ZOSTAVAX: Zoster Vaccine Live

Find a provider of ZOSTAVAX.

Here are some things you can do before you get ZOSTAVAX, the Shingles vaccine.

Get ready to talk to your doctor.

Your doctor can tell you if ZOSTAVAX is right for you. Here are some questions you may want to print and bring with you to your next appointment. There’s also space for you to add your own questions.

  1. 1. What increases my risk for Shingles?
  2. 2. I’ve heard that Shingles can be a painful, blistering rash—are there other symptoms or complications?
  3. 3. How could the complications from Shingles affect me?
  4. 4. How can ZOSTAVAX, the Shingles vaccine, help protect me?
  • Be sure to tell the doctor if you:
    • Have or have had any medical problems
    • Take any medicines, including non-prescription medicines, and dietary supplements
    • Have any allergies, including allergies to neomycin or gelatin
    • Had an allergic reaction to another vaccine
    • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
    • Are breast-feeding

Write your own questions here:

This feature is for your benefit only. Merck will not collect any text you enter in this box. PRINT QUESTIONS

Would you like a reminder to ask your doctor about ZOSTAVAX (Zoster Vaccine Live)?

We’ll e-mail you before your doctor’s visit to remind you to ask about your risk for Shingles and what you should know about ZOSTAVAX, the vaccine that can help prevent Shingles.

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About ZOSTAVAX

ZOSTAVAX is a vaccine used for adults 50 years of age or older to prevent Shingles (also known as zoster).

Important Safety Information

  • ZOSTAVAX does not protect everyone, so some people who get the vaccine may still get Shingles.
  • You should not get ZOSTAVAX if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, including gelatin or neomycin, have a weakened immune system, take high doses of steroids, or are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not get ZOSTAVAX to prevent chickenpox.
  • Talk to your health care professional if you plan to get ZOSTAVAX (Zoster Vaccine Live) at the same time as PNEUMOVAX®23 (Pneumococcal Vaccine Polyvalent) because it may be better to get these vaccines at least 4 weeks apart.
  • Possible side effects include redness, pain, itching, swelling, hard lump, warmth, or bruising at the injection site, as well as headache.
  • ZOSTAVAX (Zoster Vaccine Live) contains a weakened chickenpox virus. Tell your health care professional if you will be in close contact with newborn infants, someone who may be pregnant and has not had chickenpox or been vaccinated against chickenpox, or someone who has problems with their immune system. Your health care professional can tell you what situations you may need to avoid.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please read the Patient Information and discuss it with your health care professional. The physician Prescribing Information also is available.

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