was) rib injury pain.  I took 2 aleve on thursday morning (had been taking them all week), which had been helping with the pain, but had an allergic reaction (closed throat feeling), along with (what i thought was ) hives.  Doc said i had shingles, gave me acyclovir, prednosine, and some vicodin.  He told me to follow up this week with my reg doctor.  I did that today, and my doc told me prednosine may not be effective, especially if i got a weird, "wired" feeling from it. He told me to try to stop it and see how i felt.  I am glad i stopped the pred. He also gave me a stronger form of vicodin (norco 10/325 vs 5/500) for the pain.  I just started today.  I still have a deep, throbbing pain in my back and chest, but feel "high" from the norcos.  What can i take to ease the pain but net get all looped from them?
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Avatar_n_tn
If you do not want to take the norcos ask the doctor for something not as strong.  Ask about Ultram or Tramadol.  They are both good pain relievers and the fuzzy feeling shouldn't be as strong (not saying it won't, everybody is different).  It is worth a try.  Good luck!
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193953_tn?1272078626
This is one of the newest antieleptics they have out on the market right now. I don't have shingles, I have Sciatia and it really helps. However, that isn't one of it's listed diagnosis, but shingles is. They actually advertise it as a shingles pain med.
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Avatar_n_tn
i had shingles last yr feb i was in hosp for 7 days. it was on my forehead, i was blind for 1month or longer,lost all eyebrow and eyelashs. i am still suffering with this horrid thing. i am still under drs care. i have post herpertic neurlogia. the wind is toture, my hair hurts, i have moments that i feel like electic shocks are hitting my forehead, yet my head is numb, i can't feel the top of my eyelid, only the bottom. i hate this does anyone else suffer with it on face. i need to speak to someone who can relate to this hell i am in..
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Avatar_n_tn
You should ask you Doctor about trying Neurontin, it is pretty cheap, they have me on it for the nerve damage in my feet after buring them. On the info the pharmacist gave me, it stated that the main use of Neurontin was to stop the pain of shingles. You would start off with 1 pill the first day, 2 the second, 3 on the third day, and 3 everyday after that. All in a single dose. It also helps with depression caused by chronic pain, kind of a , "2 in 1" pill. As for the pain meds, they are all basically the samething, "hydrocodone", just a different strength, If you do not watch it, they will get so they are not working as well, and it will take more, such as one and a half of the 10 mg pills,(15 mg.) to do the samething that 10 mg. used to do. I have heard people talk about getting pains in their chest or a pounding sinsation when taking narcotics in high doses. Narcotics can cause irregular heartbeats in some people, which can cause chest pain, and even make it feel like there is a pounding in your back or chest. This may also cause breathing problems, or as if you cannot catch your breath. If you are experiencing this, you will most likely also be having problems focusing, or blurry vision, these are all side effects of opoids, or narcotics. They do offer Tramadol, or Ultram, but it has been my experience, that they do little more than OTC, tylenol do.
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Avatar_n_tn
TRY LYRICA NEW DRUG USED FOR NEUROPATHIC PAIN
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Avatar_n_tn
lidocaine patches are good to. They numb it...it's called Lidoderm patches you need a script but they work
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Avatar_n_tn
I do agree that Neurontin works well for pain.  I have neuropathy in my legs  from diabetes.  I was first given Neurontin 5 years ago, and it seemed like a miracle to me!!  The pain I had was unbearable and I couldnt sleep as a result.  I am so thankful that issue is behind me, I sure hope you find something that will work well for you!  
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172715_tn?1285498090
Lyrica is the newest treatment and Capisine Cream is good too.  You can find the cream with the Bengay type items in a drug store or a Walmart etc.The more you use it the better it works. (Improves with each use, know what I mean?)  I may have spelled it wrong though.  Red & white box OR a Red and Yellow box.  I believe it comes in 2 strengths and maybe a patch now too.  Hope you get to feeling better, it takes time though.
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Avatar_n_tn
Ouch
I have had a similar experience. shingles on the forhead and in the left eye - the first year was hell on earth.
And 5 years later it is still part of my life. But neurontin made a huge difference once I got the dossage right - it has changed everything. I still feel the wind pain on bad days and it seems like I wake up itchy almost every morning. But I feel just fine most of the day.
The biggest help was finally taking the right dose of neurontin so the pain and itch was manageable. I went for a long time on too low a dose and so felt a lot of pain most days.
It takes a long time for damaged nerves to recover but it does happen eventually - good luck with the pain management and hang in there.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry.  Lyrica does not help pain.  Ostensibly, it helps with nerve repair.  I'm taking it with shingles, but would also recommend large doses of B complex and C per day (the B complex every two hours, the C's every 4 hours) but stop the B's at 4 p.m..  Try whatever they give you, but with a grain of salt. You should also take a big E a day to try to avoid scarring. The B's help rebuild nerves (as does Lyrica) and the C's boost your immune system as well as helping with swelling.

The Vicodine does not help my pain -- makes me dizzy and vaguely nauseated and tired -- likely good for bedtime, useless (and perhaps harmful, if you must drive) by day (mine's 7.5 - 500 -- does nothing for the pain).  Darvocet was a joke.  

I have an enormously high pain threshhold (can have teeth drilled and filled with no anesthesia) but shingles is beyond the pale painful.  I am headed to a pain management specialist.

In the meantime, stuff that has helped:  Aveeno baths (colloidal oatmeal) with tepid water (2-3/day); sunburn spray (2-3/day) -- works for a short time, but helps the "electrical shock" thing stop for a bit.

Do not take tylenol in addition to the Vicodin -- it has Tylenol in it and too much is bad for your liver.

If you don't have it, you need Zovirax oinment (an acyclovir oinment) to put on the lesions 5 times per day (I know -- HOW?!?!) --

Also, try to stay out of heat (it's 101 right now where I am!?!?) and baths (very important because the open lesions are easily infected) should be tepid -- not hot or cold.

God bless you.  I know you're in pain.  Please try to take care of yourself.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I am only 38.  I had Shingles about 15 years ago.  I now suffer with extreme lower back pain due to post herpertic neurlogia.  No one can even touch my back its so sensative to the touch.  If someone puts the slightest pressure on my lower back i will jump away and scream in pain.  i walk with an arch when i first stand up due to the pain.  I didnt know what i had for 15 years.  I could not figure out for the life of me why my back felt this way.  Then i went on line and read more about Shingles and the after effects.  I finally after all these years know what i have.  Out of all the 20+ doctors i have seen over the years, you think one of them would have told me what i have, NO.  I have been in pain all these years for nothing.  Accupunture, Chiropractor, physical theropy, sports doctors, back specialist, 2 familiy doctors, etc...  not one could tell me what was wrong.  If i didnt read it for myself i would still be in pain.  Why whenever i tell a doctor that i read about my symptoms online they get upset with me.  They tell me online information is not accurate.  Well, they didnt do anything for my pain all that time.  If i sound angry, yes i am very angry.  All these doctors just brushed me off and sent me home with nothing.  They didnt know what i had.  I just found out that there are doctors called pain management.  Isnt my family doctor supposed to refer me to one if i have this much pain.  I also had to find this out for myself.  I cant wait to get the proper medication from the pain mgt doctor.  

Thank God for the information on the internet
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Avatar_n_tn
I wonder I have similar problems ..had shingles the last two years . I still get little red dots that look like needle pricks but stick up bright red from the skin . When they break out I literly scream I am in such pain and I am aleady on heavy narcotics for chronic back and neck pain . I had very , very good luck with lidocaine patches when I first had the shingles on my torso . I added lyrica on the days they were breaking out and it helped but I literly am so advanced in deterioration from years of pain I sit all day . When the shingles get bad I take the lyrica and am basically comotose in the chair but its better then seeming stark raving mad begging God to take me right then I am in such pain . I developed something called dermagraphia after years on opiates . I also have fibromylgia (fibromyalgia) but all this means nothing to me or the Doctors really it just hurts and seems to cause a situation where I never healed after a series of car accidents and c5/6 fusion . I need help to cope daily but sit alone not even wanting to let people see me . I am so lonely like most of us ...my girl was long gone as soon as I couldnt work any more . But for me since I already was maintenence dosing on opiates when they hit me lidocaine patches and Lyrica helped . YOu have to be careful on the lydicain patches they can od you . I really hate any long acting opiate meds as I always seem to get toxic in time with them and start to od . I much prefer short acting and only take the lowest dose of long term agents I can ..but if you use the lidocaine watch it so it doesnt creap up and make one toxic . I would try them while awake first thing at first before sleeping with them on or rest your body every few days . For me the shingles would just flare up for a few days real bad and thats when I needed the patches or lyrica afterwards in between flare ups I was ok .

Hey were all different what works for one might not for you . They know opiates cuase defeciencies in hormones , over stimulation even cancer in some while others have no problems . The same with dependance some end up never being able to quit willing to travel hours a day to get a methadone cup while others quit and barely break a sweat . I did a detox once and my blood pressure was hitting 190/145 + I had seizures for 10 days with convolsions and the PAWS were more then I could stand for 6 months before the Doctors resinded . I know i have permanent stroke like damage and am mentally changed from use . People need to understand we never asked for this and Doctors need to stop treating us as well as the public like addicts ..even they dont deserve what we go through just from illness .

I have been on opiates daily now for over a decade .My records state my mind has been altered to where it cannot function without the drug its so used to it and believe me it was hell just getting to the point I could function on them . I vomited the first 6 months but was in so much pain didnt care . Every thing else was worse ..I agree with the one person I took darvocet and spit bile and blood up every single morning before I took these . My only complaint is I dont get more support for side effects and am threatened with cold turkey if I even complain that I need it and I do . I should of been put in a ALF a long time ago and have more follow ups but we all know how for profit insurance really works . Surely not for the patient and since the docs get paid by them either do they its too costly too fight for them plus then they never get paid .
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Avatar_n_tn
I have shingles. I started having severe pain in my calf.  The pain was so bad i could not sleep even with 5mg of hydrocodone. The pain moved into my feet and up my leg into my calf on the right side. I was even given an MRI but no one could diagnose my problem.  After about 10 days I developed a patch of red lesions in three places on my foot and ankle.  I immediately knew what my problem was. The doctor agreed and gave me Gabapentin 300mg and Valtrex.  Nothing has helped the excruiating pain. I read an article about having an epidural. It is given by pain manageent doctors?  At this point I am wiling to try anything to get relief.  I was told I could have the shingles vacination after I was completely over the shingles.  It is expensive but will be worth every penny if it works.
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Avatar_f_tn
1000mg 3x a day L-Lysine has totally stopped the pain I've been experiencing with shingles in 12 hours. I developed shingles lesions 4 days ago and had been experiencing excruciating pain so intense it was debilitating as I couldn't sleep either. Having no health insurance and finding out I would have to shell out almost 200 dollars to get a prescription for acyclovir at a doc n a box, which I don't have, I was on the verge of suicide. I came across 1 post somewhere that mentioned L-Lysine. At this point I was desperate to try anything so I went and bought a bottle of 1000mg this morning. It was suggested that you take 1000mg 3x a day. I took my first dose at 8am and prayed it would help but was not very hopeful. Around noon I noticed the intervals between the stabbing pains (about every 2 minutes with intense shooting pain that made me gasp, lasting about 25 seconds) was getting longer, but it was still debilitating and intense. The next dose was at 3pm (I wanted to get on a 7am 3pm 11pm schedule). Within 2 hours after that dose, the frequency, duration and intensity was clearly dropping! It's now 8:18pm and I haven't had any pain what-so-ever since around 6:30pm! L-Lysine works for me in a miraculous way. I did more searching on the net and found it is suggested that you continue the 1000mg 3x a day until the lesions clear up then drop down to 500mg 3x a day. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced pain before so bad that it made me suicidal. I really was on the verge of killing myself at 4am this morning it was so bad.
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Avatar_f_tn
I would try neurontin. Vicodin does the same thing to me as far as the chest/back pain. I think it's indigestion when it happens but not sure.  Lyrica didn't work for me, a ton of side effects. I also can't take aleve or tylenol. I had a seizure taking tylenol. So be careful with even over the counter drugs.  Neurtontin is great for nerve pain. I don't like it in high doses or ongoing just when you need it.  But of course discuss with your doctor.  
I've heard amazing things about L-lysine. as well.  Always adding natural supplements is such a good thing because you are treating the underlying condition not just the symptoms. all the best to you.
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Avatar_f_tn
Neurontin can help with pain, but beware - if you have glaucoma, or are prone to hit (family history) - do not take it.  My father and grandfather both have/had glaucoma and I was not aware of the problem with Neurontin possibly increasing eye pressure until it happened to me.  I had been on Neurontin for about three months and went to the opthamologist for my yearly check up and my eye pressures were WAY up.  As soon as he looked at the medication I was taking, he told me to stop the Neurontin because of it's link to increased eye pressure.  Of course, I called my rheumy who had prescribed it and she was not aware of this link, so she did some research and sure enough - although it is not a very frequent side effect - it does happen.  She agreed that I should stop the medication, which I did.  Within three weeks of stopping the medication I returned to the opthamologist and he retested my eye pressures and they were PERFECT so we definitely know it was the Neurontin and not another medication/problem.  I've not had any problems with my eye prressures at all since stopping the Neurontin and that was about 4 years ago.
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401095_tn?1351395370
could c how lyrica or neurontin would help shingles as it is nerve pain from shingles//usually on one side of the torso and not both..it is the same virus as chicken pox or herpes simplex 1 and 2.  It passes and mostly the symptoms are treated..can see how acyclovir would  help..not heard of prednisone as it is a virus and not an allergic or auto-immune thing???  Often pain like fibromyalgia, lots of forms of arthritis, respiratory things are auto-immune related..but not this virus...if it helps i guess take it..sounds like u double checked on it..even a pharmacist may know as they know more about meds than most drs

Lots of peeps put soaks with a pain relieving solution over the affected area...oral and topical acyclovir helps too...the pills are gonna help more than the topical ointment tho

It will pass but it can be very painful...hang in there
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401095_tn?1351395370
Was thinkin....not always, but alot of times shingles affects those with a lowered immune system after illnesses or surgeries..the elderly etc...but not always..prednisone lowers the immune response...so if this is the reason u have shingles//ie been ill or under stress...then it could actually be counter-productive..talk to ur dr about it
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547368_tn?1332173665
The person that discussed the prednisone posted this in May of 2007. I doubt there are still on the Forum. A post was recently "added" to this thread instead of starting a new one as is recommended.

Just thought I would clear that up.

Happy 2010.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Interesting posts, thanks.  For me the pain started on Thursday.  I had asthmatic bronchitis earleir in the week and thought I had rib or muscle injury for all the coughing.  By Saturday, I could not take the pain and went to doctor.  Thought it was muscle but gave an EKG to make sure.  EKG was slightly off, so off to ER.  After a day of testing, all decided not cardiac so Hydrcodone, go home.

Tuesday, pain still bad, go to doctor, now the rash had appeared and diagnosis was quick.  Now Oxycodone, no help either.  How long do I have to put up with this?  (assuming no post-herpetic...couldn't imagine this continuing...)

Thanks, Steve
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Avatar_f_tn
Try the homeopathic Nerve Fix for nerve pain.  It helps me more than some of the prescrips that I take.  I take 2 bottles a month.  You can find it cheaper on the internet.  Took me 2 weeks before I declared it a keeper.  Almost 4 years later I still take it and after running out and it being on back order, I could tell a difference in the level of pain...and it went down when I got back on it.  
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Avatar_m_tn
FYI - My doctor prescribed Neurontin for me and after only two days of taking it, not only did the pain not go away, but I experienced horrific depression and uncontrollable crying/loss of any hope.  I felt like I was in the pit of despair and there was no way to get out.  I've since stopped taking it and switched to Vicodin.  The gray fog has lifted and I no longer wish that I was dead, although I do wish that I could sleep all day.  I'd rather be sleepy than depressed though.

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Avatar_n_tn
MY MOM,S HUSBAND IS 80 YEARS OLD AND HAS HAD SHINGLES NERVE PAIN IN HIS HIP FROM A SHINGLES BOUT 2 YEARS AGO.HE IS IN CONSTANT PAIN. HE HAS BEEN TO DOCTORS AND A PAIN MANAGEMENT CENTER. NOTHING HAS WORKED.HE,S BEEN ON NEUROTIN AND OTHER MEDS,BUT NOTHING HAS HELPED.HE HAS ALSO HAD A PATCH .WHAT IS L-LYSINE?OR ACYCLOVIR?
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1375159_tn?1311691944
Angie,
I don't know much about the medication that you have questions about. I have had shingles but they caught it very early so I had no long term effects.
This is an old thread. Can you start a new one? You're likely to get more replies.

Flower
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Avatar_n_tn
I am at the end of week #1 with zoster a.k.a. "shingles".
Unfortunately for me, shingles has shown me (and the rest of us) what pain is really all about.

Trust me, in 61 years of life, I have experienced more than my share of various forms of pain, including physical. As ready as I always believed I was for pain, my bout with shingles blew everything else out of the water.
My worst "fantasy fear" was/is receiving physical torture from the ultimate bad guy; I sure pray this is the end of my "fantasy", as it were.

The main reason for my entry (first time... anywhere!) is to say thanks to all of you that shared. I have/had started to doubt my own sense of reality regarding my pain reactions around these innocent looking sores. Your shared experiences have restored my sense of reality (at least about shingles!).

Bottom line is knowing how diversely this little devil can affect us with its extremes, but more so, how many ways we can arm ourselves against this seemingly innocent monster.

Power to the Zoster(ers)!
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Avatar_m_tn
yes i can certainly relate.  recently i was diagnosed with herpes zoster ophthalmicus and it has been a living nightmare.  started on forehead too, moved to my lids and nose, and my primary care doc was rightfully afraid.  I was immediately consulted with an ophthalmologist and the battery of eye exams initially was clear from the eye, itself.  Problem was, it was too early to show the bad signs, and almost three weeks in, i still cannot see normally out of my eye (very blurred and little peripheral vision).  My doctor still has me on the acyclovir, and vicodin 10 mg 4 times daily as needed ( most of the time).  also, he used gabapentin which did help with the tingling.  so a mix of the vicodin, aleve, gabapentin and regular check ups is keeping me from insanity.  my forehead, like you is numb with some tingling, but still bad pain in my eye, itself and the lids are just unbearable pain sometimes.  Usually that medicine keeps it at bay with cold compresses whenever at rest.  But still, the sunlight, breeze, and fabricall cause horrible pain around my lids and nose and around the edges of where the initial rash was on the forehead.  Maybe ask your doc about gabapentin with the narcotics?  It helped me quite a bit so far, but yours seems to be worse tan mine, but still mine is a living hell.  fortunately I never lost total sight in the eye, just some serious deteriorated vision.  God luck, to you.  I have other things that help, but I don't want to go ont oo lng for now.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello. My mother has the exact same thing as you. I would live to email with you about your condition and how it healed and what you took. My mom is in the middle of it now.

Aaron. (***@****)
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Avatar_m_tn
I feel for you because it seems like the old adage...when it rains it pours,as far as your back and all the other painful medical things that happen to you, wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall to see how the DR and his staff speak about you, what I mean is it seems that drug seeking has been established as far as there records and opinions.

I looked at this site because I have a loved one who is suffering with shingles no end in sight...I happened upon your post and recognize some similarities of what I have been through in my life with my broken back...replaced knee and blown discs. etc...NO SHINGLES CURRENTLY

One day after I went to the pain Doc my wife and I got in a tiff and she called me a drug addict...of course my reply was snippy and told her I was doing what the doctors have told me to do, her come back was the doctor is a pill pusher!  

My next appointment I asked the doc...what is the plan or are you just going to keep upping doses...his reply was yes that we will try to continue to give you the best quality of life we can and yes increasing opiates doses are inevitable because of tolerances.

That was my last straw and I told the doc that I agree with my wife...I AM A DRUG ADDICT...

I said to him you guys got me on this stuff, figure out a way to get me off...You can imagine the look and the reply and eventually we agreed to a Suboxone treatment plan along with ibuprofen and other analgesics that were not opiates... best thing my wife ever did  was call me an addict and me having the sense to listen and do something about it. By the way I was on meds for more then a decade..!

Every person that has to endure chronic pain I feel for with every fiber of my being...the opiate route is not any way to go...it is a death sentence....

When I say I feel for all that have to deal with pain I mean it... The craziest thing about my journey is the strongest drug I ever take NOW is a ibuprofen

I had NO surgeries I have all of the same aliments in my my body...discs bulges, compression fractures...plenty of arthritis...  and now age...56

my own body has RE-TAUGHT itself on how to produce the pain killing endorphin's...I asked a specialist how long can you take opiates for and his answer

really take a good look at if you want to live or do you want to just survive...which will not be long if you choose to continue on opiates....Not preaching, just saying that your not on a slippery slope your way passed that...you need to go to plan B...good luck to ya..!  

Do not freak out at what I am saying...that's the addiction  thinking...

I sure hope someone can figure out how to help with shingles it seems unbearable...Thx
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7721494_tn?1408157057
Don, I wonder if you've tried Lidoderm patches for your shingles pain? Many people find them effective.
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8699496_tn?1399402963
I have Shingles on my side, back, and stomach, did  not catch it soon as I did not know what it was, so got a full blow break out, I am on Lyrica and Percocet ( the generic of) one every 6 hrs. feel ok pain for about 4 hrs. then hurt so bad! I never knew there was pain like this any where!!!!!!! I have been wondering if Neurontin is better then Lyrica? I am sending many prayers out to all with this HORRIABLE pain!
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