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Get recurring shingles. Diagnosed with Parkinson taking Madopar and Azilect. On lipitor, having heart surgery. Is Zostauax safe?

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I get recurring shingles about 2 to 3 times a year, was told about Zostauax, but as I have other health problems am not sure it's would be ok for me. I was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's and am on Madopar and Azilect for that. Also on Lipitor, and Ramipril, having had Open heart op 10 years ago. For XXXXXXX valve replacement, could you advise if Zostauax woul be ok for me? Have a dose of shingles at the moment.
Posted Tue, 24 Sep 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 59 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Zostavax can be taken to prevent shingles episodes

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing to us.
Chances of getting recurrent shingles is quite low. However such recurrences have been seen in people with
1) who had there first episode after 60 yrs of age
2) if the pain after herpes ie post herpetic neuralgis persisted for months
3) if a person is immunocompromised ie having HIV/AIDS, cancer, lymphoma, on chemotherapy, steroids etc.

As far as Zostavax is concerned it should be avoided if
Someone is allergic to gelatin, neomycin or any other component of vaccine
During pregnancy
If patient is having HIV,tuberculosis,cancer, lymphoma, on steroids or chemotherapy.

So if required you can safely take it as you seem to be having no contraindications.

Now coming to efficacy of zostavax- it cuts down the risk of getting shingles by 50 percent and reduces Post herpetic neuralgia risk by two thirds. So it is not a 100 percent effective vaccine.

Now the efficacy of zostavax has not been studied in recurrent cases of shingles but yes certainly doctors do advise its use in patients having recurrent shingles.

So as you get frequent recurrences of shingles, taking this vaccine might be a prudent precaution. But i would definitely advise that you XXXXXXX your physician and treating doctors before you take the shot.

Hope that helped.
Take care
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