Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.
After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus stays dormant in your body and is typically expressed in adults as Shingles.
This rash is expressed along certain nerves in your body leading to severe pain.
Unfortunately, about 1 person for every 5 people with the Shingles will suffer from long term nerve pain (also known as post-herpetic neuralgia) even after the rash has healed.
Shingles is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from one person to the other.
On very rare occasions, people who have never had chickenpox could get chickenpox if they come in contact with a person who has Shingles.
The Shingle vaccine (Zostavax©) is recommended for people over the age of 60 who have ever had or been exposed to chickenpox.
Most medical insurance will cover the Shingles vaccine if administered in a physician’s office. Some prescription insurance may cover a portion of the vaccine if administered in a pharmacy.
The vaccine can prevent the development of shingles in 50% of cases and more importantly, can prevent the development of post-herpetic neuralgia (severe nerve pain) in over 80% of cases.
People who are immunocompromised or on immunosuppressive medications should not receive the Shingles vaccine. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should also not receive the vaccine.
If you have questions about Shingles or the Shingles vaccine, talk to your Tria Pharmacist or other health care provider. For information about Tria Health, visit www.triahealth.com.