Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccine (Zostavax®): A Review of Its Use in the Prevention of Herpes Zoster and Postherpetic Neuralgia in Adults Aged ≥50 Years
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Keating, G.M. Drugs (2013) 73: 1227. doi:10.1007/s40265-013-0088-1
The live, attenuated shingles (herpes zoster) vaccine Zostavax® is approved in the EU for use in the prevention of herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia in adults aged ≥50 years. In adults aged ≥60 years, zoster vaccine reduced the burden of illness associated with herpes zoster, with reductions in the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia and herpes zoster, according to the results of the Shingles Prevention Study. Results of subsequent Short- and Long-Term Persistence Substudies indicate that the efficacy of zoster vaccine is maintained in the longer term, albeit with a gradual decline over time. In the Zostavax Efficacy and Safety Trial, zoster vaccine reduced the incidence of herpes zoster in adults aged 50–59 years. Findings of these studies are supported by the results of large, retrospective, cohort studies. Zoster vaccine was generally well tolerated, with injection-site adverse events being the most commonly reported adverse events. In conclusion, zoster vaccine provides an important opportunity to reduce the burden of illness associated with herpes zoster by reducing the incidence of herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia.