Shingles vaccine (Zostavax)?

I had a routine visit with my PCP yesterday. She recommended I get Zostavax 2 mos. before considering Ocrevus or any of the other newer meds.

Yrs. ago, my neuro recommended against Zostavax because it's a live attenuated vaccine. I believe NMSS or MSSA now say it's up to you and your doc. I wondered if anyone had newer recommendations from their neuro--especially if you are on or going on any of the immune suppressing meds?


11 Replies

  • By the way, the non-live shingles 2 shot vaccine is coming soon but my PCP said Zostavax was a better choice as far as efficacy???

  • Everything that I've read and seen is to avoid any vaccine that is a live vaccine while on an immune suppressant treatment. That's just what I heard.

  • Royjr definatley avoid once you begin immune suppressing therapy. This discussion was to consider before starting--preemptive

  • erash Before I went on Gilenya, they checked my titer for shingles (varicella?). As I had shingles a year before, my titer was still high. If not, I would have had to get the shingles vaccine. I questioned the neuro about the live virus aspect. He said, there was a risk that it would cause shingles, but it was necessary to get before going on the immunosuppressant. My guess it that it is better to get shingles before you go on the immunosuppressant than to risk getting them afterwards.

  • I was told to NOT have the shingles vaccine-no live viruses with the MS. I didn't realize a new version (non-live) was coming out. Thanks, erash.

  • erash, I was told the same as Tutu, by both my MS specialist and my rheumatologist. Live vaccines are more apt to trigger an immune activation in people with autoimmune disease. I would discuss the decision with your MS specialist rather than your PCP. I am starting Ocrevus in 2-3 weeks, had a thorough screening process, and no vaccines were recommended for me.

  • Thanks! Tutu and dianekjs

    I was def. planning to discuss with my neuro first.

  • My neurologist said it's ok to take, I'm planning on taking soon.

  • erash, I need to get in the loop with the texting abbreviations! For a second I wondered why you would bring up transient ischemic attacks! Ha! TIA!

  • Oops! Sorry greaterexp as you can imagine that's what I thought too the first time I saw TIA 😂

  • erash, I got a shingles vaccine a few years ago, on the recommendation of my pcp. At the time I don't think I was on any dmt, having previously tried a couple (copaxone, rebiif) without success. The interesting thing is that although my dr knew I had MS, I don't recall any discussion of other drugs I was on or interactions. I don't recall discussing it with my neuro at the time. I guess the moral is that drs are not perfect and we must always be critical and do research.

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