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Old 01-10-2010, 09:07 PM   #1
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Question Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

Hello,

I have been taking Fentynal for Trigeminal Neuralgia pain for 3 years and Oxycontin for 2 years before that. I'm at 100ugh of Fentynal. No addiction problems. Just physical dependence. I am interested in what my pain would be like off meds and if I could manage.

In some folks I've read that suboxone makes withdrawals from opioids rather easy and in 3-4 days they are pretty much just fine. What's up with that? Others report horror. Why the huge difference? What's that about?

In my experience, when I had a patch fall off or when I took it off to see how bad it could get, the worst of what I experienced felt just like holding my breath for 45-60 seconds and then continuing like that for hours without stop. This agony was far worse than anything I've ever endured, where I was literally writhing around on the floor like a snake, as they ride over me in punishing waves. I made it about six hours, once. I will not do that again. (Though oddly the TN pain did not change.)

What is up with that suffocation feeling? Not anxious, just feel like in suffocating even though I am obviously breathing normally.

What could I expect if I wanted to rapid detox off my fentynal in a clinic?

What can I expect suboxone to do/not do for me? Will suboxone stop this feeling and just leave me with the awful flu like symptoms, or less?

Is it unreasonable to expect I can go into a clinic, take suboxone for 3-5 days and walk out completely off opioids and be feeling somewhat reasonable? Obviously I don't know anything about this

 
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:53 AM   #2
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Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

Hi again Thatmonk. Fentanyl is quite powerful. I would talk to doctors to see your best course of action. I will sum up my experience, which I know you read in another thread. I had a mild addiction to oxy/hydro in cycles for 10 years. I would normally take 40-60mgs a day when using, only 10mgs each time. I had enough, went to medical detox at my hospital and was given suboxone on Tuesday Dec 29. I started at 6mgs for 2 days, went down to 4mgs for 3 days. I came home on Saturday, January 2. I took 3 mgs until Monday, January 4th. My last dose was at 5:22pm. I was fine unitil Thursday evening and definitely had wds start to hit. Yes, they were milder but ther wer very present. It is now Monday the 11th and will be starting my 8th day this afternoon. I honestly feel quite a bit better. I am not anywhere near 100 or even 75 percent, but the heebie jeebies has stopped and my mental outlook is good as I wanted off pills period. I have no cravings and now I will work on my mental state and change of life to better my health.

I am so glad I did the suboxone. Yes, it will prolong the Wds because it has a 3x longer half life than oxy or hydro. So what I have gathered is that it takes 3x longer to get through the withdrawals, but they are milder, but still present. The half life is why it took so long for the wds to hit. So what I am doing now is taking how many hours I been clean and dividing it by 3. I feel that number tells me what I would be at if I had just withdrawn from oxy or hydro alone. So for me, it had been 170 hours so I translate that to 51ish hours. But again, the withdrawals were much more mild than if I hadn't used the suboxone. I have actually been able to sleep. I have NEVER done that when withdrawaling from opiates.

Please talk to your doctor as Fentanyl maybe a horse of a different color. But this was my experience and I look foward to going without pills and enjoy life and the things I missed

 
Old 01-14-2010, 12:25 PM   #3
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Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

Hi Thatmonk. This is a long post, but I didn't want to exclude information that might be useful to you or others. I'm on Suboxone. I started at 12 mg a day and have decreased to 6 mg a day. When I try to go lower, I feel too much anxiety. I plan on tapering-off, but presently I am unemployed. The stress and anxiety of the job search makes this not the best time. Prior to taking Suboxone, I had been on other pain medicine - all due to a herniated disk in my lower back. Eventually I reached out for help with the pain meds addiction and back problem. I went to a medical practice that specializes in pain management and addiction. I found them by searching online for narcotics withdrawal help. They put me on Suboxone. After viewing an MRI results, they also gave an injection of anti-inflammation medicine near the herniated disk nerve endings. The injection lasts for a few months and completely removes all pain and inflammation.

My Suboxone prescription is renewed only by an office visit, usually monthly. The session lasts about 45 minutes with their Clinical Specialist/Therapist. She is very qualified and experienced with addiction treatment.

This Specialist told me a tapering-off plan based on Suboxone which has been successful with her other patients. The method uses a 3-day cycle. On days 1 and 2, decrease your normal daily intake by .5 mg, then on day 3 take the normal amount. For example, if the current daily intake is 6mg, take 5.5 mg on days 1 and 2, then on day 3 take 6 mg. Repeat the 3-day cycle over 2-weeks (5.5,5.5,6,5.5,5.5,6, etc.) For the next 2-week period, reduce all daily intakes by .5 mg. This works because Suboxone stays in the body more than a couple of days. On the 3-day cycle, little or no withdrawal symptoms should be felt on days 1 and 2. On day 3 when the symptoms are expected, you trick your body and return to the higher dose.

It seems the tapering-off plan takes too long, why not try a shorter period? The Specialist said a gradual tapering-off process is better so that a relapse to other narcotics or drugs is avoided. Also, a person with an addiction usually didn't get into that situation quickly - the process was most likely gradual as well. If a gradual taper-off process is used, the physical and psychological dependencies have a better chance of successful adjustment.

According to the Specialist, during the tapering-off process as the dose size decreases, there could be mild withdrawal symptoms, but these are usually manageable. Expect them. Other stresses may seem bigger than usual and challenge your coping skills. Hang in there. Consider taking an Advil or Alleve, it's amazing how much relief those give. After tapering-off, when there is no further routine Suboxone intake, there will be mild withdrawal symptoms that could last up to a few weeks. These will feel like a slight cold/flu. According to the Specialist's successful patients, don't give up if possible during this time. It does get better.

The Specialist suggests keeping Suboxone available after tapering-off. This helps in case the withdrawal intensity and symptoms are too much. Take the lowest dose you think is needed (.5 mg?). Relief should be felt within 15-20 minutes and the adverse symptoms should decrease - they may not disappear, but decide if you can tough it out or need to take more Suboxone. Don't think this is failure, it may be necessary to adjust your expectations of your body's withdrawal process from the power of the addiction.

Stretch it out: my idea of gaining control over my addiction is to stretch out time between taking Suboxone. I don't take all 6 mg at once each day. 2 mg can be taken every 8 hours. I found I could extend the times to 2 mg every 10 or 12 hours, etc. Stretching out the doses helps prepare for the tapering-off process. Keep busy and don't watch the clock.

Take only when needed: another idea I've used is to take a low dose of Suboxone only when initial withdrawal symptoms are felt. Instead of taking the pill at a certain time, question yourself if it's really necessary then, or could you wait a little longer? This idea reminds me of dieting: am I eating because the clock says it is meal time, or I am eating because my stomach is empty and growling?

For low daily doses of Suboxone, 2mg pills may be prescribed instead of 8 mg pills. Dividing the 8 mg pills into 4 parts may not always be equal, and this could impact your tapering-off process. The theory is to have better control of the intake amount when dealing with smaller doses. Perhaps buy a pill cutter at your pharmacy to have better control cutting either the 2 mg or 8 mg pills. FYI: the 2 mg pills might cost more.

 
Old 01-17-2010, 08:00 AM   #4
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Smile Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

Hi Thatmonk, let me say first that chances are once you get off all the meds, you may have little or no pain as you had in the past. After 30 yrs of addiction, I ended up on methadone and was going to the methagone clinic, where they had me taking 240mg per day (I weigh 100 lbs) When I had all I could take of addiction, I went to a Dr for suboxone andd although he initially gave me half a tab every 39 min for 4 hrs during which time I did go thru sbout 3 months of withdrawals during those 4 hrs, when I left his office, I was tired but having no withdrawals, that was 3 yrs ago and to this day I have not taken another narcotic and I have not had any withdrawals or urges to use narcotics. He ordered me to take 3-8mg suboxones a day, after paying over 400.00 for 60, I knew I could not afford to take 3 a day so I took one a day for the first 2 and a half yrs, they made me simply feel normal. I had yrs of severe back pain but have had no pain in past 3 yrs also. When I told Dr. I wanted to get off the suboxone, he started me on the reduction plan for one month I took 6mg a day, second month 4mg a day, 3rd month 2mg a day, 4th mo 1 mg per day, 5th mo half of one mg a day almost too small to realize I had evven had anything, and now I take half of one mg every 2 or 3 days and as I said so far not the first withdrawal, urge to use and no pain that cant be resolved with motrin. Initial induction to suboxone is to be done in the drs office where he gives you half , whole or perhaps forth tab every 30 minutes til you are thru your withdrawals, plus you must remember NO PILL CAN GET USE INTO REMISSION for life, b/c pills are not our problems, what suboxone does is makes you feel NORMAL where you can work on your true problem, SELF, learn why you had to take mood altering drugs and to love and take care of yourself, once you can do that, getting off suboxone can be done with minimal discomfort if any at all. Suboxone is a 6 month program, its just that for many folks, it makes life and you feel so ÷K", we tend to just stay on it much longer. I wish you the best. Also I will tell you that some patients with REAL diagnosis such as terminal cancer or neuropathy pain take suboxone 1 or 2 a day the erst of thier lives b/c it stops the pain and does not impair your ability to function normally, you may be one of those pts that would benefit from indefinite low dose suboxone therapy. From your thread it sounds like panic attacks you experienced when you felt as if you were suffocating, which is understandable. I wish you the best and I can tell you from personal experience, if you follow the no more than 2mg per month decrease reduction and continue mandatory recovery counseling while on suboxone you can avoid withdrawals not just experience easier withdrawals after your initial induction at first Dr. appt.Bless you and good luck

 
Old 05-27-2010, 09:37 AM   #5
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Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

Hello to you....
I have a 10 year history of opiate abuse. I started taking them for pain relief. Then it was more and more as the tolerance built and also numbing some emotional pain I was dealing with. I didnt know anything about Suboxone until recently. But last sept, I checked myself into a detox as I knew I was either going to lose my wonderful family or lose my life. The withdrawls there sucked!! They pretty much just kept me doped up on Klonopin and sleeping pills, and I slept for almost 2 weeks. I followed up with psychs when I got out. But as this is now a disease, and those meds have affected your brain, and the pleasure center of your brain, you will always crave those meds.
I was told about Suboxone by several people in my group therapy sessions. I was on several waiting lists with different Drs, as this is a hard thing to get. Also, find a dr that accepts your insurance, as some do not!! also if your ins covers the medication.
I just had my first appointment on Monday the 24th. The doctors are wonderful and educational. They work close with you to get you on the perfect dose for your symptoms. You can never built a tolerance to Suboxone. So depending on the person, some stay on it for a few months, but you are allowed to stay on it forever.
This is helping with my cravings as well as my pain.
I can only wish you the best. Search for addiction specialists in your area. You will feel so much better, and be able to lead a great life and get back to life without addiction running it!!!

 
Old 05-27-2010, 10:00 AM   #6
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Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

My story...52 year old female, back surgery, pain meds (Norco) for 2 years. My last week of use was about 10-12 a day. Started Suboxene after 30 hours of withdrawal, which was bad to me. Anxiety, complete body restless syndrome, sleeplessness, etc. Anyway, took my first dose of Sub (8mg2mg) and within 20 minutes I felt good. In an hour I felt great. By the end of the day I had energy and my mind was clear and I was myself again. I'm now 24 days clean and the Sub has been a savior for me. Every day I wake up full of life and joy. I was not that way before I quit. My doctor was great and loving and compassionate and caring. She said to not worry about quitting yet...it will come to me when I am ready. She has no problem with me being on the for a year or forever. I know in my heart I will know when it's time to quit, just like I knew in my heart when it was time to quit the Norco. I take 2 pills a day. One in the morning and one at night. I have read every post on here about Sub and at first they scared me. Don't be scared. You will get your life back if this is the road you choose. Blessings and good luck to you!

 
Old 05-29-2010, 01:17 PM   #7
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Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

A note for future posters. Please don't make the mistake of assuming I'm an addict in denial. I'm physically dependent as all opioid pain patients, but have no psychological addiction to this drug. I get no pleasure from taking it. There really are people who take pain medication for pain!! and not to get high :-)

To respond based on an assumption I am an addict in denial and then write a long post about how I need to face up to my addiction is not helpful. I simply want to know people's good and bad experience with Suboxone, as to help me decide if I want to pursue this, mainly to see if my main is manageable off medications as I have put in place many other treatments and it is difficult to know how much the patch is doing and how much everything else is doing. The only way to find out is take off the patch. But that aint easy!!

Thanks for your time in sharing your experience and thank you for understanding this is not an addiction issue thus allowing for a more helpful response.

May all be well and happy.
May all be free of suffering.
May all never be separate from the sources of true happiness.
May all dwell in equanimity, free of attachment and aversion.

 
Old 05-29-2010, 01:43 PM   #8
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Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

Future posters: Please note that when I write "not an addict" this is indeed the case. I take pain medication for pain. Not to get high. I am physically dependent, as all opioid pain patients are, but not psychologically addicted. Responses about addiction do not answer my question about Suboxone and what it can and cannot do. To assume I am an addict who can't admit it, and then respond about that is especially unhelpful. I am a pain patient. As much as I wish I were not one!

Thank you for your helpful responses about Suboxone.

 
Old 08-14-2010, 02:04 AM   #9
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Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatmonk View Post
Hello,

I have been taking Fentynal for Trigeminal Neuralgia pain for 3 years and Oxycontin for 2 years before that. I'm at 100ugh of Fentynal. No addiction problems. Just physical dependence. I am interested in what my pain would be like off meds and if I could manage.

In some folks I've read that suboxone makes withdrawals from opioids rather easy and in 3-4 days they are pretty much just fine. What's up with that? Others report horror. Why the huge difference? What's that about?

In my experience, when I had a patch fall off or when I took it off to see how bad it could get, the worst of what I experienced felt just like holding my breath for 45-60 seconds and then continuing like that for hours without stop. This agony was far worse than anything I've ever endured, where I was literally writhing around on the floor like a snake, as they ride over me in punishing waves. I made it about six hours, once. I will not do that again. (Though oddly the TN pain did not change.)

What is up with that suffocation feeling? Not anxious, just feel like in suffocating even though I am obviously breathing normally.

What could I expect if I wanted to rapid detox off my fentynal in a clinic?

What can I expect suboxone to do/not do for me? Will suboxone stop this feeling and just leave me with the awful flu like symptoms, or less?

Is it unreasonable to expect I can go into a clinic, take suboxone for 3-5 days and walk out completely off opioids and be feeling somewhat reasonable? Obviously I don't know anything about this
heh there thatmonk my names Iain and live in Glasgow Scotland, unfortunatly i can`t comment directly about suboxone i`ve never been on it i`ve just recently detoxed off methadone 2 months ago, i guess my only advice would be to take it slow it`s not a race it`s not about how fast you become substance free only that you get substance free and remain so, letting you get on with your life cause life is really too short to be wasting it, thats what i`ve learned even in the short 2 months since finishing my own detox my life has improved behond what i ever believed it could and only seem`s to be getting better.
Another thing you mentioned was that you felt there was no addiction problems only physical dependancy it`s only my opinion but i believe them to be similar if not the same the definition of addiction is something you have a mental or physical dependance towards.
I also believe that if you really want to be substance free anyone can do it but you have to believe in yourself.
Am telling you if some CRAZY Scotsman can detox off his meds all be it different meds am sure you can. There`s no such word as can`t there`s only won`t.
Every bit of luck i can spare is aimed right at you on your journey i only hope i`ve been alittle help none of us are alone. Take care. Iain

 
Old 08-15-2010, 03:15 PM   #10
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Talking Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

Thanks for the reply Lain,

I'm actually half way through my taper now, under the guidance of my pain clinic doc. He thought it was an excellent idea to try tapering off and see how I manage my pain without analgesia. He recommended using clonodine to help with the withdrawal anxieties, you know the feeling... coming out of your skin... and it helps enormously. He thought Soboxone didn't seem to be very helpful, and besides you need to be in full blown withdrawals before they can start you in it, and in my case, there was no point in putting me through that as I'm not psychologically addicted. And there really is a difference. If I was addicted to anything, it was the pain relief the meds offered. I am actually really grateful for my pain meds, for they gave me the time I needed to make friends with the pain without it killing me. You know trigeminal neuralgia is also called "suicide disease" as the pain is so severe. In my opinion opiates are a stopgap to buy one time while you learn how to live with pain; or do allow you to die without pain. They are not a good long term plan!

When all this started, I came out of a sinus surgery that was supposed to fix the face and teeth pain I had. Instead I awoke after surgery in horrible pain about 8x worse than before. They prescribed percocet to manage the pain while I healed. Problem is that my body healed but my trigeminal nerve decided to just keep on transmitting the pain at the same enormous level. As I went from doc to doc trying to figure out what the hell went wrong, I survived day by day on percocet until after seeing a trigeminal neurologist nearly a year later, I was sent to a pain clinic, already dependent and still in horrible pain and facing extraordinary desperation. I also lost my home in the process and ended up in public housing, a read bummer in itself.

Indeed it was my desperation to avoid the pain and all the anxiety and fear it created that caused me to take the meds. It was literally as if I awoke in a nightmare that was waking reality. The pain was to bad, as was my mental health after the onslaught of drugs the pain clinic threw at me I was considering refusing food and dying, as living with such pain was just not an option.

The problem with opiate pain meds is that those first few weeks they work really well controlling pain. But after that everything slowly only gets worse and worse. Higher doses, worse side effects, greater lifestyle limitations. Only after a few years so you realize what has happened.

Fast forward five years... I've made friends with the pain and learned to live with it and even meditate extremely well with it, I can meditate on it now without aversion. (At least at 50mcg, I still have to see how I do free of meds, but I remain very hopeful and confident it will be just fine.) My problem was my anxiety and adversion to the pain than the pain itself.

Thanks for your thoughts. I'll be done with this process in another 20 days, as I am tapering down quite comfortable at 10% every six days. slow is indeed the best way to go. Other than being tired and feeling heavy, it's okay. It is inspiring to hear how much better you feel once off the meds. I am looking forward to a wonderful fall in NW Oregon mountains where I live.


 
Old 08-16-2010, 02:16 AM   #11
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Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

Heh there it`s Iain here it`s good to read your last message sounds like a plan to me and it`s good to hear you staying positive, anything is achievable. good luck and take care. Iain.

 
Old 08-18-2010, 01:53 PM   #12
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Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

Thanks Iain,

Made my next step down from 50 to 37mcg/h yesterday. First 12 hours were okay, even went for a short ride on my motorbike to the store for something to eat, and a nice trip to Beavercreek Falls nearby. But the evening and night were throughly rough, went through a lot of clonidine librium and atavan to barely cover the WDs. After finally gettin' to sleep at 2am I slept until 2 this afternoon and feel okay, relatively speaking. Still too tired to clean up anything or cook more than what comes out of a can if that. (I usually I eat great veggie stews and stuff) Wanna come over and clean up my mess and make a pot of stew; I've made some real Indian chai tea? Just kidding. Did you say you're in Scotland? Anyway, nice to get your email. No motorbike today, thats for sure. Even though it is very nice. I'll probably just play marmot in the sun now. I surely feel like a marmot.

Lodru

 
Old 08-19-2010, 05:17 AM   #13
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Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

Heh thatmonk good tae hear fae ye it`s also good tae hear your doing not to bad don`t worry about the tiredness and stuff everything passes with alittle perseverance stick in there mate don`t let life drag you down it has a habbit of trying time and time again so remaining strong consistantly is always needed.
Keep the Faith and Take Care. From some mad Scotsman.

 
Old 09-22-2010, 12:29 AM   #14
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Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

I can tell you what i experienced and what my doctor explained. Without suboxone, accd to my doctor, that snake would have lasted 8 days for me. i am addicted to morphine. I went thru one full day of having those body spasms. The term "spasms" just doesn't sound strong enough. Your terminology is a lot more accurate in my opinion. The suboxone works in such a way that that "writhing" day only lasts for 12 to 24 hours instead of possibly one week or more. He told me I would have to be in withdrawal "somewhat" before starting the subx. You can have worse withdrawal for a while if you start the subx too soon in the withdrawal process. Personally, I think that my writhing was so long, so hard cuz i did start subx too soon. My doc said that may be , that it is hard to know. I was on slow release morphine 7 years, escalating up to 360mg over that time, per my old pain doc. when I went looking for a new pain doc, new doc said I was on twice as much as his highest patience and I would have to detox before he would see me again. it took me 2 years to get the courage to do it. I went into a short treatment center where you stay generally up to 1 week or more to detox and switch over to subx for withdrawal relief and pain relief. subx has helped my pain. I have had failed back fusion of l5/s1 and sciatica down both legs. Subx is helping tho. It has been 8 days since my last dose of morphine and I really do feel better. It is not as hard to get off of subx as morphine and I believe fentynal is stronger than morphine. I'm just telling you what I went thru. I have seen that there is a lot of controversy as how and when and even if you should take subx, but in my case it has been very effective. I was told by my doc also that subx is easier to detox from than morphine if I do need to stop taking it later. I was glad I went to a detox center because I did not just detox. I learned different ways to handle pain without any meds at all, behavior modification among other things. That extra information helped me a lot. I pray the best for you in your decision about subx.

 
Old 09-22-2010, 02:31 AM   #15
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Re: Suboxone: will it make withdwawals easier? How easy?

Heh aeris my name`s Iain i live in Glasgow Scotland.
If i were you i`d question where the doctor got his information on how YOU would feel, i`ve never been on suboxone but i just detoxed myself off my methadone which i was taking to surpress my herion addiction.
Whilst detoxing i lost count of the times my doctor told me to slow my reduction down otherwise i`d end up suffering from this or suffering from that, at the end of the day each of us are individuals with an individual reaction to whatever problem we`re are experiencing, in my opinion it`s dangerous for a doctor to say that because this person suffered this you`ll suffer as well, this is just not the case in my opinion and by saying that to you can increase the chances of you suffering from the said reaction.
This is only my opinion based on my experience, i chose not to listen to my doctor as he warned me and accept that whatever i did end up feeling does`nt have to be as bad as people make out, i found my detox relativly easy few weeks of no sleep or broken sleep and then i was fine, and i believe i found it that easy because i would`nt accept the horror stories you here from some doctors and people in general. If you really want to do it tell yourself you will do it then visualise yourself getting on with a much much better life without being controlled by a substance.
I wish you all the luck, this is one crazy scotsman signing off Take care

Last edited by mod-anon; 09-22-2010 at 04:06 AM. Reason: removed quote

 
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