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The FDA has announced recall notices for two additional eye drops distributed by Pharmedica and Apotex. Pharmedica is recalling two lots of Purely Soothing 15% MSM eye drops due to problems that “could result in blindness.” These eye drops are sold as an over-the-counter product used to treat eye irritation. Additionally, Apotex is recalling six lots of prescription eye drops used to treat glaucoma. These drops were distributed as Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution 0.15% between April 2022 and February 2023. Anyone in possession of either of these products is advised to stop using them immediately and return them to the place where they were purchased.

How are EzriCare Artificial Tears harmful?

The CDC has issued a health alert regarding an unprecedented outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA), a bacteria resistant to certain antibiotics and can cause serious infections. Symptoms of CRPA eye infections may include:

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain or discomfort in the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Permanent vision loss

Testing conducted by the agency identified the presence of CRPA in opened bottles of EzriCare eye drops. Because EzriCare is preservative-free and can be used multiple times, the risk of bacterial overgrowth after opening may be higher. The over-the-counter treatment has been linked to at least 55 infections across the following twelve states:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Nevada
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

The outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa has also resulted in one death, as the infection entered the individual’s bloodstream.

The cluster of infections stems from a rare strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria: Verona Integron-mediated Metallo-β-lactamase (VIM) and Guiana-Extended Spectrum-β-Lactamase (GES)-producing carbapenem-resistant (VIM-GES-CRPA). This strain is so rare that the FDA has never seen it before in the United States. Because this strain is resistant to carbapenem antibiotics, a drug used to treat complex bacterial infections, it’s crucial to remove the product from the public. The condition will require more extensive care than a standard antibiotic, so removing the eye drops is urgently needed.

image of a group of microbes under a microscope

Have EzriCare eye drops been recalled?

On February 2, 2023, EzriCare’s manufacturer, Global Pharma Healthcare, issued a voluntary nationwide recall prompted by the FDA due to the company’s violations. These violations include formulation issues, a lack of appropriate microbial testing, and improper controls concerning tamper-evident packaging.

While the CDC continually investigates the issue, the agency urges discontinued use and for patients “who have used EzriCare preservative-free artificial tears and who have signs or symptoms of an eye infection [to] seek medical care immediately.”

Healthcare professionals and patients should report adverse events or quality issues to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program:

You can also report adverse reactions by contacting FDA’s Consumer Complaint Coordinators.

Filing an EzriCare Eye Infection Lawsuit

If you or a loved one suffered an eye infection and related complications using EzriCare Artificial Tears Lubricant, you might have a claim against the manufacturer. At Meyers & Flowers, our Chicago attorneys have extensive experience handling dangerous drugs and defective device claims, and we have the results to prove it. Contact our team here, or email us at [email protected], or call 888-841-1621 for your free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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