Eye drops from major brands can cause infection, FDA says

Federal health officials are advising consumers to stop using more than two dozen over-the-counter eye products because of the potential risk of an eye infection that could lead to partial vision loss or blindness.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a flag warning on Friday 26 eye care products including eye drops and gels from CVS Health, Leader (Cardinal Health), Rugby (Cardinal Health), Rite Aid, Target up&up and Velocity Pharma.

Read the full list of recalled products here.

The federal agency recommended Wednesday that the manufacturer recall all batches of those products after agency investigators found unsanitary conditions at the manufacturing facility, the FDA said in a statement. Bacterial tests came back positive from critical areas of drug production at the plant, which the agency did not immediately identify.

The FDA said it has not received any reports of infection linked to these products, but encourages healthcare workers and patients to report any cases to the agency.

It is imperative that these products be sterile, regulators say, because drugs applied to the eyes bypass some of the body’s natural defenses.

The FDA said consumers should properly discard these products by taking them to a a place to pick up drugs or by checking if the product is turned on FDA wash list” of medications that can be safely disposed of at home.

CVS, Rite Aid and Target are removing the products from their stores and websites, the agency said. The Leader, Rugby and Velocity brand products may still be available in stores and online and should not be purchased, federal regulators said.

Rite Aid confirmed through a spokeswoman that it is removing “applicable Rite Aid brand products” from store shelves. A CVS spokeswoman said the retailer has “immediately halted in-store and online sales of all Velocity Pharma-supplied products within the CVS Health Brand Eye Products portfolio” and that customers can return those products for a full refund. Other retailers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

There have been other recent reports of problems with eye products.

In JanuaryThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA have warned consumers to stop using EzriCare artificial tears and Delsam Pharma artificial tears. The eye drops have been linked to a drug-resistant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. linked to at least four deaths and vision loss in 14 patients.

Apotex, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, recalled prescription eye drops in March after several bottle caps developed crackswhich could compromise the sterility of the product.

Experts say that eye drops are generally safe to use. By 2024, 123 million Americans are projected to use eye drops An extraa market research firm.

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