Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Includes Expert Content
    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.

    Featuring Experts

    Stephanie knows multiple sclerosis as a patient and as a nurse. Stephanie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2013. Shortly after being diagnosed...More

    Helpful Tips

    the walking drug, ampyra
    was diagnosedwith MS in 2000. my walking has been getting harder to do but i was still able to work. i recently had an exacerbation of my ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    52 of 63 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.