Zostavax is a vaccine intended to prevent shingles, the herpes zoster virus. It’s a painful virus that tends to develop later in life, usually after age 50.

History: American pharmaceutical giant, Merck & Co. (Merck), released its Zostavax vaccine to the market in 2006.  The FDA approved the Zostavax vaccine prior to its market release.

Herpes zoster (shingles) is a symptom of the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Individuals experiencing active herpes zoster infections often report debilitating pain and blistering skin rashes typically located on the face and torso. The varicella-zoster virus (chickenpox) can remain dormant in the body indefinitely and may emerge decades later as herpes zoster (shingles). Not all persons who have the varicella-zoster virus will develop herpes zoster, and it is impossible to predict who will and who won’t.

Related Drugs: Shingrix, zoster vaccine live

Side Effects: Diarrhea, difficulty in moving, fever, headache, muscle aches, cramps, pains or stiffness, nausea, pain, redness and selling at the injection site, shivering, stomach pain, unusual tiredness or weakness, vomiting, chills, dizziness, general feeling of discomfort or illness, itching at the injection site, ankle, knee or great toe joint pain, blindness, blurred vision, decreased vision, eye pain, fever greater than 39 degree Celsius, joint stiffness or swelling, lower back or side pain, swollen, painful, or tender glands in the neck, armpit or groin

Manufacturer: Merck