Severe Health Complications Linked to Zostavax

If you’ve ever had a case of chickenpox, you still have the virus that caused the disease – known as varicella zoster – in your body. Unfortunately, this virus also causes shingles. This is a very frustrating, painful condition characterized by blisters, a rash, itching, fever and other symptoms. In some cases, the rash forms on the face and can even develop near the eyes, which can lead to permanent vision damage.

Zostavax, manufactured by the drug maker Merck, contains a weakened form of the virus. It is designed to work with the immune system to reduce the chances that the user will develop shingles. However, plaintiffs in lawsuits against Merck claim that Zostavax actually caused the condition. They allege that Merck knew that its vaccine could cause shingles yet failed to warn users of the possibility.

There have been other health issues linked to Zostavax use as well. These include facial paralysis, cardiovascular problems, hearing loss, stroke, pneumonia and even death.

Another severe complication some Zostavax users have reported is a condition known as post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). This can lead to throbbing, burning pain, itching, extreme sensitivity and numbness. It can also result in difficulty sleeping, fatigue, loss of appetite and depression. Some people with PHN also have trouble concentrating.

Plaintiffs in lawsuits against Merck also allege that Zostavax led to inflammation of the spinal cord, which resulted in paralysis. Others claim they developed dizziness, blurred vision and headaches shortly after receiving an injection.

A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) committee said in October 2017 that Zostavax is only 51 percent effective in preventing shingles.

Filing a Zostavax Lawsuit

Plaintiffs across the country have filed suits against Merck due to injuries they claim they suffered after taking Zostavax. They allege the drug maker failed to warn patients and doctors of the potential side effects of the drug, and also lied about the medication’s safety and effectiveness. In addition, plaintiffs claim that Merck was fully aware of the complications Zostavax could cause yet the company continued to market the drug.

If you or a loved one suffered complications after receiving a Zostavax injection, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can. There may be a time limit to how long you will have to take legal action after developing health problems after using the drug. Different states have different statutes of limitations, so you need to speak to an experienced, effective lawyer to get the clearest possible picture regarding your specific case. A Baron & Budd attorney can clearly spell out all of options so you can make the most informed decision.

Contact Baron & Budd

The attorneys with Baron & Budd have represented people in lawsuits against giant pharmaceutical companies for decades. We are passionate about holding drug makers accountable for their actions when they place profits over the safety of patients.

We may be able to help you obtain compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses and other damages you suffered due to health complications linked to Zostavax. Please get in touch with Baron & Budd as soon as possible to learn more. Get started online or give us a call at 866-723-1890.

Step 1 of 4


  • Did you or a loved one have a Zostavax vaccine administered within the past ten (10) years to prevent the Shingles virus?
  • Did any of these side effects occur from the vaccine? (mark all that apply)
  • Were you or your loved one diagnosed by a doctor within two (2) years of receiving the vaccine?
  • Do you live in California?
  • Did you or your loved one ever have Shingles before the Zostavax vaccine?
  • Have you signed a contract with another attorney regarding your case?