Shingtrix - yay or nay?

Edited , 7 users are following.

(Sorry for misspelling - the vaccine name is Shingrix.)

I read all the discussions about it in here.

Among people who clearly stated their outcome;

-3 reported signs of having been cured, weeks after taking the vaccine.

-4 reported no reduction in shingle outbreaks.

-2 reported heavy side effects for weeks.

Please add your thoughts if you have taken the vaccine.

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  • Posted

    my daughter had shingles she also had chicken pox twice she was offered the vaccine but she didnt have it i guess the choice is urs at the end of the day

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  • Edited

    Wow, 68 patient reviews of the vaccine on this site:

    Moderator comment: I have removed the link(s) directing to site(s) unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

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    • Posted

      No problem, the reviews were all pertaining to immediate side effects, so not of great value. Apologies for not familiarizing myself with link policy.

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  • Edited

    Shingrix doesn't cure shingles...it is a preventative vaccine to prevent getting shingles in the first place. There are side effects for some who have taken it such as nausea etc and most have sore arm. It doesn't make shingles go away if you already have it.

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    • Posted

      Yes, after some more googling, this was the impression I was left with.

      (That it reduces the risk of catching shingles. It does very little in cases of persistent recurring shingles. Which also makes a lot of logical sense; the vaccine is a 'wake up call' to immune system. But recurring shingles should represent similar wake up calls, so that strategy is already shown to fail in such cases...)

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  • Edited

    i had shingrex and it helped me 80%. i still get outbreaks but not nearly enough to keep me down. the antivirals now really work well upon feeling ill.

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for this report!

      I am sorry to bore you all with my speculation, but I'm trying to wrap my head around this. Going with theory from my reply above, maybe cases of recurring shingles happen in locations that have the particular property of producing less of an immune system 'wake up call' than other areas. That could account for a vaccine injected in a new location causing a better wake up effect, compared to the recurring shingles themselves. (I can say with certainty that both frequency and severity went up noticeably, when my outbreaks moved from side of torso to eyelids. Makes me think I should have tried less hard to get rid of them when they were in that location.)

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  • Edited

    I got it as soon as I could after my shingles outbreak (in my throat and right ear). I had very few side effects, if any. I really feel like it has kept the virus at bay for me, as I feel like I've had a couple of almost flare-ups in the past year.

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    • Edited

      Andrea,

      It has been wonderful for me. Instead of thinking I was getting to the point where the virus was going to cause meningitis, soon, Shingrix has lessened the severity of the episodes. I am so happy it has helped you, as well!

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for sharing! Am I correct assuming this was your first outbreak in this location?

      I can relate to what you describe as almost flare-ups. I am having one right now, and it was what prompted me to check if Shingrix had finally been approved here (Norway).

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    • Edited

      Yes, it was my first and only outbreak of shingles, and it nearly did me in. I was sicker than I have been in my entire life, and that includes 6 rounds of chemo for breast cancer 8 years ago. I still haven't regained my full stamina and energy. I definitely never want a full-blown flare up again!

      My 'almost' flare ups are basically confined to my right parotid gland. It gets sore and swells a bit. I was actually having the same issue about 6 months prior to my full-blown bout, but it only happened once. Now it will do this for a couple of days, then subside. Of course, I start to go into panic mode when this happens, bracing myself for what could be coming, but thankfully it doesn't go any further.

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  • Edited

    Hi Kriirk!

    First, I am a retired Nurse Practitioner who took graduate level statistics courses at UCSD.

    I do not know your personal history with Shingles or medical history. This is extremely important because the amount of suffering with shingles used to cause people to commit suicide due to intractable pain secondary to Post Herpetic Neuropathy.

    I have suffered with recurring Herpes Zoster-Shingles every three weeks in my right ear, mouth, and throat for the past 24 years. The last three years it also involved my entire right scalp. I also had it in my right eye twice. The Shingrix is efficacious is 93 % of individuals in preventing Shingles. That is an excellent statistic in preventing shingles.

    I had Shingrix, as did others with severe intractable shingles, worse than mine. It has helped me to lessen the severity of recurring episodes. It helped my friend.

    Yes, the side effects might be considered "severe," but not as bad as having Shingles.

    I had a moderately severe painful arm at the injection site, fatigue, aches, pains, headache, for four days. I laid on the couch and did nothing. However, this is nothing compared the pain and symptoms you have with shingles.

    My first episode of Shingles , I had a headache/right earache like no other. It was worse than any migraine. I felt like I was giving birth through my ear canal while being tased. It went undiagnosed, for 3 -1/2 weeks, as there were no lesions. Two ENTs thought I was drug seeking. A neuro-otologist believed I was having agonizing pain. Finally, my eight year old son saw the lesions. I understood why Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear as I wanted to gouge out my inner ear due to the pain. I had no pain meds at the time.

    I believe in immunizations.

    My son had severe asthma when he contracted chickenpox.

    I developed recurring.shingles.

    My twin Holly had encephalomeningitis secondary to measles.

    My sister Susy had polio. We were born in the early 1950s, before vaccines existed.

    My four sisters and I all have gotten the Shingrix with no regrets. Two are physicians, and two are nurses. None of them thought the adverse reactions of the Shingrix vaccine was that severe to avoid getting the vaccine. The second injection reaction is usually mild, BTW. as was mine. I hope this helps.

    Best Regards.

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I will share my history to the best of my ability. I am 47yo male. Had chickenpox at age 17, right after my much younger (adopted) brother caught it. Compared to him I had hardly any blisters. I remember having total of 4 on my face, while he must have had close to a hundred. At age 33, shingles started recurring on side of rib cage. Outbreaks were very moderate with 3-6 small blisters. I eventually figured I could treat them with vinegar, cutting outbreaks down to days rather than weeks. I theorize this is what caused them to move to my eyelids around age 36. (That I should just have let them sit there in order to keep my immune system alert.) My eyelid outbreaks tended to have 2-4 blisters that were bigger than before. Some on the rim, and some internal inside the eyelid. (Neither of which I could apply vinegar to, much to my frustration.) Roughly 5 years ago I reduced exercise, all but quit alcohol, upped vitamins C&D and reduced vitamin A intake (I love liver). After that it went roughly 2 years between outbreaks, as opposed to outbreaks every 2-3 months prior. 3 months ago I had a single shingle, and yesterday I felt a near outbreak sensation, with slight eyelid swelling, prompting me to check if Shingrix has finally been approved here(Norway), which it has, but it has not yet been stocked for some reason, so I will need to find a pharmacy willing to import it for me individually.

      .

      Statistics are interesting for sure. From what I can tell, the Shingrix trials indicate that risk was reduced from 3.4% to 0.35% of catching shingles, among a population that did not suffer from shingles to begin with. Which is very impressive indeed.

      But as recurring shingles sufferers, the interesting question is to which degree this immunizing capability also applies to us.

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    • Edited

      Dear Kiirk,

      A lady on this forum has intractable Herpes Zoster-Shingles Ophthalmicus, continuously. She has had two rounds of Shingrix, a total of four injections. Each time, it stopped her shingles for a few months. Unfortunately, the shingles recurred.

      I believe for those of us with recurring Herpes Zoster-Shingles, Shingrix attenuates the severity of the illness, and in some, the frequency.

      You are already aware of the diet connection, as you have stopped consuming liver and alcohol. I would Google Herpes Lysine Arginine Diet to review the chart and adjust your nutritional intake accordingly. Nuts are my flaw. Many take Lysine supplements.

      Shingrix has been in short supply until recently in the States. As GSK is a European company, I have no doubt Norway will soon be acquiring Shingrix for its health care system. The UK and Canada has had it for over a year.

      The problem there with its NHS, is that no one under the age of 70 can get Shingrix.

      In the US, it is covered at age 55. If you have had Shingles, then you may have Shingrix.

      I take Vitamin D 2000 IU daily. My Vitamin D blood level was 3, in the summer.

      I am the youngest of five sisters. We all had chicken pox at the same time. I pity my poor parents! My chicken pox was the worse, in which the vesicles covered my entire body and orifice. I was also very ill.

      BTW, my Norwegian ancestors emigrated from Narvik to the US in the 1850s.

      Best Wishes,

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for sharing and tips! I tested many things including supplementing Arginine. Will look into diet version though. The only supplement I feel certain has worked for me is vit.C megadose. (1-2 teaspoons/day of the food additive powder version. I theorize it's supposed collagen-boosting ability helps hydrate my eyelids, making it easier for white blood cells to move there. But who knows - maybe I just happened to start with vit.C at a time when my situation was already improving.) Besides liver and alcohol, I also suspect the following as outbreak causes; very salty meal, pork, lack of sleep, excess tanning, heavy lifts.

      I googled "glucose immune system" last night, and found some interesting theories about feeding the gut bacteria in order to give immune system a wakeup vs. viral infection. Food for thought.

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    • Edited

      Kiirk,

      I am not big on supplements, either, except Vit D... Be careful with Vit C, as too much can damage your kidneys.

      Do you suffer from dry eyes? If so, perhaps your ophthalmologist can put in silicone plugs in your lower tear ducts. It is a minor procedure which can be performed in the office setting. My cornea were scratched terribly from the dryness. Once he put in the silicone plugs, which you do not feel, my eyes are better hydrated. Unfortunately, the quality of the tear deteriorates as you age.

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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    • Edited

      Thank you for concern, Merry. I am on top of the tooth decay risk (straw + immediate mouth wash). I will look into the other risk factors you mention. I had no dry eye issues yet (touch wood).

      .

      Based on everyone's feedback, I'm going to get the vaccine as soon as I have managed 1-2 months without flare ups. The one that started a week ago is still just minor stinging and swelling with no blisters yet, so I'm hopeful it will not be one that lasts a long time.

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