ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Star D Study – Only 3% Remission, Not 67%

Last paragraph reads:  “”Although the study‘s reports make no
mention of this outcome, their data show that after a year of continuation
treatment following remission, of the 4,041 patients who entered the program
only 108 (3%) had a sustained remission — all the other patients either dropped
out or relapsed. Yet STAR*D‘s authors and the NIMH have publicized the study as
showing a 67% success rate for

antidepressants.”

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mad-in-america/201005/update-the-stard-report
May 19, 2010, Psychiatry

Update on the STAR*D Report
The
documented recovery rate in the STAR*D trial–worse than thought?
Published
on May 19, 2010

Two months ago, I wrote a post about a New Yorker
article that reported that 67% of the depressed patients in the STAR*D trial
“recovered.” As I noted in that post, the 67% figure was a highly exaggerated
number. Only 51% of the 3,671 patients who entered the trial ever remitted, even
for a short period. Furthermore, only about 20% of the patients remitted and
then reported to STAR*D investigators, at some point during a 12-month follow-up
period, that they were still doing well.

But this left an obvious
question, one that I hadn’t been able to find an answer to in the published

STAR*D reports. How many of the 3,671 people who entered the trial remitted and
then stayed well and in the trial throughout the entire 12-month follow-up? That
number would provide a documented long-term recovery rate for patients in the
trial.

A few days ago, Allan Leventhal sent me a 2009 article he
coauthored with David Antonuccio, and in it, they successfully identified this
number (finding it in a confusing graphic I hadn’t been able to decipher.) In
their computations, they relied on STAR*D reports that told of 4,041 initial
participants (3,671 was the number of “enrolled” patients counted in the
analysis of drug-remission rates), and then they came to this bottom-line
conclusion about the documented long-term recovery rate:

“Although the

study‘s reports make no mention of this outcome, their data show that after a
year of continuation treatment following remission, of the 4,041 patients who
entered the program only 108 (3%) had a sustained remission — all the other
patients either dropped out or relapsed. Yet STAR*D‘s authors and the NIMH have
publicized the study as showing a 67% success rate for antidepressants.”

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Prisoner of Paxil

“I work as a home health aide, I cringe when I hear our patients being prescribed Paxil.”

My name is Nancy Patton,

I have been on Paxil for several years.

One of the side effects is weight gain. With my Drs assist he took me off Paxil and prescribed another anti depressant.

Each day was a living hell without the Paxil. My Dr. told me a few days Id be ok. I felt like banging my head against a brick wall due to severe headaches and body aches. My co workers are nurses and they we’re very concerned about my well being. I wasn’t the same person. I felt my life was over and what was the point. My husband also concerned told me to go back on the Paxil. I went back on and within 3 days I felt a lot better. I’m still taking the Paxil. I often feel great fear when I think someone will take it off the market . I don’t think I could bear to feel and live in that empty black hole. I truly think I would have to go to a detox unit to get off of Paxil. It’s almost being held a prisoner. I work as a home health aide, I cringe when I hear our patients being prescribed Paxil. Some elderly have dementia and I wonder what their minds would through if they’d stop or forget to take it. This is my sincere account of my experience.

Thank You,

Nancy Patton
Celina, Ohio 45822
rocnasia@bright.net

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Victim of Adderal Abuse

“My story just proves how ignorant psychiatrists are.”

I have been on a few different anti-depressants in the past two years. I started abusing drugs, mainly Adderal, exactly 2 years ago. This led to me getting “depression”. My mom took me to 3 different psychiatrists. The first one put me on Celexa. For a week all I could do was lay on the couch staring outside with tears in my eyes. We went back and they tried me on Effexor XR. It seemed to work, so they continually increased the dose. The doctor was even convinced I had ADHD and gave me a prescription to Adderal, my drug of choice. Eventually we changed psychiatrists. The Effexor was not working anymore, and he decided to try me on Paxil. I was on a high dose of Effexor which he told me to immediately stop taking, and to start taking Paxil the next day.

This naturally sounds like a bad idea, but I listened to him. I experienced what seemed to be an electric storm going on throughout my body. Every time I moved my eyes I would get this shocking pulse from my head down and everything would go blurry for a fraction of a second. Eventually these all went away. It took approximately a month. A year went by where the only thing that seemed to help me was my addiction to abusing drugs.

Hid this well from my parents, and they AND the doctor believed the Paxil was helping. Well a few months ago I was caught by the police abusing Adderal and my parents were obviously informed. I then went to the psychiatrist so we could all talk. At this point, I was high off of 40 mg’s of OxyContin. The psychiatrist had no idea I was on anything, and proceeded to prescribe me the drug I was addicted to for “my ADHD”. I have been clean from all drugs for 8 days now, and feel much happier. I stopped taking the Paxil a few days ago,25 mg’s a day I was on, and am once again experiencing these shocks. I feel sick and am having trouble keeping food down. But I know I have to sit and wait it out. My story just proves how ignorant psychiatrists are and seem to have no clue what their medications or themselves are doing to have not even had a clue what was going on.

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A Paxil Withdrawal Success Story

The Paxil was altering the way I thought – my thought processes were not me.”

My story has no tragic ending to it…THANK GOD!!!!

Pre-Paxil: I was experiencing severe anxiety (mostly physical sensations running through my body) along with just feeling NOT like myself. It was like someone else was walking around in my body instead of me – I had lost myself. My sense of well-being was totally destroyed… I could experience no comfort in anything – nothing. After an initial visit with a psychiatrist for 65 minutes, I was diagnosed with life-long depression (dysthymia) and now I had hit an even deeper depression. No reason why, just happened. I guess the years of raising two wonderful lively healthy sons, being married for over 25 years, active in volunteer work, working full time, seemingly well adjusted to this life with all it’s foibles and struggles…all counted for nothing.

So, I started taking Paxil.

Paxil days: I was so black inside – I could not be alone – I have NEVER been that way my entire life! My hands were shaking so bad I could hardly write. Interestingly the depression seemed to be subsiding – there was an indiscernible ‘lift’ – but I was still not myself. I fought anxiety and a feeling of desperation constantly!!! I told my husband numerous times how much I loved him and no matter what happens to me don’t ever forget that… Because sometimes I feel like I won’t be able to control the urge to kill myself. Someone suggested I see a peri-menopausal specialist – I may need estrogen. I am pushing 300% to just get through the day…

Paxil and estrogen days: After beginning the estrogen it only took a few days to “feel” myself coming back. YES! It is slow – but Lynda is coming back. However, I still shake – my sleep isn’t right – it’s not restful, no appetite, still feel overwhelmed in my thoughts, confused and hard to concentrate… but I can deal with all of that because my sense of well-being is returning. I want to stop the Paxil. It is altering the way I think.

Paxil withdrawal: My symptoms…horrible aches all throughout my body… I could hardly open and close my hands it was so painful. Felt like I had a huge case of the flu… confusion, inability to concentrate – worse than ever. I started experiencing the electrical zaps in my brain. Frightening! I was very, very dizzy. Ultra confused. I could hardly lift my head off of the pillow because the pain was so intense in my neck and head . I began experiencing stomach cramps and severe diarrhea. And the nightmares! They were horrible! VIVID bad dreams. And I could hardly handle the intensity of sights and sounds… I thought I was going crazy! I had to fight the intense feeling that I had to take more Paxil… and the intense feeling that I had to drink (I am a recovering alcoholic – 17 months sobriety)…

Day 10 of Paxil withdrawal – July 7th, 2003: Without a doubt I can say my brain is working better than it has in 6 months. I still have stomach cramps, dizziness, intense dreams, zapping sounds in my brain…. but I can finally say the total Lynda is almost back. The Paxil was altering the way I thought – my thought processes were not me. This is different than a sense of well-being . The sense of well-being was lost because of the hormone deficiency. I could never have handled the Paxil withdrawals had I not had my sense of well-being back. The altered way I was thinking was prompted by the Paxil.

Thankfully I never acted upon the suicide thoughts. Thankfully I never was violent (although I had to work extremely hard to control myself).

Lynda Frieden
LFRIEDEN@svbank.com

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Student's Life Destroyed on Prozac

“(After begging my doctor to put me on Prozac,) I just felt insane. I felt like screaming, tearing my clothes off and running around like a madman.”

I wrote to this site several weeks ago about sending in my story. As I wrote it that night, the anger, fear and trauma built so badly that I ended up ranting and rambling. I needed some time away to think and to collect my thoughts about this nightmare so that I could do it justice on paper. I will try to make it as brief as I can:

In 1991, my parents separated. I was 18 at the time. My mom had been seeing a psychiatrist and was taking Prozac. She turned into a completely different person. She was vengeful, angry and borderline psychotic. My mom told me that my dad was an alcoholic (I since have learned she is as well) and that we have depression in our family. She recommended that I see a psychiatrist as well. I blew her off and went to college the next year. I starting drinking once a week (parties) in college and started becoming depressed. It was harder to get up in the mornings now and I remembered what mom had told me.

I panicked and went to the doctor. Mom went with me to the doctor (right before she left home) and I practically begged him to put me on Prozac if that was “what I needed.” He assured me that the side effects were dry mouth, possible weight gain, nausea, etc. I took the stuff and almost immediately started feeling badly (the doctors told me that that was impossible as it would take two weeks to get into my system.

They have since concluded that some patients are effected in a few days. I just felt insane. I felt like screaming, tearing my clothes off and running around like a madman. I told my doctor that the stuff was making me crazy but he told me that it was me and not the pills (For the record, he was an MD who could prescribe meds. I was referred to him by a psychologist.) So we upped the dose. I had also been taking a benzodiazepine (Klonopin) because I was having trouble sleeping and I immediately became addicted. The doctor never told me that these pills were addictive. I stayed on Klonopin for three years and mixed and matched medications constantly as my condition worsened. I tried to save a drug problem with more drugs and I spiraled completely out of control as I was caught in that vicious cycle we all have heard about.

I tried countless anti-depressants. I was later diagnosed with manic-depression and schizophrenia. The possibility exists that the Prozac helped my depression and left my manic phase alone (or aggravated it.) Medications are constantly evolving and the doctors don’t even know sometimes so I have no real answers. I took Paxil for a day and puked my guts out. I took Luvox and all I thought about was killing people. I took muscle relaxers and other pills while my addiction went unnoticed by doctors in two states. I switched to Atavin in 1995 and drugged myself completely to death for two years. I was taking the near maximum dose. I was later told by other doctors that I should never have been on benzodiazepines for that long. I told one doctor that I needed to quit taking the benzos as they were killing me. He apparently misunderstood me and told me that I would be on them for the rest of my life. I’m assuming he meant the other medications I was taking. I had to go to another doctor to phase down off of the benzos. I had a grand mal seizure by coming off them two days early (I had been phasing down for months.) This was at the Kentucky State Fair in front of my mother and sister and I almost died.

I was a solid B student with an IQ near the upper two percent in HS and I was also a successful athlete. There had been no major disciplinary problems in my schooling life up until I started taking medications. I never partied in HS and probably had only a few drinks of wine in my life before I was 18. Before the medication, I averaged a 3.0 my freshman year in college with the intent to do better. The pills sent my life into a tailspin. I dropped out of college several times after seeing my GPA dip to a 1.0. I bounced from drunk parent to drunk parent and doctor to doctor. I had been on pills until recently, even though I had kicked the Atavin for good seven years ago. I was unable to work during this time as I was addicted.

They tell us that the pills are non-addicting but they don’t understand people with addiction issues. I get addicted to anything. ANY powerful drug will addict me and the anti-depressants and mood stabilizers were no different. After fighting for my right to get clean and free of drugs and doctors (with both parents and doctors), I have made it to some sanity. I ballooned up to 242 pounds on the pills (one social worker asked me once if I would rather be fat or mentally ill.) I have since gotten down to a very healthy and athletic 185 and I feel great. I have also invested in proper nutritional supplementation. Natural supplements, especially fish oils, work and I regret not trying them earlier. In 1998, I had a domestic dispute with my dad and I was arrested and committed. I was abused, bullied and intimidated at the “mental health clinic” where I was committed, where I was put on more pills (after being coerced into signing my rights away.) Most of the rest of the “treatment” was having social workers tell me how to grocery shop (!) and play Scattergories with me and other patients (no joke.) I was also insulted in the clinic and overheard lines like “people think we’re Nazis and criminals.”

One social worker even told me, “There is no such thing as justice.” I may be misquoting exactly how she said it but the message was that justice was a fallacy in the real world. So I knew that I had no rights in this place. They charged me $500 a day (I couldn’t say no as I was a prisoner) and told me about disability and it’s insurance the day that I was to be released five months later. In the meantime, I had been put in a group home, where a miscommunication between the case worker there and the mental health clinic led to me being arrested and put back into the clinic. I was told by the clinic that I could stay as long as it took me to find a job, although the normal period was two weeks. After two weeks I didn’t have a job, so they kicked me out. Terrified, I left and went back to the clinic to talk about what had happened. The police were waiting for me and arrested me as I had “broken the rules of the group home by leaving.” I swear this is the God honest truth.

I now owe these snakes $54,000 for pills that got me addicted and for playing Scattegories while I was a prisoner. I have taken their pills, gotten addicted and have been unable to work. They continued to experiment, make more money and blamed a lot of the problems on me. I called up my original MD in 2001 and confronted him about the issue of medications actually causing the symptoms they are supposed to be treating (since proven my doctors.) I asked him if he knew about these potential problems when he prescribed the first round of meds and didn’t tell me. He said that he did after I continued to press him. I called him a bastard and he hung up (I will also note that he didn’t return any of my calls to talk to him and I had to get him at home.) I tried to report him (symbolically and as a public service) very recently. The woman I was trying to talk to answered me very rudely and in a belittling fashion that I couldn’t report something that long ago. I have since read a lot on this issue and feel that I am just another victim of corporate psychiatry (look it up online.) I am hurt, angry and betrayed by people who took an oath to help me. Some doctors were stooges while others knew the risks and didn’t tell me. These issues put my life at risk and have led to poverty and financial ruin for me.

I have talked to lawyers and they told me that they don’t even touch addiction cases of psyche meds, even if the doctors err. Apparently, these people have dictatorial power to experiment on citizens like me who suffered enough emotional abuse from drunken parents and cruel school children. I also have tried to contact newspapers online with the story but they have not written back to me. I have run from this issue as I feel I have no hope for retribution, satisfaction or justice (they also told me in the clinic that paybacks are bad. Gee I wonder why.) If anyone wants to contact me on this subject, I will be more then happy to talk. I will also be more then happy to fight as I still owe these so-called people $54,000. I don’t even have the money to declare bankruptcy right now. The payments are supposedly ability to pay but I get notices in the mail every month from the clinic.

Again, I swear that this is all the God honest truth. I wouldn’t have believed it myself if it hadn’t happened to me. I am a college graduate with a degree in history and a minor in political science and I am not stupid (I’m studying for the Mensa test now.) I knew what was happening to me the whole way but was too sick to fight it. If anyone has any information on organizations that fight these kinds of things, please let me know as I have tried many things. And, for God’s sake, don’t go to these people if you can help it. Watch your health, take the proper supplements and take care of yourselves. In my experience, if you go to these people and take their pills, you just put a gun in your mouth and pulled the trigger. I also have to live with the pain and shame of this stuff forever.

PS- Sorry it took so long but it’s a long story. I would like my name and E-mail printed as I would like to be a leader in the confrontation of these issues. If you have any questions, please E-mail me.

Jeff Riley
solongsuckers@netzero.net
(Please excuse the E-mail ID. I get angry about past stuff sometimes.)

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Eight-year Old Becomes Aggressive on Luvox

“I’m still angry at the psychiatrist for putting him at risk with these drugs.”

 

They prescribed Risperdal and Luvox to my eight year old son years ago for panic attacks. He started acting strangely and hurting other kids, something he’d never done before, so I stopped giving him the drugs after a few days but I still had to have them filled or DFCS would have claimed I was “psychologically neglecting” him, that’s why I had taken him to the psychiatrist in the first place, his pediatrician reported me after she “suggested” he see a shrink and I told her I didn’t believe in them. He’s almost 16 now, and perfectly fine, but I’m still angry at the pediatrician, DFCS, and the psychiatrist for putting him at risk with these drugs.

 

9/10/2002

This is Survivor Story number 11.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

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A 17-Year Old’s Story on Prozac, Paxil, Effexor and Wellbutrin

“I saw electricity around everything–it looked like electricity was going around the air and around my room”

 

Hi. I’m 17 years old… Over the years, since I was about 14, I’ve been on (and quit) Prozac, Lithium (which I didn’t even need), Paxil (which I tried to kill myself for the first time–on about the 2nd day I was prescribed it), Effexor, and Wellbutrin… This story is about Wellbutrin, and how awful my experience with it was.

I was 16, and about April last year I decided (well, mainly my boyfriend of the time decided) I should go on the Depo-Provera birth control shot, which was the worst decision possible. I had depression problems before, but not NEARLY as bad as what I experienced on the shot. I had never had anxiety problems or scary as hell anxiety/panic attacks before, until the shot. After going through the worst torture all summer ever imaginable (the shot’s evil effects, bastard boyfriend’s cheating and breakup without even letting me KNOW! until I went back to SCHOOL, and + parent’s divorce), I decided to go on Wellbutrin. At first, I felt a lot better. I didn’t care about my boyfriend’s disappearance and decided to make my own life over without him. I was a lot happier, despite the worsening of my anxiety attacks (which I thought was strange, since my doctor said the Wellbutrin would help STOP my anxiety…..) . I was just glad to not be depressed anymore, so I never second-guessed the Wellbutrin. Obviously, smoking cigarettes hindered the effect of it after a while, so I needed a higher dose…eventually 400 mg a day. 400!!! That’s ALOT……..

I tried to quit smoking one day. It seemed like the medicine started working better, but within a few days I had an extremely schizo moment (which I had some schizo-effects from Wellbutrin before, but tried to ignore- like feeling like everyone was staring at every little movement I did–even my BREATHING, feeling spaced out as hell, breathing problems, farther from reality each day) . That night, I started feeling really great. After I while, I started wondering why I felt soooo euphoric– my music sounded sharper than ever and I was extremely energetic. Soon, I started TRIPPING OUT–it turned into something like a heavy bad-acid trip. I started getting an awful headache and felt like I was about to have seizures (which, I might add, I had once from Wellbutrin). I felt completely flipped out, like I lost my mind. I started going schizo–I was scared to death. I saw electricity around everything–it looked like electricity was going around the air and around my room. I was up all night. I was actually scared of the dark because I was so messed up–I had to turn my music back on because of the horrifying sound of BUGS crawling everywhere. So, after that freak out, I lowered my dose MYSELF, since I knew it would be worthless to talk to my doctor about it. I then had a seizure about a month later, so needless to say, I quit the Wellbutrin. Hopefully, nobody else will have to ever go through an experience like this.

3/12/2002

This is Survivor Story number 40.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

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Strange Colors on Paxil

“…my brain started freaking out inside over colors .”

 

Hi I would like to share my own experience with Paxil as it has been unlike any other I have heard of. I was given Paxil for what my family doctor thought I was suffering from a anxiety disorder. I took Paxil for a period of two weeks when I noticed that it was severely changing thought patterns and decided to abruptly quit. I was not warned of any serious problems with stopping the medication and suffered a breakdown three days later. I contacted the doctor who gave me the Paxil and was told to start the medication again. The symptoms I suffered from stopping seemed to vanish within a few days, but then after staying with the medication for a period of almost 3 months or better was when I was struck all of the sudden one day with the most bizarre thing that I never have heard or dreamed of could happen.

I awoke okay and went to work on a project that day when in a split second my brain started freaking out inside over colors and I am talking about colors that actually exist like the paint job on your car for example. Not only was my brain going bizarre over colors but also started firing thoughts through over them and crashing out emotionally and mentally. At the end of the week I was totally devastated. I could not hardly look at any single object in my house without my brain producing these same symptoms over and over.

I realized that Paxil was probably to blame since these sort of things just do not happen. I threw the medicine away at the end of that week and called the doctor who gave it to me. I was told that it could not be the Paxil and was treated like a nut case.

I went on to suffer horribly for a month when I seemed to get somewhat better. Although I never quite recovered. I felt as if I was getting better each day but the problem continued to exist slightly. After a period of 6 months I had my brain totally relapse again and produce identical symptoms all over again. It now has been 2 years since this has happened, and I am still not free of these symptoms.

What Paxil did to me is a mystery. I have never heard of the brain going screwed up over colors like this when there is no reason for it. I truly hope that no one else ever has to live with something like this. And to this day no doctor even knows what has happened. Nor have I ever found anyone who has suffered anything similar to what I have.

If anyone had experienced such a thing I have never heard of it, as maybe they are not around to tell of it. But one thing is for certain, and that is that an SSRI can do things that no one has heard of.

Randy Shine
ratzo22@hotmail.com

 

12/17/2001

This is Survivor Story number 34.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

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I survived Zoloft, but I lost a good friend.

“I will do anything I can do to get these drugs off of the market.”

 

Hi, my name is Laura. In January of 1996 I went totally manic on Zoloft after taking it for three weeks, (25 mg.). I thought I was supposed to feel this good after being depressed, I thought this was the way I was supposed to feel, gooooood, toooo good for awhile. The more days that went by the more manic I became due to the fact that I could not sleep! It caused insomnia so bad, who wouldn’t go manic. Well, I went to see a lawyer about suing as I had lost a lot of money and felt that the company should have compensated me some how. The lawyer advised me that ” . . . it wasn’t a class action suit, so forget about it . . .” and I did, believe me. July 15th 1998 not even 3 weeks from this post, it all came back to me.

My best friend’s husband Daryl, who was a very nice guy and the best father I ever met, found out something that upset him very much and he went to the Doctor, the same Doctor that I went to, and that Doctor gave him 25 mg. of ZOLOFT. It wasn’t a week and Daryl started getting weird. By the 2nd week he was beating his wife. I don’t know how my friend ever survived those 3 1/2 weeks but she did.

3 1/2 weeks after Daryl started taking the 25 mg of Zoloft, he beat his wife bad and almost got the 3 kids, but they got away from him and fled for their lives. To make a sad story short, Daryl was found 3 days later in his truck in his own garage in 103-degree heat. He had been there dead for 3 days!

I cannot tell you how upset I am, and how I remember the mania from my own experience and can relate to what Daryl must have been going through. I just can’t believe it is true, it is so unreal, so unlike him. I just found the bottle a few days ago and took it to the Dr. and determined that he had been taking them right up to the night that he died. I remember how Zoloft amplified EVERYTHING. And the paranoia and the grinding of teeth. The insomnia was the very worst as it brought on the agitation.

I am posting this not for only myself but for Daryl too. I miss him deeply, we were all good friends, I cry a lot, and I go over to that garage and just cry because I know, I know what he went through. And if only someone would have told me he was on Zoloft I could have saved his life!

Not even his wife knew!

Please pray for her, she has 3 children and she is now with her parent’s way across town, so I feel as I have lost the entire family.

I will do anything I can do to get these drugs off of the market. It is like a cocaine; amphetamine, LSD high and you can’t get off. I just thank God everyday that I am alive and that my family is alive.

Laura

P.S. NOTE: I just want to state that I am back with the same Doctor who prescribed Zoloft because I do not think he is aware of the dangers, and how the statistics of going manic are a lot higher than he is aware of. I do not blame him in anyway, as I do not believe he knows how many people have gone manic on this drug. Also I believe in him as he in return believes in me. I believe now that he knows that the only thing that can make me go manic, is drugs. It can be cold medication, pain pills, steroids, decongestants, and even herb diet pills. I also know that he truly cares about his patients and also is a very qualified Doctor and that if I ever got sick, he is the only Doctor that I would want to be my MD General Practitioner. I highly recommend him to my friends and whoever asks me for a new Doctor, and I send people to him all the time.

Laura_Angel@msn.com

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 56.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

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