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Zoster vaccine, live (By injection)

Zoster Vaccine, Live (ZOS-ter VAX-een, lyve)

Prevents shingles.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This vaccine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to zoster vaccine, gelatin, or neomycin, or if you are pregnant. You should not receive it if you have an immune system problem, AIDS or HIV, or a blood or bone marrow cancer.

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • You should not receive this vaccine if you are using medicine that weakens the immune system (including cancer medicine or steroid medicine).
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines. You may receive other vaccines (including Pneumovax® 23 pneumococcal vaccine) at least 4 weeks after receiving Zostavax®.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Do not become pregnant for 3 months after you receive this vaccine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have an illness with fever or tuberculosis infection.
  • You may be able to pass the virus to other people (including pregnant women who have not had chickenpox or patients with a weak immune system) after you receive this vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Pain, redness, itching, swelling, rash, or a lump where the shot was given

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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