Shingles Vaccine

I went to my doctor today and asked about getting a Shingles Vaccine. She wasn't sure whether I could have one or not because it is a live virus. I went on line and they don't recommend it if you have an autoimmune disease and are on steroids. Has anyone had a shingles vaccine and what were you side effects.?

Report post

17 replies. Join the discussion

My dr. recommended it and I got it several years ago. Shingles is really a miserable disease-I have seen it and don't want it. I had no side effects.

Report post

I got the vaccine about a year ago with no problems.

Report post

I asked about getting the vaccine but my Rummy said NO ...not if I was on Cellceft.. I had the shingles and pray I never have it again. It was very bad and so painful !!

Report post

I got the shot when it first came out 5 or 6 years ago. i had a mild rash 2 years ago. my dr said it looked like shingles it was so mild i did not know i had it.

Get the shingles shot if you had shingles .

I was not on steriods.

Report post

I had a mild case of shingles last year, so asked 2 different rheumies about getting the vaccine. They both said it was fine so I plan on getting it as soon as I turn 60 in a few weeks - that way I don't have to fight with the insurance about it. I'm only on plaquenil, not on any immunosuppressants.

Report post

I've had recurring shingles while on cellcept - it is very painful - nerve pain is so sharp - but there is medication that tames it quickly. And really - I've been through much worse with this disease. The key is to recognize it early and get on the Valtrex and gabapentin.

I think the commercials by the pharmaceutical companies exaggerate it so they can sell a vaccine that is not all that effective. Just my opinion after reading up on it....

Not only did my rheummy not want me to get the live vaccine - he asked that my husband not get it too. The risk of it going systemic with the exposure for me was too great.

We eventually stopped the cellcept because of the shingles - but I'll risk shingles if I need to go back on the med again.

Report post

I had the shingles vaccine last summer before my doctor started me on Arava and had no problems or side effects.

Report post

i guess its more on how much of immune suppressants ur on? i see more docs saying no,

my mom was on oral methotraxate 15mg/ wk , no steroids

and she was recommended shots, ... she got pnueomonia shots and then this, ... no major side effects

Report post

I got shingles when I was 59 and wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy. I got the shot when I turned 60 and had no side effects. I was not and am not on steroids if that makes a difference. I never want to get them again!!

Report post

I was wondering the same thing about the shingles vaccine. Heard that part of the vaccine was from a live virus. I had shingles twice .... not the most pleasant thing but I agree with DorothyDorothy that I have had worse with scleroderma. The key is to get the med's on board right away. My first occurrence of shingles was when I was ending my second course of p/t for a frozen shoulder. Thanks for bringing this up and the good discussion.

Report post

I had the shingles vaccine eight months ago with no side effects. I am on the antibiotic protocol minocycline, not on an immunosuppresant, so my doctor said it was fine to get the vaccine.

Report post

I had shingles as an infant. While on methotrexate & Enbrel several years ago, I had the vaccine. Had flu-like symptoms & a pretty inflamed arm for 3-4 days after. I probably had diffuse Ssc at the time, but it hadn't yet been diagnosed.

Report post

I had the shot a couple of years ago, and had no problems. The doc said because of the auto immune factor, it would be best if I had the shot. Watched my son when he had shingles. Don't want it.

Report post

I am on Cellcept and got shingles last February. I had previously had it about 10 years earlier and didn't get the vaccine because I thought you could only get it once. WRONG!! My rheumy said to wait a bit after having it to get the vaccine and in June he said it was okay to do so. I haven't gotten it yet, but am now super vigilant about the signs, so hopefully will be able to catch it early if it does recur. I'm a little leery about getting the vaccine, because it is a live virus, so will wait until my next rheumy apt and do some more research. I know the opinions vary.

Report post

I got shingles at age 44....it was in the left flank area and was incredibly painful. I got the vaccine on my 60th birthday.. My understanding is that it is about 50percent effective. I had a history of herpes simplex since my teens. I also had recurrent sensitivity in my lt. Flank area for many years.

Report post

I had recurrent shingles for years,long before the dx of scleroderma,always on the right side of my face and neck.Once in my right eye-not a pleasant experience.I got the vaccine about 3 years ago,after the dx of scleroderma.I am not on immunosuppresants,had no side effects.I have had several shingles outbreaks since then,in times of severe stress,but they have been minimal.The vaccine definitely worked for me.

Report post

Dave's doctor recommended that he get the vaccine, so he did. He was on Cellcept at the time, his diffuse SSc was in remission at the time. He had no real complaints after the vaccine.
I currently have a cousin who is in the hospital with shingles. He is in very rough shape. He had a lung removed 4 years ago, and had recently gotten pneumonia. With a very immuno- compromised system, he was the perfect candidate for a very bad bout of shingles. It is in his neck, face, scalp and eyes. He is on morphine to control the pain, and it isn't enough. The concern about shingles of the face and eyes, is that it spread to the brain (so I was told).
I would opt to have the vaccine if at all possible.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support the Scleroderma Foundation

Help the Scleroderma Foundation reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the Scleroderma Foundation

Discussion topics

From the Scleroderma Foundation

Community leaders