(956) 661-U-SEE | 661-8733
Dec 21
Tagged with: Eye Drops

Man applying eye drops

Millions of people use eye drops daily. Eye drops can moisturize the eyes, alleviate redness, and relieve itchiness and irritation. Unfortunately, if eye drops are manufactured or packaged in unsanitary conditions, they can harm the eyes rather than help them.

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that several eye drop brands posed a threat to consumers. In response, they issued a recall of numerous eye drop products. Here, Dr. Raul Peña of the Peña Eye Institute in Harlingen, TX, discusses the 2023 FDA eye drop recall, which brands to avoid, and what type of harm the defective eye drops can cause.

Which Eye Drop Brands Are Recalled?

In October, the FDA issued a warning to consumers not to purchase and to stop using 26 over-the-counter eye drop products. The recalled eye drops are marketed under several different name brands, including:

  • CVS Health
  • Leader (Cardinal Health)
  • Rugby (Cardinal Health)
  • Rite Aid
  • Target Up & Up
  • Velocity Pharma

Shortly after the initial recall, the FDA expanded the list to include the Equate Hydration PF Lubricant Eye Drop 10 mL sold by Walmart. In early November, several companies voluntarily recalled their eye drop products. Brands included in the voluntary recall are two Rugby Laboratories brand eye drops, six ophthalmic products branded as Leader, and eye drop products from the manufacturer Kilitch Healthcare India Limited.

Why Were the Eye Drops Recalled?

The FDA originally initiated the recall after finding unsanitary conditions in a manufacturing facility. They received positive bacterial test results from a sampling of critical drug production areas in the facilities, indicating that the eye drop products may be tainted. Since eye drops are intended to be sterile products, the recall was necessary to prevent harm and damage to consumers.

How Can Defective Eye Drops Harm My Eyes?

Eye drops are applied directly to the eyes, so they bypass some of the body’s natural defenses, thus heightening the risk of defective or non-sterile eye drops. The eye drops pose a substantial risk of eye infection. Depending on the extent of the infection, short- and long-term damage may include partial vision loss or blindness.

What Should I Do if I Think My Eyes Are Infected?

The longer an eye infection goes untreated, the more likely it is that permanent damage will occur. Individuals must recognize potential symptoms of an eye infection, which may include:

  • Eye pain
  • A feeling that something is stuck in the eye
  • Discharge from the eye (may be watery, yellow, green, or bloody)
  • Redness of the eye or eyelids
  • Itchiness
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Grey or white sore on the iris

Any of the abovementioned eye infection symptoms or any changes in the vision should be reported to an experienced eye doctor as soon as possible so the condition can be diagnosed and treated before permanent vision loss occurs.

Contact Us

If you have recently used eye drop products included in the 2023 FDA recall and are concerned about your eye health, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Raul Peña at your earliest convenience. To contact our eye care institute, send us a message online.

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