Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Side Effects Of Shingles In The Elderly

When Should I Get The Shingles Vaccine

What You Should Know About Shingles Vaccines | Johns Hopkins Medicine

The current shingles vaccine is a safe, easy, and more effective way to prevent shingles than the previous vaccine. In fact, it is over 90% effective at preventing shingles. Most adults age 50 and older should get vaccinated with the shingles vaccine, which is given in two doses. You can get the shingles vaccine at your doctors office and at some pharmacies.

You should get the shingles vaccine if you:

  • Have already had chickenpox, the chickenpox vaccine, or shingles
  • Received the prior shingles vaccine called Zostavax
  • Dont remember having had chickenpox

Medicare Part D and private health insurance plans may cover some or all of the cost. Check with Medicare or your health plan to find out if it is covered.

You should not get vaccinated if you:

  • Currently have shingles
  • Are sick or have a fever
  • Had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of the shingles vaccine

If you are unsure about the above criteria or have other health concerns, talk with your doctor before getting the vaccine.

How Do Caregivers Identify Shingles Symptoms

Early medical intervention is critical to resolving shingles in seniors and preventing the risk of serious complications. Immediate treatment is important as soon as symptoms appear, despite the fact that shingles heals on its own, typically within three to five weeks.

Itchy rashes may develop on one small area. Known as a shingles rash, the band appears on one side of the body, such as the torso or face. The senior may feel pain before the rash appears and, the individual may experience lingering pain after the skin irritation has disappeared.

Irritated skin becomes extremely sensitive to touch. For some individuals suffering from a bout of shingles, even a slight breeze or touch can trigger intense physical pain. Common shingles symptoms also include chills, fever, and headaches. The affected senior may feel nauseous, too.

Prior to developing the rash, a senior suffering from shingles may experience symptoms, like tingling or numbness of the skin. Fluid-filled blisters emerge within a few days of the rash. Blisters near the eye demand urgent medical treatment, since they can cause long-lasting eye damage or even blindness.

These aforementioned symptoms are worse in the elderly, in comparison to younger people, and should be treated early on to prevent the emergence of chronic pain. The senior should see a physician for a medical evaluation no later than three days after the first symptoms appear.

Side Effects Not Requiring Immediate Medical Attention

Some side effects of zoster vaccine, inactivated may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • itching at the injection site

Read Also: How To Remove Shingles Scars

Know Your Risk Of Getting Shingles And Complications

About 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles during their lifetime.

If youve had chickenpox, you are at risk for shingles. More than 99% of Americans born before 1980 have had chickenpox, even if they dont remember it.

Your risk of getting shingles and having serious complications increases as you get older.

About 1 in 10 people who get shingles develop nerve pain that lasts for months or years after the rash goes away. This is called postherpetic neuralgia and is the most common complication of shingles.

Shingles may lead to other serious complications involving the eye, including blindness. Very rarely, it can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, brain inflammation or death.

How Long After Ive Received The Shingles Vaccine Am I Contagious

Need some help... : medical_advice

With the currently authorized shingles vaccine, Shingrix, you wont be contagious. The old vaccine, Zostavax, used a weakened form of the live varicella-zoster virus. Therefore, people worried about spreading the disease to the people around them.

Shingrix doesnt use a live version of the varicella-zoster virus. It is inactivated, which means it uses a dead version of the virus. Therefore, you have no risk of transmitting the disease to anyone.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

No one likes to get shots, especially for something youve already been vaccinated for. But the newer version of the shingles vaccine is one youll want to offer up your arm for. The Shingrix vaccine is more than 90% effective at helping you prevent shingles. Since most of us have had chickenpox in the past, the shingles vaccine is an easy way to prevent the dormant chickenpox virus from creeping up and hitting you again with shingles.

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Getting Vaccinated For Shingles

Anyone over the age of 50 should get the shingles vaccine. The CDC recommends the Shingrix vaccine which it calls âthe best way to help protect yourself against shingles.â The Shingrix vaccine protects both from the emergence of shingles as well as the long-term nerve pain which can be a result of shingles.

The vaccine comes in 2 doses. The vaccine can be done at your doctorâs office or in some pharmacies. Many health insurances cover the costs of the Shingrix vaccine. The second dose must be done anywhere between two and six months after the first dose.

Shingrix is, according to the CDC, â90% effective at preventing shingles and long-term nerve pain.â There are possible side effects to the vaccine, most of them mild side effects which have little-to-no impact on daily life tasks. The possible side effects include:

â Sore arm

â Redness or swelling around area of shot

â Fatigue

â Muscle pain

â Headache

â Stomach pain

â Fever

â Shivers

The side effects tend to go away after no more than three days. Just under 17% of people who received the vaccine were unable to perform certain tasks such as âyardwork or swimming.â As the CDC notes, it is important to remember that âthe pain from shingles can last a lifetime, and these side effects should only last a few days.â

Know The Benefits And The Side Effects

Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and long-term nerve pain. You may experience some short-term side effects because Shingrix causes a strong response in your immune system.

After getting Shingrix:

  • Most people had a sore arm.
  • Many people had redness and swelling where they got the shot .
  • Many felt tired, had muscle pain, a headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, or nausea.

About 1 out of 6 people who got Shingrix experienced side effects that prevented them from doing regular activities like yardwork or swimming. Side effects usually go away after 2 to 3 days. Remember that the pain from shingles can last a lifetime, and these side effects should only last a few days.

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Managing Shingles In The Elderly

Remember the painful, irritating itch of chickenpox as a child? Unfortunately, one of three American adults will experience a second outbreak of the same virus in their lifetimes. When this infection returns, its called shingles.

The elderly, who are at particular risk for contracting shingles, should be closely monitored by a caregiver if an outbreak occurs. If left untreated, shingles side effects could become serious.

What Everyone Should Know About The Shingles Vaccine

Shingles: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment with Dr. Mark Shalauta | San Diego Health

Shingles vaccination is the only way to protect against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most common complication from shingles.

CDC recommends that adults 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Adults 19 years and older who have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy should also get two doses of Shingrix, as they have a higher risk of getting shingles and related complications.

Your doctor or pharmacist can give you Shingrix as a shot in your upper arm.

Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and PHN. In adults 50 years and older who have healthy immune systems, Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN. Immunity stays strong for at least the first 7 years after vaccination. In adults with weakened immune systems, studies show that Shingrix is 68%-91% effective in preventing shingles, depending on the condition that affects the immune system.

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Who Is At Risk

Anyone who has ever had varicella-zoster virus is at risk for developing shingles. But having certain health conditions might increase your risk for shingles and the potential for related complications.

Risk factors for shingles complications are:

  • Having a condition that weakens your immune system, such as HIV, cancer, or an autoimmune disease
  • Taking medications that cause your immune system to become immunocompromised, such as the long-term use of corticosteroids
  • Being older than age 60: Your risk for complications of shingles can increase with age.

If any of these risk factors apply to you, talk to your practitioner about your risk for shingles, what you can do to prevent it, and its possible complications should you develop the condition.

Does The Shingles Vaccine Contain Thimerosal

You may be concerned about additives to the shingles vaccine, like thimerosal.

Thimerosal is a preservative that contains mercury. Its added to some vaccines to prevent bacteria and other germs from growing in them. The shingles vaccine contains thimerosal.

The worry about thimerosal arose when early research linked it to autism. This connection has since been found to be untrue.

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If Youre 50 Or Older Get Shingrix

  • Shingrix provides strong protection from shingles and long-term nerve pain.
  • Get Shingrix even if you already had shingles, because you can get the disease more than once.
  • Your risk of shingles and complications increases as you age.
  • You need 2 doses of Shingrix. Get the second dose 2 to 6 months after you get the first dose.

Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 As Soon As You Suspect Shingles

Shingles vaccine ( Zostavax ®) is now available at HCMC

You might need medicine to help speed up your recovery and avoid longer-lasting problems.

This works best if taken within 3 days of your symptoms starting.

111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.

Go to or .

Get an urgent GP appointment

A GP may be able to treat you.

Ask your GP surgery for an urgent appointment.

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Stroke And Other Brain Ailments

In addition to shingles’ telltale rash, neurological symptoms develop quickly and can include headaches, vomiting, fever, and confusion. This could be because varicella zoster virus sits on a nerve. “That nerve cell body has an arm that has contact with the skin, but it also has another arm that goes directly to the brain,” explains Dr. Mukerji. “When the virus goes to the brain, it can cause meningitis, encephalitis, or stroke.”

So, while shingles resulting in brain conditions is rare, it can increase your risk for stroke. Case in point: A 2016 review of epidemiological studies published in the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases found that during the year after a shingles bout, the risk of stroke increased 59%, and this risk was highest among those under 40.

In addition, shingles can also cause swelling in the brain and seizures, both of which can lead to serious and permanent complications.

When Should I See My Doctor

See your doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing any symptoms of shingles. Starting treatment with antiviral medicines within 3 days of the rash appearing should reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of further complications, including post-herpetic neuralgia.

See your doctor straight away if you have symptoms of shingles and are experiencing the following:

  • symptoms that affect your eye area
  • a temperature of 38°C or higher

You should also see your doctor if you are pregnant, or have a weakened immune system due to medicine that suppresses the immune system, or a condition that weakens your immune system.

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Allergic Reaction To Shingles Vaccination

There is a very small chance of a severe allergic reaction to the shingles vaccine, as there is with other vaccines.

Anaphylaxis is very serious and potentially life-threatening, but it can be treated. All healthcare staff that deliver vaccinations are trained in this. With prompt treatment, people fully recover from anaphylaxis.

What Is The Shingles Vaccine

New treatment for the pain of shingles

The shingles vaccine can protect you against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , which is the most common complication of shingles. Shingles is a painful rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. The rash usually develops on one side of your body or face. It starts with red bumps and then the bumps turn into fluid-filled blisters.

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Help From Mobile Healthcare Professionals

As we age, we may face challenges such as impaired mobility, worsening vision, or another health condition, which can hinder our ability to travel to a clinic for medical treatment. So, its good to know that DispatchHealth offers a more convenient alternative to facility-based care in-home medical care. Our compassionate team of qualified medical providers understands that shingles can be extremely painful, so they will arrive promptly to treat your elderly loved one. Equipped with nearly all the tools and supplies found in an emergency room, we can administer or prescribe medication to ease your loved ones pain. Plus, we ensure continuity of care by providing a detailed report to every patients primary care physician doctors. We are available 365 days a year and accept all major insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. To request care for shingles, contact us via phone, app, or online.

Check If You Have Shingles

The first signs of shingles can be:

  • a tingling or painful feeling in an area of skin
  • a headache or feeling generally unwell

A rash will appear a few days later.

Usually you get the shingles rash on your chest and tummy, but it can appear anywhere on your body including on your face, eyes and genitals.

The rash appears as blotches on your skin, on 1 side of your body only. A rash on both the left and right of your body is unlikely to be shingles.

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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

Its normal to have questions before you get a vaccine. Some common questions you may want to discuss with your healthcare provider include:

  • When should I get the shingles vaccine?
  • What side effects should I expect?
  • How does the shingles vaccine work?
  • When should I schedule each dose of the shingles vaccine?
  • How effective is the shingles vaccine?
  • Is there any reason I shouldnt get the shingles vaccine?
  • What could happen if I dont get the shingles vaccine?

How Do Caregivers Help Seniors Manage Shingles

Zoster and its lurking shadow Handa H, Dara BG, Naidu GS, Deshpande A ...

Antiviral medication is the first line of defense for seniors suffering from an outbreak of shingles. Antiviral medications include three types: acyclovir , valacyclovir , and famciclovir.

Seniors who experience mild pain from shingles may take over-the-counter drugs, like Tylenol or Advil. Serious pain may require corticosteroids or opioid pain relievers these pain medications should be weighed carefully, since they can interact adversely with medicines the senior currently takes.

Aside from medicine, aging adults will feel relief from wearing loose-fitting clothing. Natural fiber clothes are recommended. Itchy skin may be relieved by applying calamine lotion. Caregivers might also prepare an oatmeal bath for the care recipient as a soothing remedy.

The affected skin should be kept clean. Apply a cool washcloth to the seniors skin to reduce pain the cloth may also be used to dry the blisters. Caregivers should monitor the senior so that she does not scratch the blisters, which can lead to an infection or scarring.

Pain management strategies also include relaxation and adequate rest. Caregivers might encourage activities that distract the senior from her shingles pain, such as watching TV, reading, chatting with a companion caregiver, engaging in craftwork, or working in the backyard garden.

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Are Shingles Contagious

If you are wondering if shingles can be passed on to another person, the answer is that while shingles cannot be passed on, the varicella-zoster virus can. According to the Mayo Clinic official website, shingles can only be passed to another person âwho isnât immune to chickenpox.â This means that if someone who has not yet had chickenpox becomes infected with the virus, they will get chickenpox, not shingles.

That being said, once someone gets chickenpox, they are prone to developing shingles later if the virus reactivates. Both chickenpox and shingles can be very dangerous, and so it is crucial to know how to avoid risking contaminating others if you are contagious. In the following section, we will go over the best ways to avoid spreading the virus.

How Is Shingles Treated

There is no cure for shingles, but antiviral medicine may relieve the symptoms and help prevent complications. See your doctor for a prescription of antiviral medicines as soon as possible after symptoms develop. Treatment should be started within 3 days of the shingles rash appearing.

If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about whether antivirals are right for you.

Over-the counter medicines, such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, can be used for pain relief. If over-the-counter medicines are not controlling your pain, your doctor may prescribe other medicines.

There are several things you can do to help manage the condition. They include the following.

Also Check: How To Treat Shingles At Home

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