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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can i have shingles vaccine inspite of taking Baraclude?

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Dr. Suresh Heijebu

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2010

Answered : 3498 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Question: I was to get shingles vaccine but 1) I am taking Baraclude 0.5 mg daily for my Chronic Hepatitis B- will this affect the vaccine? 2) I was diagnosed with genital herpes 38 years ago. When the episodes come, I usually have 1 or 2 bumps and treated with Zovirax which usually clear in a week- will this have an effect on effectiveness of the vaccine? 3) I was diagnosed with hepatic cellular carcinoma in 2012, had a radio frequency ablation 2013 and at present no new lesions noted in CT scan every 4 months follow up. My husband also received radiation for prostate cancer Oct 2012 to February 2013. He is doing fine , PSA returned to normal levels. Can he get vaccine too?
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Answered by Dr. Suresh Heijebu 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
VZV vaccine can be safely given

Detailed Answer:
Hi madam,

Thanks for posting your query on health care magic,

Varicella zoster virus vaccine-VZV vaccine can be given to all elderly individuals who are above 60 yrs of age.Recent guidelines have reduced it to 50yrs of age.

VZV vaccine( or any live virus vaccine) is generally contraindicated in immunosuppressed states like malignancy and viral infections.

VZV is a live attenuated viral vaccine.

Your currently seem to have mild to moderate degree of immunosuppression -Chronic Hep B infection(on Baraclude) and relapsing form of Genital herpes(on Zovirax) and well controlled and followed Hepatocellular carcinoma.

Recent guidelines as per CDC(centers for disease control) 2010 as indicated VZV vaccine even to individuals with moderate degree of immunosuppression.

For such individuals a single subcutaneous injection is usually sufficient.(Generally two doses 6 weeks apart are given in adults).

Hence this vaccine can be safely received in presence of chronic hep B and relapsing genital virus.

A killed VZV vaccine ,recently available is even more safe in your case,but the basic disadvantage of this vaccine is its reduced potency.
So the choice is wide open to you.

A live VZV vaccine is more preferable in my opinion.

Coming to your drugs Zovirax and Baraclude-these drugs can rapidly inactivate the viral vaccine strain(especially Zovirax) making it ineffective.
Hence i strongly recommend not to use these drugs for 2 days on either side of the day of receiving VZV vaccine.

Coming to your husband (with well controlled prostratic cancer ),this live attenuated form of VZV vaccine can be safely given without any limitations.

I think this info is helpful to you.
post your further queries if any on http://bit.ly/drsureshheijebu
Thank you


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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