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Experimental Shingles Vaccine Looks Quite Effective: Study

Posted 15 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14, 2016 – An experimental vaccine against shingles may offer lasting protection for most older adults who receive it, a new clinical trial found. Shingles is a painful rash that's triggered by a reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox. About one-third of Americans develop the disease at some point, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There already is a vaccine against shingles, but its effectiveness is limited. The new study found that the experimental vaccine protected about 90 percent of adults age 70 and up. And the effects were still apparent four years later. By comparison, the existing vaccine, Zostavax, cuts the risk of shingles by about half. And immunity wanes within five years, according to the CDC. The study results were published in the Sept. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers called ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Zostavax, Varicella-Zoster, Zoster Vaccine Live, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Varicella-Zoster - Prophylaxis, Herpes Zoster - Prophylaxis

Chickenpox, Shingles Vaccines Linked to Rare Eye Inflammation

Posted 25 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2016 – The vaccine for chickenpox and shingles has been linked to inflammation of the eye's cornea, but the number of such cases is small, a new study says. "Keratitis, or inflammation of the clear layer on the front of the eye, is a vision issue that can cause serious complications or even permanent damage to your vision if left untreated," Dr. Frederick Fraunfelder, chair of the ophthalmology department and director of the University of Missouri Eye Institute, said in a university news release. Researchers found 20 cases of keratitis in children and adults that occurred within a month of receiving a chickenpox or shingles vaccine. Symptoms of the disorder developed within 24 days of vaccination among adults. In children, symptoms began within 14 days of vaccination, the researchers said. The researchers said there is a probable relationship between the vaccine and ... Read more

Related support groups: Eye Conditions, Herpes Zoster, Zostavax, Varicella-Zoster, Keratitis, Eye Redness/Itching, Corneal Abrasion, Corneal Ulcer, Varicella Virus Vaccine, Herpes Zoster Iridocyclitis, Measles Virus Vaccine/Mumps Virus Vaccine/Rubella Virus Vaccine/Varicella Virus Vaccine, Visual Defect/Disturbance, ProQuad, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Zoster Vaccine Live, Varicella-Zoster - Prophylaxis, Varivax

Asthma May Be Linked to Shingles Risk

Posted 31 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 31, 2015 – People who suffer from asthma may be more likely to develop the painful skin condition known as shingles, a new study suggests. The finding builds on previous research that suggested a link between childhood asthma and shingles risk. "Asthma represents one of the five most burdensome chronic diseases in the U.S., affecting up to 17 percent of the population," said study author Dr. Young Juhn, a general academic pediatrician and asthma epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic Children's Research Center in Rochester, Minn. "The effect of asthma on the risk of infection or immune dysfunction might very well go beyond the airways," Juhn said in a Mayo news release. The researchers analyzed the medical records of patients with suspected cases of shingles. They identified 371 people (average age 67) with the condition. Those patients were compared to 742 people who didn't ... Read more

Related support groups: Asthma, Herpes Zoster, Asthma - Maintenance, Asthma - Acute, Zostavax, Allergic Asthma, Reversible Airways Disease, Reversible Airways Disease - Maintenance, Herpes Zoster - Prophylaxis

Shingles Linked to Raised Heart Risks for Seniors, Study Finds

Posted 15 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 15, 2015 – Seniors who develop the painful rash known as shingles appear to face a short-term increase in their risk for having a stroke or heart attack, new research indicates. The finding was based on the tracking of heart health among more than 67,000 newly diagnosed shingles patients who were aged 65 and older. The analysis revealed that stroke risk more than doubled in the first week following a shingles diagnosis, with heart attack risk also climbing, though not by quite as much. The risk for both appeared to return to normal within six months. "The study highlights when patients with shingles may be most vulnerable," explained study author Caroline Minassian, a research fellow in the faculty of epidemiology and population health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in England. "If we know when these events are more likely to happen, this may ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Herpes Zoster, Zostavax, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Herpes Zoster Meningitis, Herpes Zoster Peripheral Neuropathy

Herpes Virus Tied to Angina Risk, Study Suggests

Posted 16 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 16, 2015 – There seems to be a higher risk of angina – chest pain related to clogged blood vessels – in the small number of people who have a type of herpes virus lurking in their genes, a new study suggests. Canadian researchers found that people with this inherited condition face three times the risk of angina as others. About 1 percent of people in the world appear to have this increased risk. There's no way to get rid of the genetic condition, because it is in a person's DNA, said study co-author Louis Flamand, vice chair of the department of microbiology-immunology at Laval University in Quebec, Canada. However, "as a preventive measure, subjects could be monitored more closely for the development of cardiovascular diseases," he said. "Considering that testing is simple, we propose that testing could be added to the list of genetic tests being performed on every ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Angina, Herpes Simplex, Angina Pectoris Prophylaxis

Health Tip: Easing the Pain of Shingles

Posted 5 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful, itchy, blistering rash. While the rash can occur anywhere on the body, most often it develops on the torso. Shingles develops among people who have had chickenpox. The chickenpox virus reactivates when the person gets older, emerging as shingles. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests these ways to ease shingles pain: Take a cool bath or apply a cool wet cloth or ice pack to the rash. Use calamine lotion on the blisters to ease itchiness. Use non-stick, sterile, loose bandages to cover the rash. Wear all-cotton, loosely-fitting clothing on areas that are particularly painful. Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster

Shingles Vaccine Still Effective After Chemotherapy

Posted 8 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 – The shingles vaccine remains effective in older people after they've had chemotherapy, a new study finds. "The zoster vaccine (Zostavax) has been shown to be safe and effective in elderly adults with healthy immune systems but until now, there has been a lack of data on whether the vaccine remains safe and effective for individuals who might have compromised immune systems resulting from treatments like chemotherapy," study author Hung Fu Tseng, of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation, said in a Kaiser news release. "Our study demonstrates that older patients who had previously been vaccinated against shingles have a lower chance of developing this painful and often debilitating disease after chemotherapy," Tseng said. Researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 21,000 people aged 60 and older who had ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Zostavax, Zoster Vaccine Live, Herpes Zoster - Prophylaxis

Stroke Risk Spikes Shortly After Shingles Episode: Study

Posted 3 Apr 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 3, 2014 – People with shingles face a significantly increased risk of stroke in the weeks following the first signs of the painful skin rash, new research suggests. Patients' overall stroke risk is highest in the first month after the onset of shingles, when they are 63 percent more likely to have a stroke, said study author Dr. Sinead Langan, a senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The risk tapers off during the following five months, she added. Shingles patients also have a threefold increased risk of stroke if they develop the rash around one or both eyes, according to the report published online April 3 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. However, the study also delivered some good news for people with shingles, Langan added. "We found that the risk of stroke was lower in people who were treated with antiviral medications ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Herpes Zoster

Younger Adults Who've Had Shingles May Face Higher Stroke Risk

Posted 3 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 3, 2014 – People who've had shingles – a viral infection also known as herpes zoster – before age 40 may have a higher risk of stroke years later, a large new study suggests. Adults who get shingles after 40 don't have an increased risk of stroke. But along with those who had shingles before 40, they do have a higher risk of heart attack and "transient ischemic attack" (TIA), sometimes called a mini-stroke, the study authors said. "In those aged less than 40 years at the time of herpes zoster, the risk of stroke, TIA and [heart attack] occurring in the years following was significantly higher than in [people without the infection]," said Dr. Judith Breuer, study lead author and a professor of virology and head of infection and immunity at University College London, in England. "Herpes zoster is also more common in individuals who have risk factors for vascular disease, ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Herpes Zoster

Chickenpox Vaccine Not Responsible for Rise in Shingles, Study Says

Posted 2 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2013 – The prevalence of a painful condition known as shingles is increasing in the United States, but new research says the chickenpox vaccine isn't to blame. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus. Researchers have theorized that widespread chickenpox vaccination since the 1990s might have given shingles an unintended boost. But that theory didn't pan out in a study of nearly 3 million older adults. "The chickenpox vaccine program was introduced in 1996, so we looked at the incidence of shingles from the early '90s to 2010, and found that shingles was already increasing before the vaccine program started," said study author Dr. Craig Hales, a medical epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "And as immunization coverage in children reached 90 percent, shingles continued at the same rate." ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Varicella-Zoster, Varicella Virus Vaccine, Varivax

Few U.S. Seniors Take Advantage of Shingles Vaccine

Posted 9 Apr 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 9 – The shingles vaccine is effective but few American seniors get it, according to a new study. Shingles is a painful skin and nerve infection that occurs when the chickenpox virus is reactivated in older adults who had chickenpox as children. The vaccine helps prevent reactivation of the virus. Researchers led by Sinead Langan from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine examined data collected from more than 766,000 Medicare beneficiaries between 2007 and 2009, and found that the vaccine reduced the rate of shingles by 48 percent overall. However, the vaccine was less effective in seniors with weakened immune systems, according to the report published April 9 in the journal PLoS Medicine. The vaccine reduced the rate of a painful shingles-related complication called post-herpetic neuralgia by 59 percent, the investigators found. Despite its effectiveness, ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Zostavax, Zoster Vaccine Live, Herpes Zoster - Prophylaxis

Newer Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Don't Seem to Increase Risk of Shingles

Posted 5 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 5 – The newest medications used to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis don't appear to raise the risk of developing shingles, new research indicates. There has been concern that these medications, called anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) drugs, might increase the chances of a shingles infection (also known as herpes zoster) because they work by suppressing a part of the immune system that causes the autoimmune attack. "These are commonly used drugs for people with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, and the issue was whether or not they increased the risk of [shingles]. We found there is no increased risk when using these drugs, which was reassuring," said study author Dr. Kevin Winthrop, associate professor of infectious disease and public health and preventive medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. Results ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Herpes Zoster, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Simponi, Cimzia, Infliximab, Adalimumab, Etanercept, Golimumab, Certolizumab

Shingles Not Linked to Increased Cancer Risk, Study States

Posted 17 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 17 – People with herpes zoster, commonly known as shingles, are not at greater risk for cancer, according to a new Taiwanese study. In background information in the report, the researchers said the question of whether there was an increased risk of cancer after shingles diagnosis was "controversial." In their study, published in the Sept. 17 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the authors concluded that extensive cancer screening is unnecessary once people are diagnosed with shingles. The condition usually starts with pain, itching or tingling on one side of the face or body, which is followed by a rash. It is caused when the same virus that causes chickenpox remains in the body and reactivates years later, in the form of shingles, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We found no overall increased risk of cancer among patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Herpes Zoster

Little Short-Term Risk of Repeat Bout of Shingles, Study Finds

Posted 5 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 5 – Older people who've had shingles have a relatively low short-term risk of developing the painful skin condition again, a new study says. The findings indicate that there is no urgent need for these patients to get vaccinated in order to prevent a second shingles episode, according to the researchers at Kaiser Permanente Southern California. They reviewed the health records and monitored recurrence of shingles among more than 6,000 patients, 60 and older. During an average two years of follow-up, there were fewer than 30 cases of recurrent shingles and little difference in the rate of recurrence among vaccinated and unvaccinated patients, 19 vs. 24 per 10,000 people. The study was published online June 5 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. "This study's findings are important because we found that the risk of having a recurrent shingles episode is not as high as ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Zostavax, Zoster Vaccine Live

Shingles Vaccine Safe, Underutilized, Study Says

Posted 23 Apr 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 23 – The shingles vaccine is generally safe and well tolerated by patients, according to a new study. Shingles, which affects more than 1 million people each year in the United States, is a painful contagious rash caused by the dormant chickenpox virus, which can reactivate and replicate, damaging the nervous system. Elderly people are especially at risk because immunity against the virus that causes shingles declines with age. In this study, researchers looked at data from more than 193,000 adults 50 and older who received the shingles vaccine, also known as the herpes zoster vaccine, over two years. There was a small increased risk of local reactions (redness and pain) from one to seven days after vaccination. This finding matches the results of clinical trials. The shingles vaccine did not increase the risk for cerebrovascular diseases; cardiovascular diseases; ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Zostavax, Zoster Vaccine Live, Herpes Zoster - Prophylaxis

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