Shingles Vaccine (Zoster Shingles Vaccine Live, Zostavax)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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GENERIC NAME: Zoster Vaccine Live (Shingles Vaccine)

BRAND NAME: Zostavax

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Zoster vaccine contains live, attenuated (weakened) varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Varicella-zoster causes chickenpox and then becomes dormant in nerves. VZV reactivates and causes herpes zoster (shingles or zoster) later in life (usually 60 years of age or older) when immunity against VZV declines. Zoster vaccine stimulates the immune system to develop immunity against VZV. The FDA approved zoster vaccine in May 2006.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Zoster vaccine is used for prevention of shingles in individuals 60 years of age or older, regardless of previous history of chicken pox or shingles. It is not used for treatment of herpes zoster or postherpetic neuralgia. Zoster vaccine prevents shingles in 51% of individuals 60 years or older. Its effect decreases with age and it is more effective in individuals 60 to 69 years of age.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common adverse effects are:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/30/2015

Quick GuideShingles Pictures Slideshow: A Collection of Photos on Shingles

Shingles Pictures Slideshow: A Collection of Photos on Shingles
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