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Zostavax Encephalitis Lawsuit

The shingles vaccine Zostavax has been linked to encephalitis, an acute inflammation (swelling) of the brain typically resulting from the body’s own immune system attacking brain tissue.

Our lawyers are reviewing potential lawsuits for people who developed a severe, potentially life-threatening type of swelling in the brain called encephalitis after being vaccinated for herpes zoster with Zostavax.

Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was injured by side effects of the Zostavax vaccine, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.

What is Zostavax?

Zostavax contains a “weakened” or “attenuated” form of varicella zoster, the chickenpox virus that also causes shingles. The medicine works by stimulating the immune system to keep the virus dormant and prevent shingles. Zostavax is manufactured by Merck & Co., and was approved by the FDA in May 2006.

What’s the Problem?

In an attempt to cure shingles, the Zostavax vaccine may actually cause the virus in some patients. The vaccination has also been linked to a long list of severe, potentially life-threatening side effects, one of the most commonly reported of which is encephalitis.

Side Effects of Herpes Zoster Vaccine May Include Brain Swelling (Encephalitis)

Encephalitis (en-sef-uh-LIE-tis) is characterized by a sudden inflammation of the brain, according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition often causes only mild flu-like signs and generalized symptoms such as a fever or headache, and in some cases produces no recognizable symptoms at all (asymptomatic). In rare cases, encephalitis can be fatal.

Symptoms of Encephalitis


  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Photophobia (excessive sensitivity to light)
  • General weakness
  • Seizures

Severe cases:

  • Severe headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Speech problems
  • Hearing problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Treatment & Prognosis (Outlook)

Treatment for patients with encephalitis primarily focuses on alleviating symptoms that accompany the virus. A small number of antiviral agents have been sufficiently tested to warrant promise, the most commonly used of which is acyclovir. Success is limited for most infections, except when the condition is caused by herpes simplex.

Side Effects of Zostavax

  • Serious neurological diseases or disorders, including brain inflammation (encephalitis)
  • Herpetic Neuralgia (disorder in the nerves)
  • Postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN (pain continuing after shingles blister subside)
  • Myelitis (spinal cord inflammation)
  • Bell’s Palsy (facial paralysis)
  • Vision problems, including: blindness, eye infections, and retinal damage (necrotizing retinitis)
  • Hearing loss

Do I Have a Zostavax Encephalitis Lawsuit?

The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Zostavax lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new encephalitis cases in all 50 states.

Free Drug Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you were harmed by Zostavax side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation

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