For the media

What to do if your eyedrops have been recalled

By The Health News Team | November 20, 2023
Woman putting eye drops in her eye

For many, lubricant eyedrops are among the first products used in the morning and the last used at night. In fact, market research reveals over 123 million people in the U.S. are expected to use eye drops in the coming year.

It’s understandable, then, that when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalls specific brands, and retailers remove eye drops from their shelves, consumers take notice.

According to Dr. Gayle Howard, an ophthalmologist with Sharp Community Medical Group, several brands of eyedrops were recalled when FDA inspectors found insanitary conditions in the manufacturing facility where the eyedrops were produced. Positive bacterial test results from samples taken in drug production areas in the facility were also noted.

“Extra attention is being paid to these recalls because of issues earlier in 2023, with several infections related to over-the-counter eyedrops from EzriCare and Delsam Pharma,” Dr. Howard says. “The eyedrops were found to be contaminated with a drug-resistant bacteria, which caused severe eye infections and even vision loss.”

According to the FDA, the eyedrops included in the current recall are marketed under the following brands:

  • CVS Health

  • Leader (Cardinal Health)

  • Rugby (Cardinal Health)

  • Rite Aid

  • Target Up & Up

  • Velocity Pharma

  • Walmart

Are your favorite eyedrops on the list?

If the eyedrops you use are included in the recall, Dr. Howard strongly encourages you to immediately stop using them. It is also important to contact your doctor if you have symptoms of an eye infection after using any of these products. What’s more, do not purchase any that remain on store shelves.

“Any concerns about eye infections or other eye issues possibly connected to the use of these recalled drops should be reported by doctors and patients to the FDA through their online reporting site,” Dr, Howard says.

Additionally, you should talk with your eye doctor about which eyedrops would be a good alternative for you. “Your eye specialist can recommend specific name-brand drops as alternatives — often providing coupons and samples — to make it easier for you to find the recommended drops at the store or pharmacy,” Dr. Howard says.

If your eyedrops have been recommended — or prescribed — by a professional, Dr. Howard reports they are likely very safe to continue using, as long as they are not included on the recall list. “Regulations concerning name-brand products are tighter than generics, and most eye care providers prefer the use of specific brands,” she says.

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