A tiny bottle in your bathroom could kill you. Recalled eyedrops are spreading a drug-resistant bacteria infection to consumers across the country. One minute you’re trying to moisturize your eyes. The next, you can’t see a thing.
At least three people have died, the CDC says
This is one of the most dangerous recalls we’ve written about recently. For the most part, recalls are due to simple errors that are easy to fix. But thanks to a complex chain of events, these recalled eye drops pose serious health hazards.
We’ll dive into the scientific details later if you’re interested. But for now, here are the hard facts you need to know.
First, contaminated eye drops have caused severe injuries in 68 people, including blindness, according to the CDC. Three of those 68 people died of infection. According to the FDA’s official recall notice, here are the products you should throw out immediately.
1. Throw out your Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops from EzriCare
Here’s what the packaging looks like:
It’s advertised as a protectant against eye irritation. You may have bought it to moisturize dry eyes or relieve discomfort from irritations or wind exposure. It’s packaged in a bottle with a safety seal.
If you think you may have one of these products, look over the carton. It will have these numbers: EzriCare NDC 79503-0101-15, UPC 3 79503 10115 7. You can also look at the size and weight of the product: 10 mg in 1 mL, ½ fl oz (15 ml).
If you have this product, follow these steps:
- Contact the distributors, Aru Pharma/EzriCare, LLC, by phone at 1-516-715-5181 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- They’re open from Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST.
You should also talk to your doctor ASAP.
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2. Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears recalled eyedrops
Got a package that looks exactly like this? Don’t use it:
Product labels included in the recall notice are as follows: Delsam Pharma’s NDC 72570-121-15, UPC 3 72570 12115 8.
You can contact the distributor, Delsam Phrama LLC, by phone at 1-866-826-1306 Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. or by email at email@example.com. If you’ve used this product, talk to your doctor immediately.
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Why these recalled eyedrops are dangerous
The story begins with Global Pharma Healthcare, a pharmaceutical provider based in India. It manufactures and distributes drugs to its American subsidiaries like EzriCare, which sells products in the U.S. You may have bought EzriCare Artificial Tears, but the FDA says you should throw them out due to infection risks.
Here’s some background. In February, the Federal Drug Administration said Global Pharma Healthcare failed to properly test its over-the-counter eye products. To be more specific, the FDA points to three flaws:
- Global Pharma Healthcare made errors in its microbial testing process.
- It didn’t use adequate tamper-evident packaging.
- The company didn’t use the proper preservatives before distributing the drugs.
This lack of oversight led to unsterile products, which bred a dangerous strain of bacteria: Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The bacteria has severely injured 68 Americans across 16 states — three of whom died.
The CDC reports that most of these infected patients say they used artificial tears or eyedrops before becoming infected. To confirm the connection, the CDC ran tests and found the same type of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria in bottles of the product that were already opened.
In the future, the organization will check if the unopened bottles were contaminated during manufacturing by running some tests.
Send this warning to everyone you know so they don’t develop dangerous eye infections that can spread throughout the rest of their body. Some people had to get their eyes removed. Yikes!
Even if someone goes to the doctor, they might still have trouble since the bacteria that caused this infection is antibiotic-resistant. Time is of the essence, so blow the whistle and share this story with everyone you care about.
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