Zostavax Vaccine (Shingles Vaccine) at Bremo Pharmacy
Shingles is a virus that results in a painful rash, usually on one side of the body. While the rash may only last for about a week, the pain associated with the rash can last for months and even longer. Studies have shown that the incidence of shingles and the pain it can cause increases with age.
If you are sixty years or older you may be a candidate to receive the Zostavax vaccine, available at Bremo and Henrico Pharmacies and is covered by Medicare Part D. For more information contact the pharmacy.
Frequently Asked Questions about ZOSTAVAX®
1. What is shingles?
2. Can shingles be prevented?
3. Who should get Zostavax®?
4. Who should NOT get Zostavax®?
5. How is Zostavax® given?
6. What side effects should I expect?
7. Will my insurance pay for Zostavax®?
8. Who should I call if I want to set up an appointment or need more information?
What is shingles?
Shingles is a virus that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. You may also have heard it called herpes zoster or simply zoster. Once a person has had chickenpox the virus lays dormant in the body. In some people this virus is reactivated again for unknown reasons. It is thought to be related to a weakened immune system, but other things can also trigger shingles such as age, stress or medications. Shingles results in a painful rash that usually erupts on one side of the body. The rash begins as little red bumps and then transitions into blister like clusters. This rash can be very painful, not only in the beginning stages but also weeks, months and even years after the rash has disappeared. This is referred to as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) or more simply nerve pain that is a result of having the shingles virus. Not everyone experiences postherpetic neuralgia, but research suggests that the chances of developing PHN increases as a person ages.
Can shingles be prevented?
Shingles cannot be completely prevented, but you can reduce your chances of developing shingles. The FDA approved Zostavax®, a vaccine in May of 2006 to help prevent shingles in those persons who are 60 years or older with no previous history of shingles.
The vaccine will not completely eradicate shingles but studies have shown that it will decrease the chance of developing shingles by 51.3% . It also reduces the chance of developing PHN (the pain that is associated with having the shingles virus) by 66.5%1. As mentioned above, the chance of developing shingles increases with age, as does the risk of developing PHN.
Zostavax® is a good way to help decrease your chances of developing shingles. It cannot be used to treat shingles once the rash has developed.
Who should get Zostavax®?
Zostavax® is approved as a single dose for individuals that are 60 years of age or older whether or not they have had a prior episode of shingles. Contact the pharmacists at Bremo or Henrico pharmacy for further questions and to see if you are a candidate.
Who should NOT get Zostavax®?
The following people should NOT receive Zostavax:
-Persons allergic to gelatin or neomycin
-Persons with immune deficiencies such as: leukemia, lymphoma, or HIV/AIDs and those taking high dose steroids
-Persons with active tuberculosis not undergoing treatment
-Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant
How is Zostavax® given?
Zostavax is given by a single 0.65ml subcutaneous injection (into the fatty tissue of the arm).
What side effects should I expect?
Most commonly you may experience redness, soreness, swelling, and itching, at the site of injection. Headache was also a commonly reported adverse reaction.
Will my insurance pay for Zostavax®?
Zostavax is covered by Medicare Part D (the prescription drug plan). It is always wise to check with your insurance company first about their coverage and policies.
Who should I call if I want to set up an appointment or need more information?
Please call the pharmacists at Bremo and Henrico Pharmacies if you have further questions and/or concerns.
-Bremo Pharmacy 804-288-8361
-Bremo Pharmacy @ Henrico Doctors 804-285-7730