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Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccine

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Herpes zoster, Shingrix, Zostavax

Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccine - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccine cause?

Common side effects include:

  • Some people may feel faint after the vaccination
    • Sit for 15 minutes to avoid fainting
  • Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
    • You may place a cold compress over the affected area for relief
    • You may take paracetamol for pain relief
  • Headache, muscle aches, fatigue
    • These side effects usually go away on its own
    • You may take paracetamol to treat the headache or muscle aches

Please see a doctor if these side effects do not get better or become worse.

Rare but serious side effects: 
The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should inform your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccine, what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if:
  • You are allergic to this vaccine or any of the other ingredients of this vaccine including neomycin antibiotic
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You are taking any other medications
  • You had a serious adverse reaction (e.g.anaphylaxis-a severe allergic reaction) to the previous dose of the vaccination
  • You are currently not feeling well and having a fever
  • For Recombinant Shingles Vaccine
    • You have a history of bleeding disorders
  • For Live Shingles Vaccine
    • You have a weak immune system due to an illness such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection or cancer
    • You are currently on medications which weakens your immune system (e.g. high dose steroids)

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccine?

Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccine - Additional Information

  • Updated on Thursday, September 30, 2021
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

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