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.

Take the Shingles Quiz

What is Zoster Vaccine Live (Shingles Vaccine), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

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.

What brand names are available for Zoster Vaccine Live (Shingles Vaccine)?

Zostavax

Is Zoster Vaccine Live (Shingles Vaccine) available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for Zoster Vaccine Live (Shingles Vaccine)?

Yes

What are the side effects of Zoster Vaccine Live (Shingles Vaccine)?

The most common adverse effects are:

Some individuals may experience shingles or chickenpox-like rashes within 42 days after receiving zoster vaccine. Transmission of VZV virus from vaccinated individuals to other individuals occurs rarely.

Quick GuideShingles Rash Pictures, Symptoms, Vaccine Facts

Shingles Rash Pictures, Symptoms, Vaccine Facts

What is the dosage for Zoster Vaccine Live (Shingles Vaccine)?

Zoster vaccine is injected subcutaneously (under the skin) in the upper arm. The recommended dose is 0.65 ml.

Which drugs or supplements interact with Zoster Vaccine Live (Shingles Vaccine)?

In clinical studies, concomitant use of zoster vaccine and Pneumovax reduced the activity of zoster vaccine.

Is Zoster Vaccine Live (Shingles Vaccine) safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Zoster vaccine is not used for preventing shingles in women of child bearing age and should not be administered to pregnant women.

Zoster vaccine is not used for preventing shingles in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about Zoster Vaccine Live (Shingles Vaccine)?

What preparations of Zoster Vaccine Live (Shingles Vaccine) are available?

Powder for Injection: 0.65 ml

How should I keep Zoster Vaccine Live (Shingles Vaccine) stored?

Powder should be stored frozen at 15 C (5 F) or colder until ready to use. Diluent should be stored at room temperature (20 C - 25 C [68 F - 77 F]) or refrigerated at (2 C - 8 C [36 F - 46 F]).

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information for Zostavax

Quick GuideShingles Rash Pictures, Symptoms, Vaccine Facts

Shingles Rash Pictures, Symptoms, Vaccine Facts

Summary

Zoster vaccine live (Zostavax) is an attenuated vaccine given to individuals age 60 or older for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster). Side effects, warnings and precautions, pregnancy information, and complications, should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Prevention & Wellness

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Reviewed on 3/30/2015
References
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information for Zostavax

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