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Lipozene: A Pharmacist Review

Check out our newest article!

http://pharmacistanswers.com/lipozene-for-fat-loss–a-pharmacists-review.html

One of our pharmacists looks over the evidence for the popular weight loss drug Lipozene..

Here is a portion of the article:
 

     If you ever watch late night TV, there is a good chance you have come across a weight loss advertisement for a product known as Lipozene that is marketed by a company known as the “Obesity Research Institute”. We decided to take on the task of actually finding out what this stuff is and if it has any evidence for it’s weight loss claims. The most pertinent piece of information that any person starting on a new drug for weight loss wants to know is how well it works. Is it worth their time and money? Unfortunately, this can sometimes be difficult to find out without first trying the product. This often leads to disappointment and lost money. The trouble is for health and diet supplements, information can be extremely hard to find. They are just not well studied. As a pharmacist, I rely on making recommendations based off of evidence based medicine. I look for high quality clinical studies and information to base my guidance on. When someone comes up to me and asks if Hydroxycut is OK to take with their blood pressure medicine, I can only give an answer that is as accurate as the available information,which often is not much. To add to this, most health supplements are not just one ingredient. For example, Hydroxycut has more than 10 ingredients listed on the bottle and those 10 ingredients are not well tested for both safety and efficacy. With Lipozene, I wanted to take the time to give the product a good and thorough review based on the products ingredients and the data (if there is any) supporting its effectiveness for weight loss. I decided I would go through the commercial, and research some of the products claims to see if they can be validated. Feel free to give the commercial a watch as well so you can hear first hand the health claims of Lipozene.

Lipozene Commerical Claim #1:

​”The Obesity Research Institute has found the solution (for weight loss). It’s called Lipozene!”

First off, what is the Obesity Research Institute? I had never heard of them before this commercial. After a quick Google search, it became apparent this was not a large medical association with the goal of performing continuous research on obesity products. They do not actually have a website dedicated to their name. They appear to only sell two products, the aforementioned Lipozene and a product called MetaboUP. Now let’s talk about the actual drug. What is in Lipozene?  Below is a picture of the supplement facts. We see that Lipozene contains an ingredient called Amorphophallus Konjac (Konjac Root). This ingredient actually is nothing new. Amorphophallus Konjac is also known as the elephant yam or the konjac plant.  The root of this plant contains the ingredient we are interested in, glucomannan. It is the glucomanna that is thought to have an effect in weight loss. Glucomannan is a high viscous (thick) soluble fiber. Other soluble fibers you may have heard of include Metamucil (Psyllium) and Citrucel(Methylcellulose). The difference with glucomannan is that it absorbs A LOT of water. Some estimates say it can absorb almost 100 times its weight in water, far more than other types of fiber. When glucomannan is consumed, it absorbs water in the digestive tract and thereby reduces both the rate and extent of absorption of carbohydrates and cholesterol. It is this property that makes glucomannan a product of interest with respect to weight loss. In terms of the Obesity Research Center “finding” Amorphophallus Konjac, that is just not accurate. Glucomannan fiber has been used both as a food and as a medicinal agent in various Asian cultures for more than a thousand years. Its introduction into Western cultures is more recent; since the 1980s. If you were to buy Lipozene, just know that you are not buying some sort of medical breakthrough drug. It is a fiber supplement that been around for ages. 

 

Check out the rest of the article on our website!

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Vaginal itching question!

We just answered a question regarding vaginal itching:

http://pharmacistanswers.com/treatment-for-vaginal-itching.html

 

There are plenty of products out there that you can get over the counter without a prescription.

 

The first thing you want to try and find out however, is if you could possibly have a yeast infection. Products solely intended for feminine itching will not help clear up an infection.

 

Yeast infections can happen for any variety of reasons including antibiotic use, high levels of estrogen, an altered vaginal pH level, pregnancy and immune system status. If you have a few of the common symptoms for yeast infections, you want want to try a product intended to treat them. Some of the common symptoms are:

 

  • A thick,white discharge

  • Pain and itching

  • Painful urination

  • Swelling and redness in the vaginal area

So let’s get to the products you can buy over the counter. We will separate these into two groups. Firstly, the products you should get if you suspect a yeast infection and secondly, products that are intended to relieve vaginal discomfort.

 

Products for Yeast Infections

 

All of the over the counter products are intra-vaginal therapies and most be applied by the user. This differs from prescription products that you can take by mouth. All of the different products work just about the same and can clear 80-90% of yeast infections. In addition, the length of application for each product varies from 1 day to 7 days. Again, they are all about as effective as one another and even though a 1 day product obviously has less applications, it still takes about the same amount of days to clear up an infection. All of the following products are available over the counter and should range from about $5-$20.

 

  • Monistat (Miconazole) and the associated generic products are the most common thing you will see. They go by the name Monistat-1, Monistat-3 and Monistat-7.  The number indicates the days of therapy. They come as either a vaginal cream or tablet. Monistat (Miconazole) 3 day and 7 day therapies are the most commonly recommended by pharmacists and doctors. The longer day therapies are sometimes more recommended because women who have recurrent infections respond better to longer therapies.

 

  • Mycelex-7 (Clotrimazole) is another very common over the counter yeast infection cream. It simply has a different anti-yeast medication than Monistat. It just as effective as Monistat.

 

Products for Vaginal Itching:

 

These products are not intended to treat infections. If you symptoms aren’t going away in a couple of days, it is recommended to go and see a doctor. The following are some products you can buy over the counter for vaginal itching:

 

 

  • Vagisil and the associated generic products are very common and popular. They shouldn’t be over $10 at a local drug store or food market. Vagisil has many different brand name extensions with it including various washes and pH refreshers. The original Vagisil is what you would be looking for. It contains an anesthetic and some disinfectants to help sooth the area and get rid of the itch. It also helps to block odors.

 

 

 

  • Balneol is also a very common medication over the counter for vaginal itching. Balneol does NOT contain an anesthetic as does Vagisil. Think of it more as a moisturizing product. It is a good recommendation for those with sensitive skin.

 

 

 

  • Hydrocortisone is available in many different vaginal itching products and is considered a low strength steroid. It is commonly used on rashes and the such. It should not be used for more than a few days in the vaginal area. Also, if you itching is due to a yeast infection, it’s possible it may make it worse.

 

 

The that about does it for the over the counter medications. My personal recommendation is that if you are thinking it may be a yeast infection, use a generic Monistat product (Miconazole) that is either the 3 or 7 day therapy. If you do not think the irritation is from a yeast infection, I recommend Balneol. It usually is better tolerated than Vagisil for those with sensitive skin.

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Sulfa allergies and cross-sensitivities

We wanted to post one of our most recent questions here as it is a good reference for all interested.

A question came through regarding sulfa allergies and a patients doctor still prescribing one in a different family. This person wanted some information regarding sulfa allergies so we of course answered their questions FREE as always!

Our Answer:

This is a great question! Sulfa allergies are very diverse and tough to exactly pinpoint. When you talk to your doctor be sure to tell them exactly what medication you were allergic to and exactly what type of reaction you had.

An allergy to sulfur by itself is extremely rare as sulfur is a natural occurring element that we are exposed to everyday and is a vital component to many different biological processes. The allergies that come into play are usually based on a specific class or family of drugs. There are 3 most commonly recognized classes of “sulfa” drugs. These classes are:

  • Sulfonylarylamines 

  • Non-sulfonylarylamines

  • Sulfonamide moiety-containing drugs

Each of these classes are distinct from one another. The sulfonylarylamines is the class that is most commonly associated with the “sulfa” allergy. Drugs in this class include antibiotics such as Bactrim (Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim), sulfadiazene, and sulfacetamine. It has been reported that about 2-3% of people have an actual allergy to this class of medication and it usually manifests itself as a rash. Most of the evidence available suggests that it is very unlikely that a patient would experience cross-reactivity between the three different classes mentioned above. If you were to take drug that is in the same class, that is a different story. There is a good possibility if you are allergic to one sulfonylarylamine for example, you would be allergic to another. For this reason, it is a good idea to check with your doctor or pharmacist and find out exactly what class of drug your doctor wants to have you take. There are drugs that are technically in different “classes” but are still considered sulfonylarylamines. Be sure to double check what class your drug is in. Any pharmacist should be able to look up this information for you.

Non-sulfonylarylamines are drugs that have a very similar structure to the sulfonylarylamines but are chemically different enough that cross-sensitivity is extremely rare.  There are many drugs in this class including hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide and Celebrex.

Sulfonamide moieties are drugs have a sulfonamide group, but their structure is very different from the other two that I mentioned. These drugs include Imitrex (Sumatriptan) and Topamax(topiramate).

As you talk to your doctor, he/she may ask these questions:

 

  • “How did you take the drug?” By mouth, topical etc…

  • “How long ago did the reaction occur?”

  • “Describe the reaction that occur and how you treated it”

  • “How soon after taking the drug did the reaction occur?”

  • “After you stopped taking the drug, how soon did the reaction go away?”

  • “Were you taking any other drugs at the time of the reaction such as over the counter supplements?”

  • “Have you taken the same drug since you had your reaction?”

  • “Have you had a similar drug since your reaction?”

  • “Have you ever had the same reaction with a different drug?”

All of these questions are relevant in determining what kind of reaction you had and how serious it was. I would be surprised if you doctor didn’t ask at least 2 to 3 of these questions.

 

I do want to note that if you are allergic to one of the 3 classes of drugs I mentioned above, that does not mean you are allergic to the following: sulfur, sulfites, or sulfates. These do not have cross reactivity with the 3 classes mentioned above and are very common in many drugs.

 

The only time you would avoid all of the sulfa drugs I mentioned is if you had a life threatening allergic reaction that required hospitalization. In that case, you would probably need a follow-up with an allergist to confirm a specific allergy.

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New Answers To YOUR Questions

We have been busy since we last posted! Here are some of the recent questions we have received:

Check all of these questions out and more at our webpage:

http://pharmacistanswers.com/answer-archives.html

  • Is there an interaction with Depo injections and weight loss pills?
  • Should Tamsulosin be used while a catheter is in place?
  • Can scabies treatments harm tattoos?
  • How to switch the time of day to take birth control.
  • Sulfa allergies and cross sensitivities

 

 

 

 

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Are You Taking Your Medication Correctly?

Check out our latest article on PharmacistAnswers.com! Here is most of the article but check out the website for pictures and the complete version!

     Most people would be surprised to learn that the effectiveness of many medications is hugely dependent on how exactly they are taken. It sometimes just isn’t enough to take your medication at the same time everyday. Something as simple as dosing at the same time as orange juice can decrease a medications absorption in the body by over 50%! A decrease in absorption by this much can have huge ramifications on how well these medications are working for you. What if this was happening with your blood pressure medication? What about a medication that is supposed to be treating a bad infection? The consequences could be significant. it’s very important to know how to exactly take your medication. This article will list some popular medications that have specific dosing requirements to ensure full effectiveness. Have a question about something you don’t see? Email us and we are happy to answer any questions you may have! 

Timing Is Everything

     While it is important to take your medication at the same time everyday, there are some that should be given at specific times of the day. Taking them at the wrong time can lead to lower effectiveness and possibly side effects.

Proton Pump Inhibitors For Stomach Acid/Acid Reflux

Drugs in this class include Protonix, Prilosec, Nexium, Aciphex and Prevacid. These medications are usually taken once daily but can be dosed twice daily in more severe cases. These medications work best if they are taken 30 minutes before a meal. The reason for this is because these medications only inhibit the acid pumps in the stomach that are active. Stomach acid is stimulated when food is ingested to aid in digestion. Taking the medications 30 minutes before food ensures that there will be peak concentrations of the drug in your body when the acid pumps are most active. It’s important to note that it can take up to 3 or 4 days of daily dosing before they’ll have full benefit. This is because not all proton pumps are inactivated with the first dose.

Blood Pressure Medication

Our blood pressure does not stay consistent throughout the day. In fact, it follows a fairly predictable 24 hour pattern. The most concerning part of the blood pressure pattern is what happens while we are sleeping. During sleep, our blood pressure dips to it’s lowest point of the day. It then later begins to increase around 4 to 6 AM and generally continues to increase throughout the day. There is a significant population (called “non-dippers”) of people whose blood pressure does NOT dip significantly during the evening. It is thought the risk of negative cardiac events is the greatest in the early morning and in those “non-dippers”. Most people take their blood pressure medications in later morning and therefore don’t have the greatest control of blood pressure when it matters most. There is good amount of evidence that suggests that taking blood pressure medications at bedtime not only improves blood pressure numbers, it may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke! Now, only certain medications have good evidence for night time dosing. These drugs include ACE-Inhibitors (drugs that end in “pril”), ARBs (drugs that end in “sartan”) & calcium channel blockers. Diuretic medications, also known as water pills, should continue to be taken in the morning as they cause fluid loss and could increase the need to use the restroom at night if they are taken before bed.

Statin Cholesterol Medication

The statin medication class is currently the most effective drug class available to treat high cholesterol. The most significant contributing factor to our blood cholesterol levels is in fact not the cholesterol we take in from our diet, but actually the cholesterol that our own body makes. The statin medications reduce the amount of cholesterol that is created by the liver. Most statin medications don’t last very long in the body, certainly not 24 hours. It is therefore usually recommended to take them in the evening, when our body is most actively making cholesterol for peak effect. Two statin medications that don’t follow this recommendation are Lipitor (Atorvastatin) and Crestor (Rosuvastatin) as they last a very long time in the body and the time of dosing therefore does not matter as much.

Levothyroxine For Hypothyroidism

Medications for thyroid replacement come in extremely small dosages. Most medications are measured in milligrams, or 1/1000th of a gram. Levothyroxine is measured in micrograms, or 1/1000 of a milligram! A small change in how the medications is absorbed can cause drastic changes in your thyroid level. For this reason it is extremely important to take levothyroxine consistently. The most common recommendation is to take it first thing in the morning, 30 minutes before food or other medications. Again, the most important thing is to stay consistent in how you take the medication in order to get consistent blood levels!

  

Bisphosphonates For Osteoporosis

Bisphosphonates are a class of medications that are the primary treatment for osteoporosis. They include Fosamax (Alendronate), Boniva (ibandronate), and Actonel (Risedronate). Due to absorption issues, they should be taken first thing in the morning, 30 minutes before other medication or food. The only exception to this is a delayed release form of Actonel known as Atelvia, which should be taken immediately after breakfast.

 
To Eat Or Not To Eat
 

Grapefruit/Citrus Juices

Surprisingly enough, citrus juices can have a major impact on drug absorption in the body. They can significantly INCREASE or DECREASE drug levels, depending on the drug. Grapefruit juice specifically can INCREASE the amount of drug in your body by inhibiting a drug metabolizing enzyme in the liver known as CYP3A4. Drugs that affected by this include:

  •  Certain “Statin” cholesterol medications,
  •  Certain antibiotics such as clarithromycin 
  •  Certain blood pressure medications like amlodipine. 

Increased concentrations of the above medications in the body can possibly cause unwanted and harmful side effects. On the other hand, citrus juices can also inhibit a drug transporter known as OATP (organic anion trasporting polypeptide). This transporter facilitates drug absorption and inhibition leads to less drug being absorbed by the body. Allegra (fexofenadine) is a popular drug that is affected by this interaction. Listen to a commercial for Allegra and you’ll notice it says to avoid fruit juices like orange and grapefruit. Other medications affected by this include:

  • Tekturna
  • Singulair
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Atenolol

It’s very important to not take grapefruit/citrus juices with these medications as the interactions can be significant.

 

     Most medications can be taken with or without food with no consequence. Many times it can help reduce nauseousness or diarrhea problems. There are certain situations however, where food can be a critical factor in how your medication is absorbed in your body.

Full Vs. Empty Stomach

As mentioned before, food can have alternating effects on medications. Here is a list of drugs that absolutely SHOULD be taken on a full stomach to enhance absorption of medication:

  • Lovastatin
  • Augmentin (Amoxicillin/Clavulanic Acid) Extended Release
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Cefuroxime

Here is a list of medication that should be taken on an empty stomach to enhance absorption:

  • Proton Pump Inhibitors (Prilosec, Prevacid etc.)
  • Ampicillin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Penicillin
  • Rifampin
  • Levaquin
  • Tetracycline
  • Voriconazole
 

Calcium, Magnesium, Aluminum and Zinc

A common warning sticker you may see on your prescription bottle states that you should not take your medication with calcium or magnesium salts. This warning sticker is on medications that actually bind to what is know as cations, or positively charged ions. Calcium (Ca 2+), Magnesium (Mg 2+), Aluminum (Al 3+) and zinc (Zn 2+) are all positively charged cations which bind to certain medications, drastically reducing their absorption and effectiveness. It is important to avoid cation consumption with medications that interact. Calcium is commonly found in dairy products, antacids (TUMS) and multivitamins. Below is a partial list of medications that interact:

  • Tetracycline
  • Minocycline
  • Doxycycline
  • Bisphosphonates
  • Iron Products
  • CellCept (mycophenolate)
  • Gabapentin
  • Crestor
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Everything You Wanted To Know About Zostavax!

 We just finished our Zostavax guide and it posted over on our website at: http://PharmacistAnswers.com . Here is the article in its entirety!

 

                                                   

 Zostavax is the brand name for the shingles vaccine produced by Merck. Patients commonly have many questions regarding this vaccine and the answers to these question can often be difficult to obtain. That is where we come in! We have created a question and answer article for the Zostavax vaccine that answers all of the most common questions! Read on to learn all about the vaccine for shingles and if it could be an option for you!                                 

                                                                                                         Zostavax Frequently Asked Questions

 

Question:

What exactly is the Zostavax vaccine?

Answer:

Zostavax is a LIVE attenuated vaccine indicated for prevention of shingles (herpes zoster virus). Live attenuated indicates that the vaccine contains the live herpes zoster virus (as opposed to killed as in many vaccines such as the influenza vaccine), yet it is severely weakened. The positive reasons for using attenuated vaccines are many fold:

  • ​More phases of the immune system are stimulated than with an inactivated vaccine.
  • Reduces or can even eliminate the need for booster immunizations
  • Immunity typically occurs faster than vs. inactivated vaccines.

​​There are some negatives however to using a live virus. Typically patients that have a compromised immune system cannot have the vaccine. It also must be regulated under strict temperature controls that can make it difficult to transport and store for health care providers.

 
Question:
 
What exactly is herpes zoster?
 
Answer:
 
Herpes zoster is a viral infection that is characterized by a vesicular (small bumps or bubbles) rash and unilateral radicular pain (radiating type pain). Postherpetic neuralgia, a neuropathic pain syndrome that persists after the rash is healed, is the most frequent complication of herpes zoster.
 
 Question:  
 
Will my insurance cover Zostavax?
 
Answer:​
 

It all depends on your specific insurance carrier. I recommend calling whoever your insurance benefits are through and inquire about it. In most cases, those with a Medicare Part D plan can expect to have the vaccine covered. If it is not covered, the cash price runs a little over $200.00.

 
Question:

I’ve already had shingles, can i get it again?
 
Answer:
 
Yes, you can get shingles again if you had it before. The virus remains latent (i.e hidden, not causing an active infection) in your body and can reemerge and cause infection for reasons that are relatively unknown. There isn’t much evidence that having already had shingles reduces the risk of it coming back. It should be noted that the Zostavax vaccine has not been shown to prevent shingles from RECURRING. It in fact is still recommended by the CDC for patients that have had shingles since there aren’t any safety issues with giving to patients who have has shingles.​
 
Question:
 
Is Zostavax effective?
 
Answer:
 
Yes, Zostavax is more effective than placebo in terms of preventing the herpes zoster infection (shingles). When we really get down to the nitty gritty with the numbers, we can truly see how effective the vaccine is. For those that don’t need or want to read our in-depth statistical analysis, just know that the CDC has put out the following: Zostavax prevents one case of shingles for every 17 people that get vaccinated. It may also lessen the symptoms of shingles (e.g. pain) if you happen to get the infection after vaccination. Read on for our in-depth statistical analysis or simply skip to the next question!

 

 

**Warning! In-depth statistical analysis**​
 
The big number we see here is a listed vaccine efficacy of 69.8%. The 95% CI is a statistical term meaning that based on the results of the study, we are 95% confident that the true efficacy of the vaccine is between 54.1% and 80.6%. The confidence interval is calculated through various methods that we will not discuss here. We really want to know exactly what 69.8% efficacy means.Firstly, based on the data, we can calculate what is known as absolute risk. Absolute risk in this study is simply the risk of getting infected with the herpes zoster virus (shingles). In the case of the data shown here, we can easily determine the absolute risk of getting shingles in two different groups, the group that received the Zostavax vaccination and the group that did not, otherwise known as the placebo group.Let’s tackle the Zostavax group first. In patients that were vaccinated with Zostavax, 30 people out of 11211 got shingles. That comes out to a miniscule 0.2676%. In patients that were NOT given the Zostavax vaccine, 99 people out of 11228 got shingles, or 0.8817%. From here we come up with an important statistical measure known as absolute risk reduction. Another way to put this would be “how much does Zostavax actually reduce my chances of getting shingles?”. If we subtract placebo group from the treatment group we come up with 0.8817% – 0.2676%, which equals 0.6141%. This means that getting the Zostavax vaccine reduces your absolute risk of getting shingles by 0.6141%. This number does not LOOK good to the public or anyone reading the clinical trial results that doesn’t understand certain statistical measures It certainly doesn’t look as good as the 69.8% efficacy that is stated in the trial data. Clearly, we need to get a better looking number.​That is where something called relative risk comes in. Relative risk, as opposed to absolute risk, looks at the risk of getting shingles with the Zostavax vaccine group in RELATION to the placebo group. Before, with absolute risk, we were simply talking about the chance of getting shingles. Now we are directly comparing two specific groups, not the whole population.Relative risk is easily calculated and it can be done a few ways. Very simply, we can divide the absolute risk in the treatment group (Zostavax group) by the risk in the placebo group. In this case, the numbers would be 0.2676%/0.8817% which equals 0.3035. By itself, this number can be hard to describe, so we do one more step and calculate relative risk reduction which is simply 1 minus relative risk. Inputting the numbers for this we get 1-0.3035 which equals 0.6965, or as a percentage, 69.65%. Ta-da! This number is what the study refers to as vaccine efficacy (it”s slightly off from the 69.8% due to rounding of numbers). It simply means that when comparing the vaccine to the placebo, Zostavax is 69.8% more effective in preventing shingles. It is important to remember that this doesn’t mean that since the vaccine is 69.8% effective, you run a 30% risk of getting shingles. It just is 69.8% more effective in preventing shingles when compared to NOT getting the vaccine.
 
So what is the efficacy of Zostavax?
 
  • Relative to getting no vaccine, Zostavax is 69.8% more effective in preventing shingles. 

​​

  • Zostavax reduces your absolute risk of getting shingles by 0.8817% to 0.2676% based on this study. This may not seem significant, but when looking at the big picture, it is. There are more than 100 million people aged 50 and older in the United States alone. It is reported that there are around 1 million cases of shingles yearly (which is somewhat close to what this study saw as .8817% of 100 million is 881,700 cases). What if we could reduce the number of cases of shingles by more than half as the vaccine showed in this study? When we are talking about large populations, the significant of the vaccine is huge in terms of the health of patients and in terms of reducing health care costs.

​We do want to state that the study in the Zostavax package insert is not the best data to look at. It actually only looked at data for a little over a year, hardly enough to truly measure the efficacy of the vaccine. The CDC has estimated a statistic that resonates much better with the public. They state that Zostavax prevents 1 case of the shingles for every 17 people that get the vaccine. Multiple others studies have shown that it helps with the pain associated with shingles (the post-herpatic neuralgia).

 
Question:
What are the side effects of the shingles vaccine?
 
Answer:           
 
Looking at the package insert, this is what is listed for adverse reactions.
 

     Remember that Zostavax is administered via subcutaneous injection, or in other words, injection directly under the cutaneous layer of the skin. Pain, erythema (redness) and swelling is a common side effect of injections like this and should be expected when receiving the vaccination. The other side effects listed are pruritis (itching), warmth, hematoma (a small collection of blood) and induration (a hardening of skin at the injection site).   One side effect not listed here that you certainly want to take into consideration is the possibility of a small rash near the injection site. If a small rash does occur, it is recommended to cover it until it clears.

 

Question:

Who exactly is the shingles vaccine indicated for?

Answer:

​The CDC recommends that all adults at least 60 years of age without a contraindication. It is indicated by the FDA for those aged 50 and older without a contraindication. 

The herpes zoster virus vaccine is not recommended for use in people less than 50 years of age.
 

Question:

 
Can Zostavax help treat an active infection?
 
Answer:
 
No, the vaccine is not indicated for the treatment of an active shingles infection. 
 
Question:
 
If I had the vaccine for chickenpox, do I need the Zostavax vaccine?
 
Answer:

The herpes zoster virus vaccine is not a substitute for the varicella virus vaccine , Varivax.
 

Question:

 
Does it help with the pain of shingles?
 
Answer:
 
Multiple studies have shown that the vaccine can help with both the severity and duration of postherpatic neuralgia. This is the most common lasting problem that is associated with getting shingles.
 
Question:
 
Is the vaccine given in a series or is it just one shot?
 
Answer:
 
The need for revaccination has not been defined. Currently, it is a one dose only vaccination.
 
Question:
 
Who should not get the vaccine?

The herpes zoster virus vaccine is not recommended for use in people less than 50 years of age. It should also not be given to patients with a history of an allergic reactions to gelatin or neomycin.Patients who have immunosuppression such as people with HIV or patients taking medications that weaken the immune system should not get the vaccine. Ask you pharmacist or doctor if you have questions about the medication you are taking.
 
Did we miss anything? Let us know by emailing us from our home page! We are certainly happy to update this article!
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