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CDC investigating eye drop brand, warns people not to use it

 February 4, 2023

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called for Americans to stop using a brand of eye drops believed to be responsible for infections of people in 11 states.

The CDC has connected EzriCare Artificial Tears to a multi-state cluster of Pseudomonas aeruginosa patients, though it stated the study is ongoing and has not yet been made definitive.

The warning

“CDC recommends that clinicians and patients immediately discontinue the use of EzriCare Artificial Tears until the epidemiological investigation and laboratory analyses are complete,” according to a press release from the American Association of Ophthalmologists.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also issued a warning against the use of Artificial Tears.

"FDA is warning consumers and health care practitioners not to purchase and immediately stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears due to potential bacterial contamination," the FDA statement read.

"Using contaminated artificial tears increases risk of eye infections that could result in blindness or death. Patients who have signs or symptoms of an eye infection should talk to their health care provider or seek medical care immediately," it added.

The recall

"Global Pharma Healthcare, which is based in India, announced the voluntary recall of its Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops on Thursday," according to NBC News.

"The product was distributed nationwide in the USA over the internet," Global Pharma Healthcare wrote in its announcement of the recall.

At least 55 cases of bacterial infection in about a dozen states. Five of those infected included vision loss.

One person died when the bacteria entered the bloodstream, according to the NBC News report.

Signs of infection

According to the CDC, symptoms of an eye infection from the product include yellow, green or clear discharge from the eye; eye pain or discomfort; redness of the eye or eyelid; feeling of something in your eye (foreign body sensation); increased sensitivity to light and blurry vision.

Infections were diagnosed in patients in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin, according to the Associated Press.

"The outbreak is considered particularly worrisome because the bacteria driving it are resistant to standard antibiotics," the report noted.