Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Varivax
  2. Zostavax

Canadian Brand Name

  1. Varilrix

Descriptions


Varicella virus vaccine is an active immunizing agent that is given to protect against infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The vaccine works by causing the body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the virus.

Varicella (commonly known as chickenpox) is an infection that is easily spread from one person to another. Chickenpox is usually a mild infection but sometimes it can cause serious problems, such as pneumonia, inflammation of the brain, and a rare disease called Reye's syndrome.

Immunization against chickenpox is recommended for anyone 12 months of age and older who has not had chickenpox. Immunization against chickenpox is not recommended for infants younger than 12 months of age.

You can be considered to be immune to chickenpox only if you have received the right number of varicella vaccine doses (1 dose if you are between 12 months and 12 years of age; or 2 doses if you are 13 years of age or older). You also are considered to be immune if you have a doctor's diagnosis of a previous chickenpox infection or if you have had a blood test showing that you are immune to varicella.

Varicella virus vaccine (Zostavax®) is also used for the prevention of herpes zoster (commonly known as shingles) in people 50 years of age and older.

This vaccine is to be administered only by or under the supervision of your doctor or other authorized health care professional.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Powder for Solution