March 16, 2014 at 7:10 pm
I now have Shingles. Wonder if this is also an autoimmune disease like the GBS I had. Has anyone had Shingles and how long did they last?
March 17, 2014 at 2:28 am
I got Shingles while taking Prednisone for my CIDP. I was off Plasma Exchange (PE) at the time; else the PE would have probably stopped the Shingles from doing much damage. The Shingles attacked my right eye, mostly the area around my eyebrow, the pain was excruciating, so much so that I had to be hospitalized and given morphine. I was released after 3 days and fought the rest of the battle at home.
My treatment consisted of mega doses of Acyclovir (Zovirax). It took two months for the Shingles to subside because the Prednisone slowed my recovery. I have been off Prednisone for several years now, but still have residuals (itchy, numbness) from the Shingles on my eye.
Shingles (Herpes Zoster) is a virus, not an autoimmune disease. More details here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001861
Severity would be less and recovery faster if one’s autoimmune system was not compromised due to immunosuppressants like Prednisone. I feel PE would also help prevent a Shingles attack, or at least significantly reduce the severity.
I hope you recover quickly and completely.
March 18, 2014 at 1:50 am
Shingles is a risk for anyone who has had chickenpox. Older persons are more at risk, and should get the vaccine. One consideration with the vaccine is that it is a live type. Live vaccines are not recommended for people with suppressed immune systems. Because I take an immune suppressant, I have not received the vaccination even though I want it. I’m hoping to get off the medication so I can be vaccinated before I get it.
My neighbor had it recently. It was uncomfortable but he got over it. It took a few weeks.
March 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm
I would not take the shingles shot or any shot that would be a likely cause of GBS again. I have had GBS four times and do not want to take that chance.
March 19, 2014 at 2:17 am
Barbara, I agree with you about the shots. A vaccination introduces a virus strain in order to trigger our autoimmune systems into producing antibodies that attack that invading virus.
Let’s face it; those of us with confirmed cases of GBS/CIDP have autoimmune systems that already know how to make antibodies that will attack “self”. I think there is way too much risk that the antibodies produced to fight off a new virus strain will again attack “self”.
No shots for me, I will take the painfulness of shingles over a possible return of GBS/CIDP any day!
March 19, 2014 at 11:48 am
Having had both, I definitely agree with Jim.
March 19, 2014 at 3:12 pm
I’m not giving advice, but there is no known relationship between the Zoster (shingles) vaccine and acquired peripheral neuropathy.
April 2, 2014 at 3:52 am
It sound like the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing Shingles may be overstated. While the risk of getting GBS from Shingles and/or the vaccine appears quite plausible.
April 2, 2014 at 3:32 pm
Jim, no vaccine is 100% effective. The vaccine for shingles is about 60% effective, more or less, depending on age.
As for triggering GBS, it is generally impossible to know what the triggering event is for any particular case. When there is coincidence in time between an illness or vaccination and the onset of GBS, people often assume that they are related, but it isn’t necessarily so.
April 27, 2014 at 7:37 pm
I now have GBS again for the 5th time. The shingles triggered it. I have had IVIG three times.
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