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Getting Shingrix With High Blood Sugar Or Diabetes

Shingrix is not known to raise blood sugar and is safe in diabetics.

Question

My blood sugar is high and I am scheduled to receive the 2nd Shingrix shot today...... is this safe for me to do so? thanks for your help

Asked by reene On Dec 19, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Dec 19, 2018

It is safe to get the Shingrix vaccination, even if you have high blood sugar or have been diagnosed with diabetes. There is no contraindication.


The prescribing information for Shingrix does not mention diabetes or high blood sugar as having any effect on the vaccine. In addition, increased blood sugar is not a known side effect of Shingrix.


There aren't many absolute contraindications to Shingrix. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) lists the following contraindications:

  • Severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose or to a vaccine component
  • Known severe immunodeficiency (e.g., from hematologic and solid tumors, receipt of chemotherapy, congenital immunodeficiency, long-term immunosuppressive therapy)
  • Patients with HIV infection who are severely immunocompromised
  • Pregnancy
  • Moderate or severe acute illness with or without fever [precaution only]
  • Receipt of specific antiviral drugs (acyclovir, famciclovir, or valacyclovir) 24 hours before vaccination (avoid use of these antiviral drugs for 14 days after vaccination) [precaution only]

Again, neither high blood sugar (i.e. hyperglycemia) nor diabetes are listed as reasons to not receive the vaccination.


To further elaborate on two of the above contraindications:

Immunosuppression: Individuals who have a compromised immune system may have a suboptimal response to Shingrix. Individuals with a compromised immune system can include those with:

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)
  • Hypogammaglobulinemia
  • Immune system compromised by radiation therapy
  • Corticosteroid drug therapy (however, short-term (less than 2 weeks) corticosteroid therapy and intra-articular/tendon injections are considered safe)


Pregnancy: No have been no studies in pregnant women receiving Shingrix, and therefore, no safety data is available in this population. The prescribing information states that reproductive and developmental toxicity studies were performed in rats. They were given doses of 0.2 mL (the human dose is 0.5 mL) and no vaccine-related fetal malformations or variations were noticed.


The Centers for Disease Control actually states that the herpes zoster vaccine (i.e. Shingrix) is a recommended vaccine in diabetics as diabetes can reduce the body's ability to fight infection. As long as you are an immunocompetent adult, aged 50 years and older, the vaccine is recommended (absent of the above contraindications).


They also recommend the following vaccines for diabetics:

  • Influenza
  • Pneumococcal
  • Tdap
  • Hep B


Be sure to speak with your doctor regarding which vaccines are recommended for you in your particular medical situation.


If you are looking for additional information regarding Shingrix, we have a variety of articles available on our site:

Answer Summary

Neither hyperglycemia (i.e. high blood sugar) nor being diagnosed with diabetes are contraindications to receiving Shingrix, the shingles vaccine. Additionally, Shingrix is not known cause a rise in blood sugar levels after administration.

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