A rare strain of bacteria has been found in the recalled eye drops and is linked to dozens of infections, as well as cases of vision loss, surgical removal of eyeballs and one death, reports the CNN.
The eye drops called Artificial Tears (artificial tears) from Global Pharma Healthcaredistributed by EzriCare and Delsam Pharma, were first withdrawn from the market in early February.
In an update this week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified 68 patients in 16 states with infections with a rare strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa drug resistant that has never been seen before in the United States. Most of the patients reported using artificial tears, the CDC reports. Although patients reported using different brands, EzriCare’s were the most reported.
Loss of vision, removal and one death
Side effects reported through March 14 include corneal, bloodstream, respiratory, and urinary tract infections. There is eight reports of vision loss and four reports of surgically removed eyeballs. Previously it was reported at least a related death with these cases.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC have urged consumers to stop using the recalled products.
“Patients who have used artificial tears from EzriCare or Delsam Pharma and who have signs or symptoms of an eye infection should seek medical attention immediately,” the CDC states. The symptoms may include yellow, green, or clear discharge from the eye; pain or discomfort; redness of the eye or eyelid; sensation of having something in the eye; increased sensitivity to light and blurred vision.
Global Pharma initiated a voluntary recall last month, with the FDA recommending the recall due to manufacturing violations, including a lack of proper microbial testing and packaging in multi-use bottles.
In addition to Artificial Tears, the FDA recommended on February 22 that Global Pharma recall Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment due to concerns about possible bacterial contamination, to which the company agreed.