Why Are So Many Eye Drops Being Recalled Right Now?
As allergy season approaches, you may find yourself reaching for a bottle of artificial tears to relieve dry eyes way more than usual. First, though, you may want to check your medicine cabinet to see what brand you’re turning to for relief: Two kinds of eye drops—made by pharmaceutical companies Apotex Corp. and Pharmedica USA LLC—have recently been voluntarily recalled due to concerns the products aren’t sterile, per the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This comes hot on the heels of a CDC warning against using eye drops made by EzriCare, which were found to be contaminated by drug-resistant bacteria and recalled just last month. The EzriCare drops were linked to infections of the eye, urinary tract, and bloodstream; permanent vision loss; hospitalization; and even one death, as SELF previously reported.The recalled Pharmedica drops are called Purely Soothing, 15% MSM Drops, and the exact reason the product is being pulled from shelves was not given. (Cool!) A statement from the FDA said only that the company had concerns over “non-sterility.” As of March 3, there were no reports of illness or injury related to the Purely Soothing drops.The Apotex product, called Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution, 0.15%, is being recalled due to a manufacturing problem, per the FDA statement: Some of the bottle caps have developed cracks, which can lead to contamination of the eye drops. There haven’t been any reports of adverse events connected to the eye drops, per the Associated Press, but if they’re being recalled, you should probably throw them away nonetheless.If you have either of these products in your home, check them for the below lot numbers and universal product codes (UPC):Purely Soothing, 15% MSM DropsSize: 1 oz. Lot number 2203PS01. UPC: 7 31034 91379 9.Size: ½ oz. Lot number 1808051. UPC: 7 31034 91382 9.Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution, 0.15%Size: 5 mL. Lot numbers: TJ9848; TJ9849; TK0258; TK5341. UPC on bottle: (01)0(03) 60505056415. UPC on carton: 360505056415.Size: 10 mL. Lot number: TK0261. UPC on bottle: (01)0(03) 60505056422. UPC on carton: 360505056422.Size: 15 mL. Lot number: TK0262. UPC on bottle: (01)0(03) 60505056439. UPC on carton: 360505056439.If your eye drops are labeled with the above information, stop using them immediately. If you happen to have the recalled Pharmedica drops, you can return them to the store where you bought them, per the FDA statement. Apotex suggests that people who have used their recalled product contact their health care provider for medical advice and contact Inmar Rx Solutions at 1-855-275-1273 to make arrangements to return the eye drops.Always check the expiration date on products you’re using near and in your eyes, too. As a rule of thumb, most pharmaceutical companies recommend throwing away and replacing your eye drops 28 days after you open them, so it’s good to do a spring cleaning of your supply if it’s been a while, no matter what brand you use. The last thing you need this spring is to run into a product that will make matters worse—a simple peek into your medicine cabinet might help protect your peepers from both allergies and, potentially, more serious eye issues.Related: