Skip to Content

Shingrix Vaccine

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

Medically reviewed: April 5, 2018

What is Shingrix?

Shingrix is a vaccine used for the prevention of herpes zoster. Herpes zoster is caused by the same virus (varicella) that causes chickenpox in children. When this virus becomes active again, it can cause herpes zoster, or shingles. Shingrix helps prevent shingles.

Shingrix 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.

Shingrix is used to prevent herpes zoster virus (shingles) in people age 50 and older, including people who previously received a live zoster vaccine (Zostavax).

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

Important Information

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

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

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

Before taking this medicine

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

Tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any vaccine.

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

It may not be safe to breast-feed a baby shortly after you receive Shingrix. Ask your doctor about any risks.

How is Shingrix given?

Shingrix is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Shingrix 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 Shingrix 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.

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 happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor if you miss the second dose or if you get behind schedule. You must receive all recommended doses of Shingrix to be fully protected against disease.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of Shingrix is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid after receiving Shingrix?

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

Shingrix side effects

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

Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving zoster vaccine. When you receive the second shot, tell the doctor if the first 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 to Shingrix: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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

Common Shingrix side effects include:

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.

What other drugs will affect Shingrix?

Other drugs may affect 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.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Shingrix only for the indication prescribed.

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

Hide