Drug Reactions to Zostavax Vaccine for Shingles?

I'm considering getting this shingles vaccine since I'm over 60. Have you had any kind of reaction to this vaccine?

By Betty

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June 11, 20120 found this helpful

As with all medications, adverse reactions, including serious reactions, can occur. The most frequent adverse reactions reported for Zostavax were headache and injection-site reactions.

I would ask your health care provider for their input on reactions or contacr Merck the manufacturer. I understand the shot is expensive about $200.

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June 13, 20120 found this helpful

Plus, if you are the rare person who never had Chicken Pox, you don't need it. Make sure you have something to prevent before you find a cure for it.

Yes, do some research. I found this by going on webmd.com

www.webmd.com/.../default.aspx?query=allergic%20reaction...

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June 13, 20120 found this helpful

I planned on getting it too, but then read that the Center for Disease Control changed their guidelines for several vaccinations, and I met one of their reason why I shouldn't get it. Here are their new recommendations for the Shingles vaccine:

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Herpes zoster (shingles) vaccine
Who needs it: Everyone over age 60
How often: Once

Notes: Zoster vaccine is recommended for everyone over age 60, regardless of whether youve had a prior episode of shingles a painful, blistering skin rash, caused by the varicella-zoster virus which can be especially painful in older adults.

Some experts recommend getting the vaccine only if you've had a prior episode of chicken pox. But the CDC recommends that everyone over 60 get vaccinated because more than 99 percent of Americans over age 40 have had chicken pox, even if they dont recall getting the disease. Also, the older patients are, the more severe are their cases of shingles.

DO NOT get this vaccine if you:
Have ever had a life-threatening or severe allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of shingles vaccine

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Have a weakened immune system because of:
HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system
Treatment with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids
Cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy
A history of cancer affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system, such as leukemia or lymphoma;
Are or might be pregnant

Neither my doctor nor the pharmacist were aware of the new restrictions for this vaccine. Hope this helps you!

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June 13, 20120 found this helpful

In my case it was worth having the shot even with the risks. I've had three separate outbreaks of shingles. They itch, they cause pain inside your body (because it affects your nerves) and if you're not careful during the outbreak you can inadvertently spread them to other parts of your body including your eyes and nose. Shingles also causes 'permanent' severe pain in almost 15% of the population. You can also make others who have not had chickenpox deathly ill (especially infants and the elderly) during an outbreak. Oh, and they can leave scarring even if you don't scratch them. I have some scarring from them.

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Anyway, it was worth it to me to take the risk and have the shot even though one of the warnings mentioned is a weakened immune system. I had the shot last September and have not had a single outbreak since then. As for reactions, my only reaction was a mild headache when I woke up the next morning and that was gone, even without a pain reliever, in less than a couple of hours.

If vaccinations are not covered in your medical plan I suggest calling around to different pharmacies and ask what they charge. You'll be amazed at the price range differences from place to place. Although my shot ended up being 100% covered I chose the Safeway (grocery chain) Pharmacy because their charge was $120.00 which would have been about $100.00 less than my doctor would have charged and still was $30.00 less than another pharmacy just down the street from them.

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PS - The photo here is not of me - LOL - It's just an example of what they look like. My outbreaks were all the way from just above my behind cheeks and almost down to my knee.

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