Top 300 Pharmacy Drug Cards


Class: Vaccine, Live, Viral

Dosage Forms. Lyophilized Powder for Subcutaneous Injection: 0.5 mL after reconstitution with diluent supplied; also available in combination with measles, mumps and rubella vaccine


Common FDA Label Indication, Dosing, and Titration.

1. Prevention of varicella infection: Adults, 2 doses separated by at least 4 wk; Children, 1 dose at age 12 mo with a second dose at age 4-6 y, prior to entering school

Off-Label Uses. None

Drug Characteristics: Varicella Vaccine, Live


Medication Safety Issues: Varicella Vaccine, Live


Drug Interactions: Varicella Vaccine, Live


Adverse Reactions: Varicella Vaccine, Live


Efficacy Monitoring Parameters. Prevention of varicella infection, although antibody concentrations might be measured; routine measurement for vaccine response is not recommended.

Toxicity Monitoring Parameters. Monitor vital signs, including temperature, after administration.

Key Patient Counseling Points. Some children may experience mild fever and rash 7-10 d after vaccine administration.

Clinical Pearls. Varicella vaccine contains the same vaccine virus as zoster vaccine, but the doses are dramatically different and are not interchangeable. Indicators of varicella immunity include birth in the United States before 1980, physician-documented history of disease, laboratory evidence of immunity, or two doses of varicella vaccine after 12 mo of age. Individuals born in the United States before 1980 can be considered immune to varicella unless healthcare personnel, immunocompromised, or pregnant woman. Transmission of the vaccine virus to susceptible individuals without serious lasting consequences has been documented. If not administered simultaneously, varicella vaccine must be separated by at least 4 wk from other live vaccines. Febrile seizure is more common with the combination measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine is administered compared to MMR and varicella vaccines given as separate injections. Pregnant women exposed to varicella should not receive vaccine; instead, should receive varicella immune globulin.

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