ZOSTAVAX: Zoster Vaccine Live

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Glossary of Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

B

Blister (BLIS-ter):
A pocket of fluid that forms under the skin.
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C

Chickenpox (CHIK-uhn-poks):
An infectious disease that causes an itchy blister-like rash. Chickenpox usually affects children, and when it does, it’s not often serious. But when it affects adults, it can be very serious.
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F

Fever (FEE-ver):
A rise in body temperature above the normal range.
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G

Gelatin (JEL-uh-tn):
A product obtained by partial hydrolysis of collagen derived from the skin and white connective tissue of animals that is an ingredient in ZOSTAVAX (Zoster Vaccine Live). People who are allergic to gelatin should not get ZOSTAVAX.
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H

Headache (HED-eyk):
A term used to describe any pain that occurs in the head. Headache pain can be sharp or dull, can come on suddenly or gradually, and can happen in any part of the head. The duration of a headache can be short, or can last for several days.
Herpes Zoster (her-PEZ ZOS-ter):
Another name for Shingles, herpes zoster is a painful rash that usually occurs on one side of the back and stomach, but can appear anywhere on the body, including the eye and forehead. Herpes zoster is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has chickenpox, the virus never leaves the body. It can lie dormant for decades and erupt into herpes zoster at any time.
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I

Immune system (ih-MYOON SIS-tuh m):
The body’s natural defense system that protects it from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other organisms that can cause harm. The immune system identifies these foreign invaders and produces protein molecules called antibodies to fight them. This is called the immune response.
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N

Neomycin (nee-oh-MAHY-sin):
An antibiotic. People who are allergic to neomycin should not get ZOSTAVAX (Zoster Vaccine Live). People with a history of an anaphylactic reaction to neomycin should not get ZOSTAVAX. People who get skin inflammation when applying a neomycin product to their skin may still be able to receive ZOSTAVAX.
Nervous system (NUR-vuh s SIS-tuh m):
The part of the body, including the brain, spinal cord, and nerves that both receives and interprets stimuli and sends impulses.
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O

Outbreak (OUT-breyk):
A sudden rise in the incidence of a disease.
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P

Pneumonia (noo-MOHN-yuh):
A potentially fatal disease that causes inflammation of the lungs, as well as fever, chills, muscle stiffness, chest pain, cough, shortness of breath, and rapid heart rate.
Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) (post-her-PET-ik noo-RAL-je-a):
A condition characterized by pain that persists more than three months after healing of a Shingles rash; caused by damage to the nervous system.
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R

Rash (rash):
An area of the skin that is irritated or swollen and may be red, itchy, bumpy, scaly, crusty, or blistered. Shingles rashes are caused by the varicella-zoster virus, but irritating substances, allergies, and diseases may also cause rashes.
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S

Shingles (SHING-guhlz):
Another name for herpes zoster. Shingles is a painful rash that usually occurs on one side of the back and stomach, but can appear anywhere on the body, including the eye and forehead. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has chickenpox, the virus never leaves the body. It can lie dormant for decades and erupt into Shingles at any time.
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V

Vaccination (vak-suh-NEY-shuh n):
Injection of a killed weakened infectious organism in order to prevent the disease.
Varicella-zoster virus (var-uh-SEL-uh ZOS-ter VAHY-ruh s):
The virus that causes chickenpox and Shingles.
Virus (VAHY-ruh s):
A tiny organism that uses healthy host cells to multiply and spread. Viruses are not affected by antibiotics and they cause diseases like chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, and hepatitis.
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Z

ZOSTAVAX (Zoster Vaccine Live) (ZOS-tah-vax):
A vaccine that is used for adults age 50 and older to prevent Shingles (also known as zoster). ZOSTAVAX does not protect everyone, so some people who get vaccinated may still get 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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