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Zostavax

Zoster Vaccine

VARICELLA VIRUS VACCINE is used to prevent infections of chickenpox. Compare vaccinations.
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Zostavax Side Effects

What should I watch for?

Visit your doctor for regular check ups.

These vaccines, like all vaccines, may not fully protect everyone.

After receiving these vaccines it may be possible to pass chickenpox infection to others. For up to 6 weeks, avoid people with immune system problems, pregnant women who have not had chickenpox, newborns of women who have not had chickenpox, and all newborns born at less than 28 weeks of pregnancy. Talk to your doctor for more information.

Do not become pregnant for 3 months after taking these vaccines. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information.

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Common and Rare Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Fever over 39 °C (102 °F)

Less common

Blue lips and fingernails

chest pain

chickenpox-like skin rash

coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum

decreased urine output

difficult, fast, or noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing

dilated neck veins

extreme fatigue

general feeling of discomfort or illness

increased sweating

irregular breathing

irregular heartbeat

irritability

pale skin

shortness of breath

swelling of the ankles, face, fingers, feet, or lower legs

tightness in the chest

troubled breathing

weight gain

wheezing

Rare

Black, tarry stools

blood in the urine or stools

chills

confusion

convulsions (seizures) with high fever

cough

difficulty with breathing or swallowing

fever

hives

itching, especially of the feet or hands

muscle or joint pain

pinpoint red spots on the skin

reddening of the skin, especially around the ears

severe or continuing headache

stiff neck

swelling of the glands in the neck

thickening of bronchial secretions

unusual bleeding or bruising

unusual tiredness or weakness, sudden and severe

vomiting

Incidence not known

Back pain, sudden and severe

bleeding gums

blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin

bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet

bloody nose

blurred vision

bruising more easily

convulsions (seizures)

dizziness

fast heartbeat

headache

heavier menstrual periods

inability to move the arms and legs

inability to speak

itching

large, flat, blue, or purplish patches in the skin

large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs

loss of bladder control

muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities

painful blisters on the trunk of the body

painful knees and ankles

pale skin

pinpoint red spots on the skin

puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue

raised red swellings on the skin, buttocks, legs, or ankles

rapid weight gain

red irritated eyes

red skin lesions, often with a purple center

shakiness and unsteady walk

skin rash

slurred speech

sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips

stomach pain

sudden loss of consciousness

sudden numbness and weakness in the arms and legs

swelling or puffiness of the face

swollen or painful glands

temporary blindness

tingling of the hands or feet

unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination

unusual weight gain or loss

weakness in the arm or leg on one side of the body, sudden and severe

weakness of the muscles in your face

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Fever of 37.7 °C (100 °F) or higher, but not above 39 °C (102 °F)

hives, itching, pain, redness, soreness, tenderness, or warmth at the injection site

Less common

Common cold

congestion

constipation

cracked, dry, or scaly skin

diaper rash

diarrhea

disturbed sleep

dry skin

earache

heat rash or prickly heat

lack or loss of strength

loss of appetite

muscle aching or cramping

muscle stiffness

nausea

nervousness

runny nose

skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing

sneezing

sore throat

stuffy nose

swelling

swollen joints

teething

Incidence not known

Bacterial skin infections

body aches or pain

burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings

difficulty with moving

dryness or soreness of the throat

hoarseness

pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, or warmth on the skin

red rash with watery, yellow-colored, or pus filled blisters

tender, swollen glands in the neck

thick yellow to honey-colored crusts

voice changes

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

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

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