Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), particularly those on immunosuppressive medications, suffer a high incidence of, and worse clinical outcomes relating to, herpes zoster (HZ) reactivation. We report on the presentation and management of a patient with Crohn's disease who developed severe perianal HZ after starting azathioprine and oral budesonide treatment. The zoster vaccine may prevent such zoster reactivation in patients with IBD. The zoster vaccine is effective in decreasing the risk of HZ in older adults but its role in younger adults and those with IBD has not been tested prospectively. A review of the potential risks and benefits of this live vaccine in patients with IBD and an approach to further determining its role in this patient population is discussed.
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