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Shingles vaccine
An_204799 posted:
Is it wise to receive the shingles vaccine? I was diagnosed in 1991 with RR MS. I have not had any severe exacerbations in 16 years. I want to be cautious & not "stir" anything new up.
Csewhappy responded:
Hi Anon_56406,

I don't know the answer to this, I'm sorry ... but I am curious as to why it has suddenly cropped up that this vaccine has been suggested. Was it your nurse/GP/specialist? Have you come into contact with chickenpox or is this a new vaccine being offered to all US citizens?

I think your GP or MS neurologist would be a good place to start if you don't get help from here.

Good luck in finding some answers, best wishes
AuntyTess responded:
I can tell you that after I received the flu vaccine 2 years ago all my symptons seemed to kick-off and get worse. I was told that it is because my immune system is 'funky' that the vaccine probably caused it. (I was diagnosed with MS some years ago, and apart from double vision twice, I was fine). Since this vaccine I have gone down hill fast. As you suggested, be cautious.

threelabs replied to AuntyTess's response:
I had a similar experience. I was diagnosed in 1984. For about 10 years I was completely mobile and had few exacerbations.
I did need to take prednizone a few times, but it lways worked. But then I got the flu. I didn,t get a shot because I had never had the flu. (Solid reasoning, huh?) After that I started having major problems walking and with balance.
I have been careful to get a flu shot since. I think if you ask your neuro he/she will advise the shot.
Good luck
Jeffrey A Rumbaugh, MD, PhD replied to threelabs's response:
There are many anecdotal reports from patients of either a vaccine or an illness causing an MS exacerbation, but no real good scientific evidence to support these claims. As with everything in medicine, the pros and cons have to be weighed. If you are at high risk for complications from the flu, you should definitely get the flu vaccine. If you are young and otherwise healthy, I personally would probably still get the flu vaccine, but some people with MS would choose not to. As for the shingles vaccine, there is certainly no evidence that it would cause an MS exacerbation, and shingles can be very painful, so I would probably get it. The shingles vaccine (called Zostavax) has been recommended since 2005 for all persons over age 60 to prevent shingles and postherpetic neuralgia.

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