Which medications in the drug class Zoster Vaccines are used in the treatment of Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV)?

Updated: Feb 15, 2019
  • Author: Wayne E Anderson, DO, FAHS, FAAN; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Zoster Vaccines

These agents are used to induce active immunity.

In October 2017, the FDA approved zoster vaccine recombinant, adjuvanted (Shingrix) for the prevention of shingles in adults aged 50 years or older. The approval is based on findings from a phase III clinical trial program assessing its efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity in 38,000 patients. Data from a pooled analysis of two clinical trials demonstrated efficacy against shingles at greater than 90% across all age groups, as well as sustained efficacy over a follow-up period of 4 years. [12, 13]

Zoster vaccine recombinant (Shingrix)

Non-live recombinant subunit vaccine intended for IM injection in 2 doses. It consists of glycoprotein E, an antigen, and AS01B, an adjuvant system, intended to induce a strong and sustained immune response to help overcome reduced immunity that comes with age. Indicated for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster) in adults aged 50 years or older.

Varicella zoster vaccine (Zostavax)

This is a lyophilized preparation of the Oka/Merck strain of live, attenuated varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It has been shown to boost immunity against herpes zoster virus (shingles) in older patients. It reduces the occurrence of shingles in individuals older than 60 years by about 50%. For individuals aged 60-69 years, it reduces the occurrence by 64%. In the ZEST trial, the vaccine significantly reduced the risk by 70% in subjects aged 50-59 years. It also slightly reduces pain compared with no vaccination in those who develop shingles. It is indicated for the prevention of herpes zoster in patients who have no contraindications.

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