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Should a person who has multiple sclerosis have the shingles vaccination?

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Should a person who has multiple sclerosis have the shingles vaccination?
Posted Mon, 2 Sep 2013 in Brain and Spine
 
 
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
it may not be safe

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Treatment with multiple sclerosis normally involves the use of immunosuppressant medications.
The shingles vaccine is a live vaccine and the worry with live vaccines and immune suppressed illnesses or medications , is the possibility that the vaccine would cause an acute episode of the particular vaccine (become infected with the virus).

IF there is a previous history of chicken pox then this is less of a concern and the vaccine may be beneficial.

There is also a possible risk of the vaccine inducing a relapse. This is often quoted as a potential consequence of a live vaccine but the evidence that this is a common reaction is lacking.

If you had chicken pox previously then the vaccine may be ok for you to use. If you are unsure a blood test should be to determine if this is the case.

You may want to discuss the benefits and risks with your neurologist.

I hope this helps,feel free to ask any additional questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Should a person who has multiple sclerosis have the shingles vaccination? 2 hours later
I have not needed to take any medication for the the MS. I also had chicken pox as a child. Do you think that since I haven't taken medication for the MS and have had the chicken pox that it would be safe for me?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 10 hours later
Brief Answer:
should be safe for you

Detailed Answer:
Since you are not on any immunosuppressants and had chicken pox, the vaccine should be safe for you.
It would not cause a new onset infection and as mentioned the risk of worsening MS or a relapse has not been conclusively proven

You can consider speaking to your neurologist to find out if he or she has any concerns

Please feel free to ask any additional questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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