- Why are eye drops being recalled?
- What eye drops should I avoid?
- A full list of current recalled brands
Federal health investigators are uncovering more about an outbreak of an uncommon strain of bacteria known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is increasingly being traced back to eye drops. The bacteria can trigger debilitating eye infections that may cause permanent blindness, or even surgical eye removal altogether, which has been the case for at least one woman in Florida recently.
With officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issuing first warnings on the uptick in bacterial infections back in January 2023, CDC agents have now identified nearly 70 patients in 16 different states that have suffered drug-resistant infections and multiple symptoms. There have been a total of three deaths linked back to exposure through eye drops specifically, with federal investigators indicating that they may soon learn of additional illnesses.
Earlier this year, there were at least two distinct recalls that were linked to potential bacterial contamination, with CDC agents indicating that EzriCare Artificial Tears were most commonly cited in the bulk of reported infections thus far. "Testing of unopened bottles of EzriCare Artificial Tears is ongoing to assist in evaluating whether contamination may have occurred during manufacturing," per current CDC reports.
But CDC officials have also indicated they are still actively investigating the source of bacterial contamination — there's a possibility that more recalls may take place in the future as healthcare providers learn more about those impacted by tainted eye drops. "Patients reported over 10 different brands of artificial tears and some patients used multiple brands," the CDC indicated.
Read on to learn more about a current list of recalled eye drops and symptoms of bacterial eye infections to consider. This article will be updated with more information about current recalls as it becomes available.
Why are eye drops being recalled?
According to CDC materials, the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa is naturally found in the world around us; usually in water, soil and human waste. More often than not, this particular strain of bacteria is resistant to antibiotic treatments and can especially prove deadly for those with weakened immune systems and those who are receiving care in hospital and clinic settings. In addition to the three deaths that are being traced back to tainted eye drops, CNN reports that federal officials have indicated that eight patients have developed blindness due to the outbreak. An additional four have had to have their eyeballs surgically removed to prevent further side effects or more serious symptoms.
It's currently unclear how this bacteria ended up in eye drops, but it's more likely that artificial tears are being contaminated during the manufacturing process — and aren't sterile when solutions are packaged and released to the public.
While recalls are being implemented across the nation, cases thus far have been recorded in 16 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
Healthcare providers at the University of California, Davis's Eye Center published materials that suggest that this particular bacteria impacts the eye by destroying the cornea specifically. While this specific strain of bacteria has not been linked to eye drops previously, CDC officials noted that P. aeruginosa caused upwards of 2,700 deaths in 2017 specifically. Historically, it has caused infections through sepsis (in the blood) or respiratory and urinary tract infections, with upwards of 33,000 recorded cases in the same year.
Additional eye drop recalls are making headlines this month, but it's important to note that they are not expressly related to bacterial infections being linked to Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Read on to learn which eye drops are being recalled and why.
What eye drops should I avoid?
Officials at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have indicated that not every recall currently in place involving eye drops are explicitly linked to Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Earlier in February, two distinct eye drop products were recalled and have been directly linked to a risk of bacterial infection — Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops branded by EzriCare and Delsam Pharma, manufactured by Global Pharma Healthcare.
While it's unclear based on the FDA's recall announcement when these artificial tears were initially manufactured, officials did indicate that these were likely sold and distributed online. Affected customers are being instructed to verify products implicated in these recalls by checking UPC codes on the eye drop's exterior packaging, which has been detailed in FDA recall announcements.
Symptoms associated with bacterial eye infections can include a wide array of eye-related discomfort and pain, including yellow, green or clear discharge; redness of the eye or eyelid; increased light sensitivity; consistent blurry vision; as well as an unshakable inner-eye irritation that feels like an itch, according to CDC officials. And symptoms triggered by this particular bacterial infection may start presenting usually within 12 to 24 hours, per published research.
Anyone experiencing symptoms and who have used either of the two branded eye drops recently should seek immediate emergency medical care. Severe eye infections may often go ignored or misdiagnosed without clinical care, and left untreated, could cause life-threatening complications, especially with drug-resistant strains of bacteria like the one being traced by CDC officials.
There are a few other eye drops and one other eye ointment that have been concurrently recalled in the same period as the two products above — but not due to the same potential bacterial exposure. We're recapping that information below.
A full list of current recalled brands
Two specific eye drop products have been expressly linked to the current Pseudomonas aeruginosa outbreak. But consumers may be confused about three other recalled eye-care products that officials are referring to currently, as these products have yet to be linked to the 68 current cases of bacterial infections logged across the U.S.
Here's a full list of recalled eye drops and more context on why federal regulators have placed these on recall lists in the first place:
- EzriCare Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops: According to the CDC, this product was implicated as a common factor in 37 of the 68 logged cases so far. Potentially tainted eye drops can be identified with the following manufacturing codes listed on its packaging; NDC 79503-0101-15 and UPC 3 79503 10115 7.
- Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops: Also linked to current bacterial infections, this product is also manufactured by Global Pharma Healthcare. Recalled products can be identified using packaging codes NDC 72570-121-15 and UPC 3 72570 12115 8.
- Delsam Pharma Artificial Eye Ointment: Produced by the same manufacturer, Delsam's topical ointment hasn't been linked to current cases as recorded by the CDC, but is being recalled due to "possible microbial contamination." While it's not technically an eye drop product, implicated tubes of ointment (which is used on skin in proximity to the eye) can be identified with the NDC 72570-122-35 and UPC code 3 72570 12235 3.
- Clear Eyes Once Daily, Eye Allergy Itch Relief: Not officially linked to any bacterial infection cases being traced by the CDC, the FDA has indicated this brand's manufacturer, Teva Pharmaceuticals, is recalling certain batches of this popular eye drop product due to a "failed impurities" test. This recall includes over 700,000 bottles with expiration dates reaching into late 2023 and early 2024 in the following lots: Lot 114349, Lot 117396, Lot 0120128, Lot 114371, and Lot 123781. According to the Miami Herald, shoppers are being encouraged to return implicated eye drops to a point of purchase for a full refund. Teva Pharmaceuticals have set up a recall hotline at 888-838-2872 for shoppers who have additional questions.
- Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops: An official FDA recall notice indicates that this product has yet to be linked to any illnesses or injuries related to Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Its manufacturers have indicated that two lots of this product may not be sterile. These products, made in 1oz and .5oz sizes, can be identified using lot codes and UPC information. Implicated products display the following identifiers: LOT#: 2203PS01, UPC 7 31034 91379 9; and LOT#: 1808051, UPC 7 31034 91382 9.
- Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution, 0.15%: A special tool designated for those with glaucoma or ocular hypertension, a small subset of these eye drops are being voluntarily recalled as faulty caps may lead to unsterile solutions that may cause similar symptoms. The manufacturer's FDA recall indicates affected drops were distributed between April 2022 and February 2023 across the nation, with expiration dates that range into 2024. They can be identified by NDC numbers listed on the carton and packaging labels, which include 60505-0564-1, 60505-0564-2 and 60505-0564-3.
We'll continue to update this story with additional recalls and current information as it becomes available.
Zee Krstic is a health editor for Good Housekeeping, where he covers health and nutrition news, decodes diet and fitness trends and reviews the best products in the wellness aisle. Prior to joining GH in 2019, Zee fostered a nutrition background as an editor at Cooking Light and is continually developing his grasp of holistic health through collaboration with leading academic experts and clinical care providers. He has written about food and dining for Time, among other publications.
What brands of eye drops are being recalled? ›
Earlier in February, two distinct eye drop products were recalled and have been directly linked to a risk of bacterial infection — Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops branded by EzriCare and Delsam Pharma, manufactured by Global Pharma Healthcare.What brands of eye drops are recalled 2023? ›
The three recalled products included the following brands of eyedrops: Global Pharma Healthcare, Apotex Corp, and Pharmedica USA LLC.How many people have died from eye drop recall 2023? ›
The manufacturer of eye drops that have been linked to an outbreak of serious bacterial infections in the US, including at least three deaths, did not follow proper protocol to prevent contamination of its products, according to an inspection report published Friday by the US Food and Drug Administration, CNN reported.What is the CDC eye drop recall 2023? ›
Eye drop recall 2023: CDC says highly-drug resistant bacteria linked to EzriCare Artificial Tears can spread person to person - ABC7 Los Angeles.What are the eye drops that are causing blindness? ›
Global Pharma Healthcare recalled Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops, distributed by EzriCare and Delsam Pharma, due to possible bacterial contamination that could lead to blindness or death.What eye drops were recalled from Walgreens and Walmart? ›
The products include lubricant eye drops, sodium chloride ophthalmic ointment, sodium chloride ophthalmic solution, and lubricant eye ointment sold under the Walgreens brand, as well as eye products sold under the Equate brand at Walmart.What are the safest eye drops to use? ›
- Best Eye Drops for Dry Eyes.
- Systane Balance.
- Blink GelTears Lubricating Eye Drops.
- Refresh Relieva Preservative-Free.
- Systane Complete PF.
- Refresh Optive Mega-3.
- Optase Hylo Night Ointment.
One brand has been linked to serious infections.
EzriCare Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops has been associated with severe eye infections and should be discarded. Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops distributed by EzriCare, LLC and DELSAM Pharma.
EzriCare Artificial Tears product, which is manufactured by Global Pharma Healthcare, is part of an outbreak of a rare and drug-resistant bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The particular strain of the bacteria associated with this outbreak had never before been reported in the US.Is Systane eye drops being recalled? ›
Last month, Alcon voluntarily recalled Systane Free Liquid Gel lubricant eye drops. No other formulations of Systane lubricant eye drops are included in the recall. This recall is in response to 11 consumer reports citing the presence of foreign material.
Is Refresh eye drops safe? ›
Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: eye pain, change in vision, continued eye redness/irritation. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.What ingredient to avoid in eye drops? ›
- BAK (Benzalkonium chloride) This preservative is commonly found in many eye drops, eyeliners, mascaras, makeup removers, and face washes. ...
- Formaldehyde (quaternium-15) ...
- Parabens. ...
Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: eye pain, change in vision, continued eye redness/irritation. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.Are Walgreens lubricant eye drops recalled? ›
announced Wednesday, July 3, that it is voluntarily recalling several lots of over-the-counter (OTC) Walgreens brand sterile lubricating eye drops due to quality control concerns. The recalled products are manufactured and labeled exclusively for Walgreens.What are the new eye drops for seniors? ›
VUITY® (pilocarpine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution) 1.25% is a prescription eye drop used to treat age-related blurry near vision (presbyopia) in adults.Are CVS eye drops recalled? ›
Eye drops being sold at CVS Pharmacy are being voluntarily recalled over concerns they may not be sterile. The drops are made by Altaire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and include CVS Health Natural Tears Lubricant Eye Drops and CVS Health Lubricant Eye Drops for Mild to Moderate Dry Eye.Are Bausch and Lomb eye drops recalled? ›
Valeant's ($VRX) Bausch + Lomb has voluntarily initiated a massive recall of an eye dilation med after learning that more than 1 million bottles may have been shipped with the wrong medication insert.Can eye drops permanently damage your eyes? ›
Despite their usefulness, eye drops aren't meant for long-term, regular use. If used too often, they could cause a variety of issues, including worsening pre-existing dry eye.Which eye drop is best for eye infection? ›
About gentamicin eye drops.
|Type of medicine||An anti-infective eye drop|
|Used for||Prevention or treatment of eye infections in adults and children|
CVS is taking these eye drops off shelves over concerns the items aren't sterile enough.
What is the best over-the-counter eye drops for irritated eyes? ›
Systane Balance and Retaine MGD are specifically formulated for this condition as well. For eye irritation caused by allergies, Ketotifen (Alaway, Zaditor) can be effective. These medications are mast cell stabilizers that prevent or control certain allergic disorders.What are the new eye drops in America? ›
Vuity is the first FDA-approved eye drop to treat age-related blurry near vision, also known as presbyopia. The prescription drug utilizes the eye's natural ability to reduce its pupil size, said Dr.How can I hydrate my eyes without eye drops? ›
- Eyelid Wash. One way to produce higher quality tears is to keep your eyelids clean. ...
- Warm Compress. A warm compress increases circulation to the eye area and stimulates tear production. ...
- Add Omega-3 to Your Diet. ...
- Coconut Oil. ...
- Increase Caffeine Intake. ...
- Change Your Environment. ...
- Wear Sunglasses. ...
- Blink More.
- Polymyxin b/trimethoprim (Brand name: Polytrim)
- Ciprofloxacin (Brand name: Ciloxan)
- Ofloxacin (Brand name: Ocuflox)
- Levofloxacin (Brand names: Iquix, Quixin)
- Moxifloxacin (Brand names: Moxeza, Vigamox)
- Gatifloxacin (Brand name: Zymaxis)
Comparing Refresh vs Systane.
In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers and health care providers against using over-the-counter “artificial tears” from the brands EzriCare and Delsam Pharma because of possible bacterial contamination.What eye drops are linked to infections and one death CDC says? ›
Recalled eyedrops are linked to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections, CDC says Infections from drug-resistant bacteria have caused death and illness in 68 patients across the U.S., the CDC says. The strain has been linked to recalled eyedrops like EzriCare Artificial Tears.What brand of eye drops are being warned by the CDC? ›
A drug-resistant bacteria has been found in EzriCare eye drops.Can your eyes become dependent on artificial tears? ›
Your natural tears will wash away when you excessively use artificial tear eye drops. Overusing them can cause you to become dependent on the drops to moisturize and soothe your eyes.Is it bad to use artificial tears everyday? ›
The preservatives in these eye drops may cause more harm than good. Many optometrists don't recommend using artificial tears with preservatives more than 4 times a day—the chemicals inside these preservatives can worsen your dry eye symptoms.
Is it bad to use artificial tears a lot? ›
Long-term use of artificial tears isn't recommended and, in some cases, can make dry eyes worse.Who should not use Systane? ›
You should not use an Systane if you are allergic to it. This medicine will not treat or prevent an eye infection. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use Systane if you have any type of infection in your eye. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.What is the difference between Systane and Systane? ›
Both these eye drops relieve soreness and irritation; however, Systane Ultra offers faster hydration and can be applied throughout the day whereas Systane Gel Drops are best applied before bed and features a thick gel formula which forms a protective shield on the eye and provides long-lasting relief to more severe dry ...What happens if you use too much systane? ›
When overusing eye drops you can run the risk of: Washing away your natural tears. Artificial tears feel great as they lubricate your eyes and help with insufficient tear production. But overuse can literally wash away the natural moisturizers and your natural tears that protect your eyes.What is the best lubricant for dry eyes? ›
- Best homeopathic: Similasan Complete Eye Relief Drops. ...
- Best for extended relief: Blink Tears Lubricating Eye Drops. ...
- Best preservative-free: Systane Ultra Lubricant Eye Drops. ...
- Best for LASIK dryness: Refresh Plus Lubricant Eye Drops.
Usually, drops may be used as often as needed. Ointments are usually used 1 to 2 times daily as needed. If using an ointment once a day, it may be best to use it at bedtime. To apply eye ointment/drops/gels: Wash hands first.Which Refresh eye drops are best? ›
Refresh's Tears Lubricant Eye Drops are a must-have for those dealing with eye dryness and mild discomfort. The Ipsos Healthcare 2021 Recommendation Survey shows that many ophthalmologists recommend Refresh Tears for relief from eye dryness and irritation.Which eye drop is preservative free? ›
BLINK® TEARS UNIQUE FORMULA IS AVAILABLE IN PRESERVATIVE-FREE, STERILE, SINGLE-USE VIALS.Which is better GenTeal or Systane? ›
Best for digital eyestrain: Systane Gel Drops. Best preservative-free eye drops: Refresh Optive Mega-3. Best for severe dry eye symptoms: GenTeal Lubricant Eye Gel. Best for nighttime relief: HydraSense Ultra Night for Dry Eyes.Does systane have any side effects? ›
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible: Allergic Reactions—Skin Rash, Itching, Hives, Swelling Of The Face, Lips, Tongue, Or Throat.
Does Systane eye drops raise blood pressure? ›
Phenylephrine eye drops can cause systemic side effects, including blood pressure elevation and heart rate alterations, via absorption through the conjunctiva and nasal mucosa (Fraunfelder et al., 2002; Alpay et al., 2010).What eye drops did the FDA just approved? ›
The only one currently approved by the FDA is Vuity™ made by Allergan. That eye drop is a miotic and works by constricting the pupil and increasing ciliary body tone. The effect results in creating a “pinhole effect” allowing clearer vision of near objects.What are the side effects of lubricating eye drops? ›
- mild eye burning or irritation;
- itching or redness of your eyes;
- watery eyes;
- blurred vision; or.
- sensitivity to light.
Abstract. Cataract surgery is the most common refractive surgical procedure performed on aging individuals.What is the most expensive prescription eye drops? ›
But the most expensive drug — Eylea, sold by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals — was more effective for patients who had poorer vision before starting treatment. “The results certainly seem to suggest here that if you have 20/50 vision or worse, you would certainly consider Eylea as the preferred drug,” said Dr. John A.What is the new dry eye treatment 2023? ›
According to a press release, reproxalap is a “first-in-class, small-molecule modulator of RASP (reactive aldehyde species)” that will be used for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. According to the release, the FDA assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) date of November 23, 2023.Have Systane eye drops been recalled? ›
Alcon Laboratories has voluntarily recalled its Systane Free Liquid Gel lubricant eye drops. The 5 million bottles of over-the-counter product have been pulled from the American market due to 11 individual consumer reports of foreign material in the bottle.Are there any safe eye drops? ›
The CDC's recommendation was specific for two brands of artificial tears products — EzriCare and Delsam Pharma. In general, “over-the-counter eye drops are safe to use,” says Stephanie Erwin, an optometrist at the Cleveland Clinic. It may still be overwhelming for you to figure out which drop is right for you.What ingredients should I avoid in eye drops? ›
- BAK (Benzalkonium chloride) This preservative is commonly found in many eye drops, eyeliners, mascaras, makeup removers, and face washes. ...
- Formaldehyde (quaternium-15) ...
- Parabens. ...
Bausch + Lomb was a public company listed on the NYSE, until it was acquired by private equity firm Warburg Pincus in 2007.
Can you get antibacterial eye drops over-the-counter? ›
About chloramphenicol eye drops and ointment.
|Type of medicine||An antibacterial eye preparation|
|Used for||Eye infections|
If you're having bacterial pink eye symptoms, the fastest way to treat them is to see your doctor. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotic eye drops.Are Refresh eye drops safe to use? ›
Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: eye pain, change in vision, continued eye redness/irritation. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.Can I use Systane eye drops everyday? ›
Can I use Systane Complete everyday? Yes, Systane artificial tears can be used daily but if you find yourself using eye drops everyday you should consult with your Eye Doctor.What are the names of antibiotic eye drops? ›
Some of the antibiotic drops that are used to treat bacterial eye infections include gentamicin (Garamycin), ciprofloxacin (Ciloxan), tobramycin (Tobrex), bacitracin (Ocu-Tracin), moxifloxacin (Vigamox), gatifloxacin (Zymar), azithromycin (Azasite), ofloxacin ophthalmic (Ocuflox), and polymyxin B/trimethoprim (Polytrim ...Why do eye doctors not recommend Visine? ›
After the drug wears off, your blood vessels will revert back to their original size. However, after prolonged use those blood vessels can permanently enlarge, causing your red eye to look even worse. This is called rebound hyperemia, or rebound effect. Your eyes can become addicted to these drops.Why do optometrists hate Visine? ›
The problem is, using these drops chronically typically causes more irritation than they prevent and when you stop taking them, they cause rebound inflammation, making your eyes appear even more red and agitated than before.What is the fastest way to heal irritated eyes? ›
- Apply warm compresses to your affected eye.
- Rinse your eye out with water.
- Take over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines or allergy medications to soothe itchy eyes.
- Use OTC artificial tear drops to lubricate dry eyes.
Vuity eye drops are the only FDA-approved eye drop that treats age-related blurry near vision—better known as presbyopia. The drop is most effective in people aged 40 to 55 who struggle to see clearly when performing daily tasks—such as reading your phone or computer screen.What products did Bausch and Lomb recall? ›
Bausch + Lomb is conducting a voluntary recall of certain batches of its Biotrue, ReNu, Boston cleaner, Boston conditioning solution (including multipacks), and Boston® Simplus Multi-Action contact lens solution with specific LOT numbers. No other Bausch & Lomb products or LOTs are affected by this voluntary recall.
When should you not use Systane? ›
You should not use an Systane if you are allergic to it. This medicine will not treat or prevent an eye infection. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use Systane if you have any type of infection in your eye. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.What are the problems with Systane eye drops? ›
Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: eye pain, change in vision, continued eye redness/irritation. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.Which eye drops are contaminated? ›
In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers and health care providers against using over-the-counter “artificial tears” from the brands EzriCare and Delsam Pharma because of possible bacterial contamination.What pharmaceutical company has the most recalls? ›
The top 3 most FDA recalled firms are Aidapak Services, LLC (538), Attix Pharmaceuticals (470), and King Bio Inc (465). Pfizer is the 34th most highly recalled firm by the FDA.What is the Bausch and Lomb scandal? ›
Bausch Health, the Canada-based drugmaker formerly known as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, agreed to pay $45 million to settle U.S. charges that it misled investors by improperly accounting for revenue channeled through a mail-order pharmacy it helped to set up.