Zostavax, Zoster Vaccine Live Vaccination, Immunization for shingles (herpes Zoster) | Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD | RxEconsult

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What is Zostavax (Zoster Vaccine Live) Uses, Side Effects, Dosage Category: Viral Infections by - September 16, 2011 | Views: 10862 | Likes: 0 | Comment: 0  

Zostavax | Zoster Vaccine Live

Medication Class: Vaccines
Manufacturer: Merck
Approval Date: May, 2006

What is Zostavax

Zostavax is a vaccine that prevents herpes zoster (shingles or zoster) caused by reactivation of varicella-zoster (chickenpox) virus (VZV). It contains weakened varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Zostavax stimulates the immune system to develop immunity against VZV. It is immunization (vaccination) against VZV.

What is Zostavax used for

Zostavax is used for prevention of shingles in individuals 50 years of age or older.

How well does Zostavax work

  • 51% effective in preventing shingles
  • More effective in individuals 60-69 years old
  • Reduces severity of shingles symptoms
  • Effect decreases with age.
  • Effectiveness beyond 4 years is unknown.

What are interesting facts about Zostavax

  • It is the only shingles vaccine available in the US.
  • Do not use for treatment of chicken pox.
  • Transmission of virus from vaccinated individuals to susceptible individuals may occur.

How is Zostavax dosed (dosage) and administered

Immunization schedule: Inject 0.65 ml under the skin of the upper arm

What are the side effects of Zostavax

Common: headaches and injection site itching, swelling, pain, warmth, bleeding, and bruising.

Shingles or chicken pox like rash may also occur within 42 days of administration.

Serious: Asthma flare-up, polymyalgia rheumatica, congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, serious allergic reactions.

Zostavax drug interactions

  • Pneumovax reduces the activity of zoster vaccine

References: Zostavax FDA Prescribing Information


The material on this site is for information only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.


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