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terre (@terre)

Had Shingles shot and now have PMR

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) | Last Active: Apr 10 10:59am | Replies (37)

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Hi Ronnie,
I am writing you because, like you, I also contracted the shingles virus after receiving the Shingrix shot. Interestingly, like you, my symptoms were also a headache and a palsy, in my case it was diagnosed as Bell's Palsy and affected control of mouth muscles. (I couldn't hold liquids in my mouth). However, the medication I mentioned in the note below, which I posted on this website, overcame both symptoms, and I was completely healthy 2 1/2 weeks after taking the medication. I hope your symptoms eventually subside.
-Brian., Gambier, Ohio

Here is what I posted:
On Aug. 3, I wrote on this discussion page about my contracting a virus on June 12, 2020, three weeks after getting the first of two Shingrix shots, and how a medication (Valacyclovir) used to fight a broad spectrum of viruses — including the one causing chickenpox and shingles — was successful in overcoming the virus. Curious about the timing of my contracting a virus that was successfully targeted by an anti-shingles medication, just three weeks after receiving the Shingrix vaccine, I contacted my family physician to see if there was a link. In early August, a medical aide in his office phoned me to say — and this is my best interpretation of an explanation I found difficult to understand — that my body's ability to fight off the virus might have been compromised by its adjustment to the vaccine. That still left me wondering if I should get the second Shingrix vaccination. I asked for an opinion, and about a week ago my physician recommended I not receive the second dose of the vaccine, which I would need to get within six months of the first dose. An aide from his office told me that after reviewing articles on the clinical website uptodate.com on the possible link of the vaccine to my illness, Dr, Wilson concluded that I faced a health risk in getting the second shot. I searched that website but was unable to find information on that issue. I hope by sharing this information to enlighten others who contracted a shingles-type virus after getting a Shingrix shot. And, because the vaccine provides a measure of protection against a painful condition, I am also curious if others in the medical community concur in Dr. Wilson's opinion,

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Replies to "Hi Ronnie, I am writing you because, like you, I also contracted the shingles virus after..."

Hello @miller1949,

As it has been a while since you last posted, I was wondering how you are feeling now. When you last posted you were not planning on getting the 2nd Shingrex shot (at your doctor's recommendation). Did you find any other information about the vaccine and your own reaction?

I would love to hear how you are doing now. Would you post an update at your convenience?

I contracted Bell’s Palsy a few months ago after successfully (I thought) tapering off Prednisone over 20 months. As you probably know, the cause of BP is thought to be either a viral attack on one or more of the facial nerves OR an autoimmune flare of the nerve. I was treated with Acyclovir (another broad spectrum antibiotic) to clear the virus and put on heavy (60 mg) but short term doses of Prednisone again. I recovered quickly and without sequelae. Since my BP showed up while off Prednisone, and went away with more Prednisone, I’m leaning towards the autoimmune theory but it could be both or either theory is correct. Links to Shingles disease or vaccine problems are reported by PMR sufferers far more than to be coincidence but I haven’t seen any definitive answer to what links them. I just got the second Shingrix shot this week as I agree with the philosophy that at my age of 72 I don’t want Shingles and I already have PMR, which at least is manageable with proper Prednisone levels.