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Acebutolol

Medically reviewed on August 12, 2018

Pronunciation

(a se BYOO toe lole)

Index Terms

  • Acebutolol HCl
  • Acebutolol Hydrochloride

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product

Capsule, Oral, as hydrochloride:

Sectral: 200 mg [DSC] [contains brilliant blue fcf (fd&c blue #1), fd&c yellow #6 (sunset yellow)]

Sectral: 400 mg [DSC] [contains brilliant blue fcf (fd&c blue #1), fd&c red #40, fd&c yellow #6 (sunset yellow)]

Generic: 200 mg, 400 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Sectral [DSC]

Pharmacologic Category

  • Antiarrhythmic Agent, Class II
  • Antihypertensive
  • Beta-Blocker With Intrinsic Sympathomimetic Activity

Pharmacology

Competitively blocks beta1-adrenergic receptors with little or no effect on beta2-receptors except at high doses; exhibits membrane stabilizing and intrinsic sympathomimetic activity

Absorption

Oral: 40%

Distribution

Vd: 1.2 L/kg

Metabolism

Extensive first-pass effect to equipotent and cardioselective diacetolol metabolite

Excretion

Feces (50% to 60%); urine (30% to 40%); diacetolol eliminated primarily in the urine

Onset of Action

1 to 2 hours

Time to Peak

2 to 4 hours

Duration of Action

12 to 24 hours

Half-Life Elimination

Parent drug: 3 to 4 hours; Metabolite: 8 to 13 hours

Protein Binding

~26%

Special Populations: Renal Function Impairment

Decreased elimination of diacetolol resulting in a 2- to 3-fold increase in its half-life.

Special Populations: Elderly

Bioavailability increased about 2-fold.

Use: Labeled Indications

Hypertension: Management of hypertension. Note: Beta-blockers are not recommended as first-line therapy (ACC/AHA [Whelton 2017]).

Ventricular premature beats: Management of ventricular premature beats

Off Label Uses

Thyrotoxicosis

Initial research indicates that acebutolol may decrease thyroid hormone levels as well as thyroglobulin levels. Acebutolol has been shown to have symptomatic improvement in patients with hyperthyroidism. However, additional research is needed to determine more definitively the effects of acebutolol in this patient population.

Contraindications

Overt cardiac failure; cardiogenic shock; persistently severe bradycardia or second- and third-degree heart block (except in patients with a functioning artificial pacemaker)

Canadian labeling: Additional contraindications (not in US labeling): Hypersensitivity to acebutolol, beta-blockers, or any component of the formulation; sinus bradycardia; sick sinus syndrome; right ventricular failure secondary to pulmonary hypertension; pheochromocytoma; severe peripheral circulatory disorders; anesthesia with agents that produce myocardial depression; hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency, or glucose-galactose malabsorption (Sectral 400 mg tablet only)

Documentation of allergenic cross-reactivity for beta-blockers is limited. However, because of similarities in chemical structure and/or pharmacologic actions, the possibility of cross-sensitivity cannot be ruled out with certainty

Dosing: Adult

Hypertension (alternative agent): Oral: Initial: 200 to 400 mg daily in 1 to 2 divided doses; titrate as needed based on patient response; usual dosage range: 200 to 800 mg/day in 2 divided doses (ACC/AHA [Whelton 2017]); maximum dose: 1,200 mg/day

Stable ischemic heart disease (off-label use): Oral: Initial: 200 mg 3 times daily; titrated to desired heart rate by increasing at weekly intervals by 300 mg/day; maximum dose: 1,200 mg/day (DiBianco 1980; Lee 1982)

Thyrotoxicosis (off-label use): Oral: 200 mg 2 to 3 times daily; treatment period in clinical trials was 7 to 10 days (Jones 1981; Perret 1984; Perrild 1986). Additional data may be necessary to further define the role of acebutolol in the treatment of this condition. Note: Other beta blockers (eg, propranolol) may be preferred in this setting (ATA [Ross 2016]).

Ventricular premature beats: Oral: Initial: 200 to 400 mg daily in 1 to 2 divided doses; titrate as needed up to a maximum dose of 1,200 mg/day (AHA/ACC/HRS [Al-Khatib 2017])

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing. Consider dose reduction due to age-related increase in bioavailability; do not exceed 800 mg/day.

In the management of hypertension, consider lower initial dose (eg, 200 to 400 mg/day) and titrate to response (Aronow 2011).

Dosing: Renal Impairment

CrCl 25 to 49 mL/minute: Reduce dose by 50%.

CrCl <25 mL/minute: Reduce dose by 75%.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

There are no dosage adjustments provided in manufacturer's labeling; use with caution.

Administration

Oral: May be administered without regard to meals.

Storage

Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Protect from light.

Drug Interactions

Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy

Alfuzosin: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Alpha1-Blockers: Beta-Blockers may enhance the orthostatic hypotensive effect of Alpha1-Blockers. The risk associated with ophthalmic products is probably less than systemic products. Monitor therapy

Alpha2-Agonists: May enhance the AV-blocking effect of Beta-Blockers. Sinus node dysfunction may also be enhanced. Beta-Blockers may enhance the rebound hypertensive effect of Alpha2-Agonists. This effect can occur when the Alpha2-Agonist is abruptly withdrawn. Management: Closely monitor heart rate during treatment with a beta blocker and clonidine. Withdraw beta blockers several days before clonidine withdrawal when possible, and monitor blood pressure closely. Recommendations for other alpha2-agonists are unavailable. Exceptions: Apraclonidine. Consider therapy modification

Amifostine: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Amifostine. Management: When amifostine is used at chemotherapy doses, blood pressure lowering medications should be withheld for 24 hours prior to amifostine administration. If blood pressure lowering therapy cannot be withheld, amifostine should not be administered. Consider therapy modification

Aminoquinolines (Antimalarial): May decrease the metabolism of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy

Amiodarone: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Possibly to the point of cardiac arrest. Amiodarone may increase the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy

Amphetamines: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Beta-Blockers may decrease the metabolism of Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines). Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines) may decrease the metabolism of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy

Antipsychotic Agents (Second Generation [Atypical]): Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Antipsychotic Agents (Second Generation [Atypical]). Monitor therapy

Barbiturates: May decrease the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy

Barbiturates: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Benperidol: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Beta2-Agonists: Beta-Blockers (Beta1 Selective) may diminish the bronchodilatory effect of Beta2-Agonists. Of particular concern with nonselective beta-blockers or higher doses of the beta1 selective beta-blockers. Monitor therapy

Bradycardia-Causing Agents: May enhance the bradycardic effect of other Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Monitor therapy

Bretylium: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Bretylium may also enhance atrioventricular (AV) blockade in patients receiving AV blocking agents. Monitor therapy

Brigatinib: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Brigatinib may enhance the bradycardic effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

Brimonidine (Topical): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Bromperidol: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Bromperidol. Bromperidol may diminish the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Avoid combination

Bupivacaine: Beta-Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Bupivacaine. Monitor therapy

Calcium Channel Blockers (Nondihydropyridine): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Bradycardia and signs of heart failure have also been reported. Calcium Channel Blockers (Nondihydropyridine) may increase the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. Exceptions: Bepridil. Monitor therapy

Cardiac Glycosides: Beta-Blockers may enhance the bradycardic effect of Cardiac Glycosides. Monitor therapy

Ceritinib: Bradycardia-Causing Agents may enhance the bradycardic effect of Ceritinib. Management: If this combination cannot be avoided, monitor patients for evidence of symptomatic bradycardia, and closely monitor blood pressure and heart rate during therapy. Avoid combination

Cholinergic Agonists: Beta-Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Cholinergic Agonists. Of particular concern are the potential for cardiac conduction abnormalities and bronchoconstriction. Management: Administer these agents in combination with caution, and monitor for conduction disturbances. Avoid methacholine with any beta blocker due to the potential for additive bronchoconstriction. Monitor therapy

Diazoxide: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Dipyridamole: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy

Disopyramide: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Beta-Blockers may enhance the negative inotropic effect of Disopyramide. Monitor therapy

Dronedarone: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Dronedarone may increase the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. This likely applies only to those agents that are metabolized by CYP2D6. Management: Use lower initial beta-blocker doses; adequate tolerance of the combination, based on ECG findings, should be confirmed prior to any increase in beta-blocker dose. Consider therapy modification

DULoxetine: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of DULoxetine. Monitor therapy

EPINEPHrine (Nasal): Beta-Blockers (Beta1 Selective) may diminish the therapeutic effect of EPINEPHrine (Nasal). Monitor therapy

EPINEPHrine (Oral Inhalation): Beta-Blockers (Beta1 Selective) may diminish the therapeutic effect of EPINEPHrine (Oral Inhalation). Monitor therapy

Epinephrine (Racemic): Beta-Blockers (Beta1 Selective) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Epinephrine (Racemic). Monitor therapy

EPINEPHrine (Systemic): Beta-Blockers (Beta1 Selective) may diminish the therapeutic effect of EPINEPHrine (Systemic). Monitor therapy

Ergot Derivatives: Beta-Blockers may enhance the vasoconstricting effect of Ergot Derivatives. Exceptions: Nicergoline. Consider therapy modification

Fingolimod: Beta-Blockers may enhance the bradycardic effect of Fingolimod. Management: Avoid the concomitant use of fingolimod and beta-blockers if possible. If coadministration is necessary, patients should have overnight continuous ECG monitoring conducted after the first dose of fingolimod. Monitor patients for bradycardia. Consider therapy modification

Floctafenine: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Beta-Blockers. Avoid combination

Grass Pollen Allergen Extract (5 Grass Extract): Beta-Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Grass Pollen Allergen Extract (5 Grass Extract). More specifically, Beta-Blockers may inhibit the ability to effectively treat severe allergic reactions to Grass Pollen Allergen Extract (5 Grass Extract) with epinephrine. Some other effects of epinephrine may be unaffected or even enhanced (e.g., vasoconstriction) during treatment with Beta-Blockers. Consider therapy modification

Herbs (Hypertensive Properties): May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

Herbs (Hypotensive Properties): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Hypotension-Associated Agents: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Hypotension-Associated Agents. Monitor therapy

Insulins: Beta-Blockers may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Insulins. Monitor therapy

Ivabradine: Bradycardia-Causing Agents may enhance the bradycardic effect of Ivabradine. Monitor therapy

Lacosamide: Bradycardia-Causing Agents may enhance the AV-blocking effect of Lacosamide. Monitor therapy

Levodopa: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Levodopa. Monitor therapy

Lidocaine (Systemic): Beta-Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Lidocaine (Systemic). Monitor therapy

Lidocaine (Topical): Beta-Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Lidocaine (Topical). Monitor therapy

Lormetazepam: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Mepivacaine: Beta-Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Mepivacaine. Monitor therapy

Methacholine: Beta-Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Methacholine. Avoid combination

Methoxyflurane: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy

Methylphenidate: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

Midodrine: Beta-Blockers may enhance the bradycardic effect of Midodrine. Monitor therapy

Molsidomine: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Naftopidil: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Nicergoline: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Nicorandil: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

NIFEdipine: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. NIFEdipine may enhance the negative inotropic effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy

Nitroprusside: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Nitroprusside. Monitor therapy

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy

Obinutuzumab: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Management: Consider temporarily withholding blood pressure lowering medications beginning 12 hours prior to obinutuzumab infusion and continuing until 1 hour after the end of the infusion. Consider therapy modification

Opioids (Anilidopiperidine): May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Opioids (Anilidopiperidine) may enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy

Pentoxifylline: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Pholcodine: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Pholcodine. Monitor therapy

Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Propafenone: May increase the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. Propafenone possesses some independent beta blocking activity. Monitor therapy

Prostacyclin Analogues: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Quinagolide: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Regorafenib: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy

Reserpine: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy

Rifamycin Derivatives: May decrease the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. Exceptions: Rifabutin. Monitor therapy

Rivastigmine: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Avoid combination

Ruxolitinib: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Management: Ruxolitinib Canadian product labeling recommends avoiding use with bradycardia-causing agents to the extent possible. Monitor therapy

Sulfonylureas: Beta-Blockers may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Cardioselective beta-blockers (eg, acebutolol, atenolol, metoprolol, and penbutolol) may be safer than nonselective beta-blockers. All beta-blockers appear to mask tachycardia as an initial symptom of hypoglycemia. Ophthalmic beta-blockers are probably associated with lower risk than systemic agents. Monitor therapy

Terlipressin: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Monitor therapy

Theophylline Derivatives: Beta-Blockers (Beta1 Selective) may diminish the bronchodilatory effect of Theophylline Derivatives. Management: Monitor for reduced theophylline efficacy during concomitant use with any beta-blocker. Beta-1 selective agents are less likely to antagonize theophylline than nonselective agents, but selectivity may be lost at higher doses. Monitor therapy

Tofacitinib: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Monitor therapy

Yohimbine: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

Test Interactions

May lead to false-positive aldosterone/renin ratio (ARR) (Funder 2016)

Adverse Reactions

>10%: Central nervous system: Fatigue (11%)

1% to 10%:

Cardiovascular: Chest pain (2%), edema (2%), bradycardia, cardiac failure, hypotension

Central nervous system: Dizziness (6%), headache (6%), insomnia (3%), abnormal dreams (2%), depression (2%), anxiety, hyperesthesia, hypoesthesia

Dermatologic: Skin rash (2%), pruritus

Gastrointestinal: Constipation (4%), diarrhea (4%), dyspepsia (4%), nausea (4%), flatulence (3%), abdominal pain, vomiting

Genitourinary: Urinary frequency (3%), dysuria, impotence, nocturia

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Myalgia (2%), arthralgia, back pain

Ophthalmic: Visual disturbance (2%), conjunctivitis, dry eye syndrome, eye pain

Respiratory: Dyspnea (4%), rhinitis (2%), cough (1%), pharyngitis, wheezing

<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Anorexia, atrioventricular block, cold extremities, facial edema, hepatotoxicity, increased serum alkaline phosphatase, increased serum bilirubin, increased serum transaminases, lichen planus, lupus-like syndrome, palpitations, pleurisy, pneumonitis, pulmonary granuloma, renal insufficiency, systemic lupus erythematosus, urinary retention, ventricular arrhythmia, xerostomia

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse events:

• Anaphylactic reactions: Use caution with history of severe anaphylaxis to allergens; patients taking beta-blockers may become more sensitive to repeated challenges. Treatment of anaphylaxis (eg, epinephrine) in patients taking beta-blockers may be ineffective or promote undesirable effects.

Disease-related concerns:

• Bronchospastic disease: In general, patients with bronchospastic disease should not receive beta-blockers; for patients with bronchospastic disease who do not respond to or cannot tolerate other therapies, initial low doses of acebutolol may be employed and used cautiously with close monitoring. Ensure patient has an inhaled beta2-agonist immediately available.

• Conduction abnormality: Consider preexisting conditions such as sick sinus syndrome before initiating.

• Diabetes: Use with caution in patients with diabetes mellitus; may potentiate hypoglycemia and/or mask signs and symptoms.

• Heart failure (HF): Beta-blockers with intrinsic sympathomimetic activity (eg, acebutolol) are likely to worsen survival in patients with HF and should be avoided. Beta-blockers shown to improve survival in clinical trials should be used in these patients.

• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment.

• Mesenteric vascular disease: Can precipitate or aggravate symptoms of arterial insufficiency in patients with mesenteric vascular disease. Use with caution in these patients. Observe closely for progression of arterial obstruction.

• Myasthenia gravis: Use with caution in patients with myasthenia gravis.

• Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and Raynaud disease: May precipitate or aggravate symptoms of arterial insufficiency in patients with PVD and Raynaud disease. Use with caution and monitor for progression of arterial obstruction.

• Pheochromocytoma (untreated): Adequate alpha1-receptor blockade is required prior to use of any beta-blocker.

• Psoriasis: Beta-blocker use has been associated with induction or exacerbation of psoriasis, but cause and effect have not been firmly established.

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment, especially elderly patients. Elimination of the metabolite, diacetolol, is reduced resulting in a two- to threefold increase in its half-life.

• Thyroid disease: May mask signs of hyperthyroidism (eg, tachycardia). If hyperthyroidism is suspected, carefully manage and monitor; abrupt withdrawal may precipitate thyroid storm. Alterations in thyroid function tests may be observed.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Drug-drug interactions: Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult drug interactions database for more detailed information.

Special populations:

• Elderly: Use reduced doses in elderly patients; concentrations of acebutolol and diacetolol are significantly higher in elderly patients. Dose should not exceed 800 mg/day.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Abrupt withdrawal: Beta-blocker therapy should not be withdrawn abruptly (particularly in patients with CAD), but gradually tapered to avoid acute tachycardia, hypertension, and/or ischemia. Severe exacerbation of angina, ventricular arrhythmias, and myocardial infarction (MI) have been reported following abrupt withdrawal of beta-blocker therapy. Temporary but prompt resumption of beta-blocker therapy may be indicated with worsening of angina or acute coronary insufficiency.

• Major surgery: Chronic beta-blocker therapy should not be routinely withdrawn prior to major surgery.

Monitoring Parameters

Blood pressure, ECG; serum glucose (in diabetic patients)

Hypertension: The 2017 Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults (ACC/AHA [Whelton 2017]):

Confirmed hypertension and known CVD or 10-year ASCVD risk ≥10%: Target blood pressure <130/80 mm Hg is recommended.

Confirmed hypertension without markers of increased ASCVD risk: Target blood pressure <130/80 mm Hg may be reasonable.

Pregnancy Risk Factor

B

Pregnancy Considerations

Adverse effects were observed in some animal reproduction studies. Acebutolol and diacetolol (active metabolite) cross the placenta. Decreases in birth weight, blood pressure, and heart rate have been observed in neonates following maternal use of acebutolol during pregnancy. Hypoglycemia has also been found following in utero exposure to beta-blockers as a class. The half-life of acebutolol is 6 to 14 hours in the newborn. The half-life of diacetolol is 24 to 30 hours for the first 24 hours of life, then 12 to 16 hours. Adequate facilities for monitoring infants at birth should be available. The plasma elimination half-life of acebutolol is longer in pregnant women at term (Bianchetti 1981a; Boutroy 1982).

Untreated chronic maternal hypertension and preeclampsia are also associated with adverse events in the fetus, infant, and mother (ACOG 2015; Magee 2014). When treatment of hypertension in pregnancy is indicated, beta-blockers may be used. Specific recommendations vary by guideline. Although other agents are preferred (ACOG 2013), use of acebutolol may be considered (Magee 2014).

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience headache or loss of strength and energy. Have patient report immediately to prescriber severe dizziness, passing out, shortness of breath, excessive weight gain, swelling of arms or legs, bradycardia, or abnormal heartbeat (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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