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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Does Zostavax cause leg cramps?

Hi. I am a 70-year-old female in good health, for my age. I had the new, more effective shingles vaccine 8 days ago. It made my arm, the injection site, so sore that I could not lift it for 2 days. About 2 days after receiving the vaccination I started having severe leg and foot cramps. I tried the usual home remedies: potassium supplement, magnesium supplement, a teaspoon of yellow mustard (I m told that the turmeric in yellow mustard is the effective ingredient for reducing leg cramps) and I drank 6 bottles of tonic water over the next 5 or so days. The cramps are less severe now but not completely gone. Could these muscle cramps result from the Zostavax I received? I also had bizarre, intense cravings for sweets, and I have felt distinctly off since I received the injection. My questions: could the leg cramps and other symptoms be caused by Zostavax? What else can I do to treat leg cramps? Are there other reports of leg cramps and feeling somewhat unwell following receiving Zostavax? Thank you.
Tue, 19 Jun 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service.
I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

Zostavax is a live vaccine used to prevent herpes zoster virus (shingles) in people aged 60 and older. Common side effects of Zostavax include:

(i) Injection site reactions like redness, itching, swelling, warmth, bruising and pain
(ii) Headache
(iii) Diarrhea
(iv) Joint or muscle pain
(v) Skin rash.

However, these side effects should subside with supportive treatment. In case the symptoms do not subside and become bothersome, kindly consult your doctor for evaluation and appropriate management.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
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Does Zostavax cause leg cramps?

Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service. I have reviewed your query and here is my advice. Zostavax is a live vaccine used to prevent herpes zoster virus (shingles) in people aged 60 and older. Common side effects of Zostavax include: (i) Injection site reactions like redness, itching, swelling, warmth, bruising and pain (ii) Headache (iii) Diarrhea (iv) Joint or muscle pain (v) Skin rash. However, these side effects should subside with supportive treatment. In case the symptoms do not subside and become bothersome, kindly consult your doctor for evaluation and appropriate management. Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.