What You Should Know About Recent Eye Drop Recalls

Two brands of eye drops were pulled from shelves in January and February after they were linked to a drug-resistant strain of bacteria that has killed at least one person and serious health problems for others. Weeks later, two other types of eye drops were withdrawn from the market because they posed a different type of contamination risk.

This flurry of recalls may make you question your trusted source for dry eye relief, but there are significant differences between recalls and many steps you can take to stay safe.

“I would encourage all people who take eye drops to continue using them, of course, making sure they don’t use any of the ones that are withdrawn,” he said. Dr Christopher Starra clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Here’s what you need to know about these recalls.

in january, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration warned people to stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears after the eye drops were linked to a drug-resistant strain. drugs from the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Infections with this bacterial strain have caused at least one person to dievision loss in eight others and the surgical removal of the eyeballs of four people.

Global Pharma, which makes the eye drops for EzriCare and Delsam Pharma, recalled both products in February.

Last week, a Florida woman sued Global Pharmaclaiming that an infection caused by the eye drops was so severe that doctors had to surgically remove one of his eyes.

The FDA has also warned people to stop using an eye ointment manufactured by Global Pharma due to possible contamination.

The maker of EzriCare Artificial Tears said it was recalling the product out of “an abundance of caution.”Credit…EzriCare

The other two eye drop recalls were not related to the bacteria outbreak.

On March 1, Apotex has withdrawn from the market prescription eye drops used to reduce eye pressure in people with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The company recalled six lots of 0.15 percent brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic solution because at least four bottle caps developed cracks, which could affect the product’s sterility.

Apotex recalled six lots of brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic solution 0.15 percent prescription eye drops.Credit…through the FDA

March 3, Pharmedica recalled two lots of MSM 15 percent Purely Soothing drops because they were not sterile. These drops are used to treat irritated and puffy eyes.

Pharmedica recalled two lots of MSM 15 percent Purely Soothing drops because they were not sterile.Credit…through the FDA

The CDC said that, from March 14the drug-resistant strain of bacteria linked to the recalled EzriCare and Delsam eye drops had been found in 68 people in 16 states.

The best way to find out if you have eye drops that were included in the recall is to review the recall notice provided by each company. Each advisory has details about which batch of each product was affected.

Notice for EzriCare and Delsam eye drops is hereand notice of The Global Pharma eye ointment is here. He Apotex brimonidine tartate advisory is here and the Pharmedica Purely Soothing ad is here.

People who have used these artificial tears and who have symptoms of an eye infection should see a doctor right away, the CDC said. Symptoms may include yellow, green, or clear discharge from the eye, redness of the eye or eyelid, increased sensitivity to light, and eye pain or discomfort.

Apotex said people who received the recalled eye drops, which were distributed between April 5, 2022, and February 22, should contact their healthcare provider and pharmacy. the company too provided a phone number and website for people to request a “withdrawal/return package”.

An Apotex vice president, Jordan Berman, said in an email that the company had seen only four bottles with broken caps. He said one of the bottles came from a customer or consumer complaint and the other three were found in retained samples, products that the FDA requires a company to stay away in case problems like these arise.

“There have been no drug safety reports related to negative health outcomes due to this product,” Mr. Berman said.

Pharmedica said that, as of March 3, it had not received any reports of illness or other “adverse events” from the use of the eye drops. The company did not specify how many bottles were affected or how the bottles became non-sterile.

Anyone who has a problem with any of the recalled eye drops. can file a report with the FDA online, by mail, or by fax.

Dr. Barbara Tylka, an optometrist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said the eye drops are generally safe and many people need them to treat conditions such as dryness or irritation. About 117 million Americans used eye drops and eye drops in 2020, according to Statistaa market research company.

To use the eye drops safely, Dr. Tylka said people should use their own bottle and make sure it hasn’t expired. People who have been prescribed eye drops for a procedure such as cataract surgery should stop using those products once the healing process is complete, he said.

To apply the eye drops safely, he said, people should use their non-dominant hand to “gently pull on the lower eyelid, look up slightly” and then, with their dominant hand, put “that little drop in that alley no bottom outlet.” in the area of ​​the eyelids.

Dr. Starr, an associate professor of ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medicine, said that something some patients do wrong is pressing the tip of the vial to the inner corner of the eye, which can contaminate the drops and scratch the surface of the eye. He said that when he accidentally hits his eyelid or eyelashes with the tip of the bottle, he considers the bottle contaminated and either re-sterilizes or replaces it.

Dr. Starr and Dr. Tylka stressed that while the recalls were concerning, the eye drops are generally safe.

“I have continued to use the eye drops every day throughout this process,” said Dr. Starr.