Twenty-seven over-the-counter eye drop products could cause serious eye infections that can lead to vision loss or blindness. The FDA has recommended a recall. The products include ones sold under store brands, including CVS, Target, Walmart and Rite Aid.
While the eye drops are supposed to be sterile, the FDA found that the factory they were made in wasn’t. Instead, they found “insanitary conditions in the manufacturing facility and positive bacterial test results from environmental sampling of critical drug production areas in the facility.”
No infections have been reported yet. But stores are pulling the products from the shelves and removing them from their websites. They are also sold under the brands Leader, Velocity and Rugby’s.
Even though no one has reported a problem yet, if you have any of these products, you should throw them away. It’s better to be safe. For the complete list, you can check here. Compare what’s in your medicine cabinet to the list. Under the best of circumstances, when no warnings have been issued, you should replace eye drops at least every four months. After that, bacterial or fungal contamination is likely.
If you take prescription eye drops, you don’t have to worry. They go through a different regulatory process, and their safety isn’t in question.
Eye drops are generally safe to use, and all those that might be contaminated should be off the shelves by now. Dr. Gary Novack noted that there have been multiple eye drop recalls this year and the FDA has been vigilant. He said, “Eye drops are sterile and safe to use. In particular, continue using your prescription eye drops as your doctor prescribed them. If in doubt, ask your pharmacist if the product has been recalled.”
While the FDA can warn and recommend recalls, they can’t force companies to perform one. That means it falls to the consumer to do all the research and be aware of the problem.
As so many companies make their products in the same facilities, it can often mean that recalls impact many different brand names at once. When there is a safety warning on a category of products, be it something in the medical field, like an OTC medicine, or something you eat, like bagged salads, it’s essential to look at the complete list. You never know if you have bought something that could be dangerous for your health.
For the sake of your continued good eyesight, check your labels and throw away any dangerous drops!