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zoster vaccine (inactivated)

Generic Name: zoster vaccine (inactivated) (ZOS ter VAX een)
Brand Name: Shingrix

What is zoster vaccine?

Herpes zoster is caused by the same virus (varicella) that causes chickenpox in children. When this virus becomes active again in an adult, it can cause herpes zoster, or shingles. Zoster vaccine is a live vaccine that helps prevent shingles.

This vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of inactive virus, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

Zoster vaccine is used to prevent herpes zoster virus (shingles) in people age 50 and older.

Zoster vaccine will not treat chickenpox, shingles, or nerve pain caused by shingles (post-herpetic neuralgia).

Zoster vaccine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about zoster vaccine?

You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving zoster vaccine?

You should not receive this vaccine if you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine containing zoster virus.

To make sure zoster vaccine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any vaccine.

It is not known whether zoster vaccine is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether zoster vaccine passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

How is zoster vaccine given?

Zoster vaccine is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle. You will receive this vaccine in a doctor's office or other clinic setting.

Zoster vaccine is usually given in a series of 2 shots. The second shot may be given any time within 2 to 6 months after the first shot.

You may receive zoster vaccine at the same time that you get a flu shot.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a booster dose or if you get behind schedule. The next dose should be given as soon as possible. Be sure to receive all recommended doses of this vaccine or you may not be fully protected against disease.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while taking zoster vaccine?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Zoster vaccine side effects

You should not receive a second zoster vaccine if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. When you receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.

Becoming infected with shingles is much more dangerous to your health than receiving the vaccine to protect against it. Like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects, but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a high fever.

Common side effects include:

  • headache;

  • feeling tired;

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • fever, shivering; or

  • pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.

Side Effects (complete list)

Zoster vaccine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Varicella-Zoster -- Prophylaxis:

0.5 mL intramuscularly
-Administer two doses, with the second dose given 2 to 6 months after the first dose

Comments:
-This drug is not indicated for prevention of primary varicella infection (chickenpox).

Use: Prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) in adults aged 50 years and older

What other drugs will affect zoster vaccine?

Other drugs may interact with zoster vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

More about zoster vaccine, inactivated

Consumer resources

Other brands: Shingrix

Professional resources

Related treatment guides

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about this vaccine. Additional information is available from your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.01.

Date modified: December 03, 2017
Last reviewed: November 06, 2017

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