The Washington Post reports on an on-going problem stemming from a drug resistant bacteria that has been found in eyedrops.
The outbreak began in January, 2023 and has infected at least 68 people in 16 states.
Shortly after the warning, EzriCare Artificial Tears, a preservative-free, over-the-counter product that many infected patients reported using, was recalled by its manufacturer.
Since then, several additional eye products have been taken off shelves, though not all are related to the bacterial infection. With millions of Americans turning to eyedrops every day — the vast majority of them safely — news of the illness and recalls has sparked concern and confusion.
Which eyedrops have been recalled?
At least four eyedrop products have been recalled:
Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears
Pharmedica USA’s Purely Soothing, 15% MSM Drops
Apotex’s Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution, 0.15%
Pharmedica USA in March recalled Purely Soothing, 15% MSM Drops out of concern that the product is not sterile. The drops have not been linked to illness, the company said.
Apotex Corp. recalled Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution, 0.15% “out of an abundance of caution” due to cracks in some of the bottles’ caps, which could affect the product’s sterility, the company said.
Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment, which has not been linked directly to illness, but was produced by Global Pharma Healthcare, the same manufacturer behind the Delsam Pharma’s artificial tears, has also been recalled.
What are the symptoms of eye infection to watch out for?
If you’ve used Ezricare and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears, look out for symptoms including yellow, green or clear discharge from the eye; eye pain or discomfort; redness of the eye or eyelid; a sensation that there is something in your eye; increased sensitivity to light; and blurry vision, according to the CDC.
The CDC instructs those who are experiencing such symptoms and have used either of the two eyedrops to seek medical care immediately. People not experiencing symptoms do not need to test for possible infection, it says.
A severe eye infection can feel similar to less threatening conditions such as dry eye disease and other autoimmune or inflammatory diseases of the eyes, experts caution. If you have any concerns then an eye exam would be a very good idea.
What is Pseudomonas aeruginosa?
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an aggressive bacterium that is found all over the environment, including in water, soil and human waste. It can enter eye drops through contamination with environmental agents during handling, experts say. The bacterium is resistant to most antibiotics and is particularly dangerous in health-care settings and for people with weakened immune systems.
In 2017, the United States saw about 2,700 deaths related to Pseudomonas aeruginosa and 32,600 cases in hospitalized patients, according to CDC estimates. The eyedrop-related strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa has not previously appeared in the United States, the CDC said.
Can legal action be taken?
While product liability cases involving medicines made in a foreign country can be difficult to prosecute, they are viable cases and will likely require an experienced personal injury attorney to handle. If you have questions or concerns regarding a product liability case involving medicine then first seek the medical care that you need and then please contact Wiener and Lambka, PS for a free consultation.
The complete article on this subject can be found here: