EzriCare Artificial Tears are linked to a multistate investigation into a cluster of infections that have resulted in vision loss, hospitalization and one death, according to a Jan. 20 notice sent to states by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and confirmed by a CDC spokesperson. Until the investigation is complete, people should stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears, the CDC says.
Late Wednesday, the CDC posted an alert meant for health care providers about its investigation into drug and antibiotic-resistant infections linked to artificial tears. The ongoing investigation, which dates back to May 2022, includes 55 cases in 12 states. Many of the cases were linked to four different health care facilities.
Most patients with infections reported using artificial tears, which are drops for dry eyes. While the most common brand name reported was EzriCare, patients reported over 10 brands of artificial tears, according to the alert.
EzriCare said Wednesday that customers should discontinue use of its lubricating eye drops, and that as soon as the company received word of the CDC’s investigation notice, EzriCare “immediately took action to stop any further distribution or sale.” The company also said it’s willing to work with health agencies, but it added that it’s “not aware of any testing that definitively links” the infections to EzriCare’s Artificial Tears.
EzriCare, a New Jersey based over-the-counter drug brand, also noted that it doesn’t manufacture the eye drops, which are made outside the US by Global Pharma Healthcare and sold under different brand names besides EzriCare.
In a statement, Global Pharma said it’s “fully cooperating” with health authorities in the US in the investigation, but so far “we have not determined whether our manufacturing facility is the source of the contamination.”
“Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling the products at issue,” Global Pharma told CNET. As of now, the recall doesn’t appear to be posted by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Artificial tears are often used for treating dry eyes. Preservative-free ones like EzriCare’s have fewer additives that are meant to discourage bacteria growth. However, they might be recommended for people who use them frequently or multiple times a day.
Symptoms of an eye infection include discharge from the eye (yellow, green or clear), eye pain, redness of the eye or eyelid, feeling like something’s in your eye, increased sensitivity to light and blurry vision, according to the CDC. Eye infections can be serious and you should seek medical care right away if you have symptoms of one.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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