• Vaccines

Varivax Generic Name & Formulations

General Description

Varicella virus vaccine live, attenuated (Oka/Merck) (human and guinea pig cell cultures) with 1350 plaque-forming units (PFU) minimum per 0.5mL after reconstitution; for SC or IM inj; lyophilized; preservative-free.

Pharmacological Class


How Supplied

Single-dose vials—10 (w. diluent)


Generic Availability


Mechanism of Action

Varivax induces both cell-mediated and humoral immune responses to varicella-zoster virus. The relative contributions of humoral immunity and cell-mediated immunity to protection from varicella are unknown.

Varivax Indications


Varicella (chickenpox) vaccination.

Varivax Dosage and Administration


Give by SC or IM inj. ≥13yrs: 1 dose of 0.5mL at elected date and a 2nd dose of 0.5mL at least 4 weeks later.


<12mos: not established. Give by SC or IM inj. 12mos–12yrs: administer 1st dose of 0.5mL at 12 to 15 months of age but may give anytime through 12yrs of age, then give 2nd dose at 4–6yrs of age. 

Varivax Contraindications


Hypersensitivity to gelatin or neomycin. Immunodeficient or immunosuppressed. Active febrile illness with fever >101.3⁰F (>38.5⁰C). Active untreated tuberculosis. During pregnancy or individuals who are planning on becoming pregnant in the next 3 months. 

Varivax Boxed Warnings

Not Applicable

Varivax Warnings/Precautions


Have epinephrine inj (1:1000) available. Defer vaccination if family history of congenital or hereditary immunodeficiency until immunocompetent. Avoid contact with susceptible high-risk individuals for up to 6 weeks after vaccination. HIV-infected: refer to ACIP recommendations. Nursing mothers.

Varivax Pharmacokinetics

See Literature

Varivax Interactions


Avoid salicylates in patients (12 months through 17 years of age) for 6 weeks after vaccination. Concomitant administration with immune globulins and other blood products may interfere with the expected immune response; refer to ACIP recommendations. May interfere with tuberculin skin test. Separate by at least 1 month between a dose of a live attenuated measles virus-containing vaccine and Varivax. In children through 12yrs, separate by at least 3 months between 2 doses of a live attenuated varicella virus-containing vaccine and Varivax.

Varivax Adverse Reactions

Adverse Reactions

Fever, inj site reactions, rash; others.

Varivax Clinical Trials

See Literature

Varivax Note

Not Applicable

Varivax Patient Counseling

See Literature