Pharmaceutical company Global Pharma Healthcare has recalled its over-the-counter artificial teardrops over possible contamination after the Food and Drug Administration urged consumers to immediately stop using the product.
The manufacturer is asking distributors to halt sales of the product, called EzriCare Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops, and that retailers pull the product from shelves. Consumers should stop using it immediately.
To date, there have been 55 reports of adverse reactions to the product, including eye infections, permanent loss of vision and one death resulting from a bloodstream infection, according to the FDA. Any consumer who uses the product risks contracting an infection that can cause blindness, the agency said Friday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday urged consumers to stop using the product, which is intended to relieve eye dryness and discomfort, as it investigates a “multistate cluster” of infections that testing has linked to the eye drops.
The CDC reported infections related to the artificial tears in 50 patients in 11 states. Most of the bacterial infections are resistant to antibiotics, according to the agency.
Results in some patients included “permanent vision loss resulting from ocular infection, hospitalization and [the] death of one patient with bloodstream infection,” the CDC said, noting that the bacterial infections are often resistant to antibiotics.
The agency said it “recommends that clinicians and patients immediately discontinue” use of EzriCare until its probe and lab tests are complete.
Symptoms of an eye infection can include discharge, eye pain or discomfort, redness of the eye or eyelid, the feeling of something in the eye, as well as increased sensitivity to light or blurry vision, according to CBS Philadelphia.
The FDA said consumers and patients should contact their physician or health care provider if they experience problems that may be related to using over-the-counter tear drops.
Consumers with questions about the recall can contact the distributors: Aru Pharma/Ezricare by phone at (518) 738-7602 or by email at [email protected], or DELSAM Pharma by phone at (866) 826-1309 or by email at [email protected] from Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time.