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My question is about shingles vaccine and possible risks for a person who has neuropathy.

I'm a 71 year old male, physically and mentally active, and living a healthy lifestyle. I work full time at home as a self-employed writer and virtual world builder. I hike, run trails, mountain bike, and dance in traditional Native American ceremonies.

My doctor has advised against getting the shingles vaccine because he's concerned (as I understand it) about neurological risks arising from the peripheral neuropathy in both my feet. I've had neuropathy for 13 years. What is the neurological risk of the shingles vaccine for me? Is it greater than the risk of not getting the vaccine?

I'm not looking for a simple yes or no about my doctor's advice, unless his advice not to get the vaccine is unambiguously the correct advice. If there is any uncertainty about it, I would appreciate it if you would give me links to reliable web pages or other sources where I can do the research to make up my own mind about whether or not to get the shingles vaccine. I definitely don't want to suffer from shingles, but I also don't want my neuropathy to worsen or to trigger any other neurological issues.

Medical conditions:
- Mild macular degeneration in one eye
- Taking 6mg Terazosin daily for prostate issues
- Using Flonase for mild allergies
- Peripheral neuropathy in my feet (taking 1200mg Alpha-Lipoic Acid daily for it)
- Arteriosclerosis (taking 10mg of Simvasatin for it, but have temporarily paused taking it)

Blood pressure: typically 122/78, pulse 58
Total Cholesterol: 110
Triglycerides: 94
HDL: 43
LDL: 48
Glucose Fasting: 92
PSA: 1.9

Thank you,

Erik Bainbridge

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 28 Doctors Online

Thank you for posting your query at
I have noted the details. In my opinion, you should take the shingles vaccine.
There is no evidence in the literature that suggests that people with pre-existing peripheral neuropathy should avoid shingles vaccine. Also, there is no literature to support the view that peripheral neuropathy could worsen after shingles vaccine.
Best wishes,
Dr. Sudhir Kumar MD (Medicine), DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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