The FDA has warned consumers against using different kinds of over-the-counter eye drops on three separate occasions this year. According to the FDA, federal investigators found harmful bacteria at a factory where several eye drop products were made. The investigators found evidence that several products were contaminated with a dangerous drug-resistant bacteria. These products are intended to be sterile because they are applied directly to eyes.
In February, the FDA warned consumers and health care practitioners not to purchase and to immediately stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears due to potential bacterial contamination. In addition to Artificial Tears products, FDA expanded its warning to include Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment. Also in its February update, the FDA recommended that Global Pharma recall Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment.
In August, the FDA reminded the public that these recalled products should not be used, including off-label use in animals. Following this reminder, the FDA issued another reminder regarding the eye drops in October. Within the October update, the FDA published an updated list of eyedrops which included those sold under the brands CVS Health, Leader, Rugby, Rite Aid, Target Up & Up and Velocity Pharma.
The companies have initiated voluntary recalls and removed products from the shelves. The FDA continues to warn consumers not to purchase and to immediately stop using over-the-counter eye drop products due to the potential risk of eye infections that could result in partial vision loss or blindness.