Varicella virus vaccine (shingles) - injection
Varicella virus vaccine (shingles) - injection
This vaccine is used by adults 50 years and older to prevent zoster (shingles). Zoster is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have been infected with chickenpox (usually in childhood), the virus can live in your body's nerve roots in an inactive form. For reasons that are not fully understood, the virus may become active again. This causes shingles with symptoms of rash, blisters, and pain.
This vaccine works by boosting the body's natural defense (immunity) against the zoster virus so that symptoms of shingles do not develop. It should not be used for treating active shingles, nerve pain caused by shingles, or for the prevention of chickenpox.
Vaccines may not fully protect everyone who receives them.
This vaccine should not be used by children.
Read all vaccine information available from your health care professional before receiving the vaccine. If you have any questions, ask your health care professional.
This vaccine is given by injection into a muscle by a health care professional. It is usually given in the upper arm.
This vaccine is usually given in a series of 2 doses to provide the best protection. Closely follow the vaccination schedule provided by the health care professional. Keep all scheduled medical appointments. It may be helpful to mark a calendar as a reminder.
Redness, itching, swelling, warmth, bruising, or pain at the injection site may occur. Headache, muscle pain, tiredness, or fever may also occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your health care professional promptly.
Rarely, some people have symptoms such as fainting, dizziness, vision changes, or ringing in the ears just after getting a vaccine injection. Tell your health care professional right away if you have any of these symptoms. Sitting or lying down may help, since these symptoms usually don't last long.
Remember that your health care professional has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your health care professional.
Contact the doctor for medical advice about side effects. The following numbers do not provide medical advice, but in the US you may report side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967. In Canada, you may call the Vaccine Safety Section at Public Health Agency of Canada at 1-866-844-0018.
Before you receive this vaccine, tell the health care professional if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your health care professional for more details.
Before receiving this vaccine, tell your health care professional your medical history, especially of:
During pregnancy, this vaccine should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your health care professional.
It is unknown if this vaccine passes into breast milk. Consult your health care professional before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your health care professional. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this vaccine are:
Keep all regular medical and lab appointments.
Ask your health care professional about the need for other vaccines to prevent potentially severe illness (such as flu shots).
It is important that you receive each vaccination as scheduled. Be sure to ask when each dose should be received, and make a note on a calendar to help you remember.
Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Protect from light. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Information last revised March 2020.
Copyright(c) 2020 First Databank, Inc.
Selected from NATIONAL DRUG DATA FILE (NDDF) data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc., 2019. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider.
The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your health care professional. You should consult your health care professional before taking any drug, changing your diet, or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.