Painful Shingles Blamed on Herpes Vaccine

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – A man claims a Merck vaccine for herpes zoster in older patients, Zostavax, gave him a painful case of the shingles. The 73-year-old man claims in Federal Court that Merck failed to warn doctors and patients of the risk, and says his condition is getting progressively worse and more painful.

     Forrest Robson says his doctor gave him Zostavax in July 2007, just over a year after the drug was approved the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Within a month, he says, he was suffering from the condition the vaccine is meant to prevent.
     Shingles, the common name for Herpes zoster, is a painful rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. It can lead to an ongoing painful condition known as postherpetic neuralgia.
     Robson says he was not warned of the risk of developing shingles from the vaccine until it was too late. He claims the New England Journal of Medicine and other medical publications have questioned the drug’s safety and efficacy.
     Robson seeks punitive damages. He is represented by James Heiting with Heiting & Irwin of Riverside, Calif.

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