The CDC urges health care providers to immediately stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears. They should advise their patients who use this product to watch for signs of infection and ask about product use in patients who have eye infections.
The CDC also advises consumers to stop using these EzriCare eye drops and to ask for alternative products if their health care provider recommended EzriCare.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a statement calling for the immediate discontinuation of the use of EzriCare Artificial Tears for dry eye treatment following reported infections across the country.
EzriCare Artificial Tears (carboxymethylcellulose sodium 10 mg) are preservative-free, over-the-counter (OTC), and dispensed in multi-dose bottles.
EzriCare Artificial Tears to be discontinued immediately
According to the CDC, review of common exposures among patients determined that the majority of patients had used artificial tears prior to infection, with EzriCare Artificial Tears being the most common brand reported.
The CDC reported permanent vision loss as a result of ocular infection, hospitalization, as well as the death of one patient (from a bloodborne infection).
The CDC says it received reports of infections of the cornea, intraocular fluids, respiratory tract and urinary tract, as well as sepsis.
Testing of open EzriCare bottles identified Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria that are resistant to a broad array of antibiotics: cefepime, ceftazidime, piperacillin-tazobactam, aztreonam, carbapenems, ceftazidime-avibactam, ceftolozane-tazobactam, fluoroquinolones, polymyxins, amikacin, gentamicin and tobramycin. However, bacterial isolates that were tested against cefiderocol were susceptible to it.
The bacteria in the open bottles could have come from contamination either during use or during the manufacturing process, the CDC says. Testing of unopened bottles is ongoing.
New Jersey-based EzriCare says in a statement that after learning about the investigation January 20, it “immediately took action to stop any further distribution or sale of EzriCare Artificial Tears. To the greatest extent possible, we have been contacting customers to advise them against continued use of the product.”
The eye drops are made in India, and “we understand that the same product is also marketed under other brand names,” the company says. The manufacturer, Global Pharma Healthcare PVT Limited, is working with the US Food and Drug Administration on a recall, EzriCare says.
Reference: CNN health