The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published recall notices for two popular brands of eye drops. One batch has a minor packaging problem — but the other could cause blindness. The agency is warning people to stop using these products immediately.
On March 2, the FDA announced a voluntary recall notice for six batches of Apotex Corporation’s Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution, which is used to treat some kinds of glaucoma. According to the company, cracks have been found in some of the bottle caps, meaning the contents might not be sterile. That means the drops could cause eye infections if used.
The next day the agency posted another voluntary recall, this time for two batches of Pharmedica USA’s Purely Soothing drops, which are used to reduce swelling and irritation. The contents of these are confirmed to be non-sterile; the FDA is warning that using them could cause “eye infections that could result in blindness.”
Anyone who has purchased either of these products is being warned to stop using them and contact their pharmacy or the manufacturer. If they’ve used them and are suffering from any symptoms, they should contact their physician.
It doesn’t seem to be a good year for eye drops. On February 21, the FDA warned that Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears and Artificial Eye Ointment suffered from “potential bacterial contamination,” which could cause blindness or death. The agency cited a list of manufacturing good practice violations by the company and said it was investigating an outbreak of infections that could be linked to the products. Fifty-five people were affected; one died.
So far, according to the FDA, nobody has been harmed by the two latest recalled eye drops — but if you use either of these, check the batch numbers against the FDA notices.