A company is recalling its over-the-counter eye drops that have been linked to an outbreak of drug-resistant infections, according to the U.S. health officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a health alert to doctors this week, stating that the outbreak included at least 55 people in 12 states. One person has died and at least five others have had permanent vision loss.
The infections were linked to the use of EzriCare Artificial Tears, a lubricant used to treat irritation and dryness. The eye drops are made in India by Global Pharma Healthcare and are sold under the name EzriCare in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended the recall of the product and another product, Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears, due to manufacturing problems such as lack of testing and proper controls on packaging. The agency also blocked the import of the product into the United States.
The infections were caused by the bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa and were diagnosed in patients in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. A person in Washington died with a blood infection.
The outbreak is particularly worrisome as the bacteria driving it are resistant to standard antibiotics. However, a newer antibiotic named cefiderocol seemed to work. The eye connects to the nasal cavity through the tear ducts, and bacteria can move from the nasal cavity into the lungs, leading to infections in the blood or lungs.
EzriCare, the company that markets the eye drops in the U.S., said it has stopped distributing the product and has a notice on its website urging consumers to stop using the product. However, the company is not aware of any evidence definitively linking the outbreak to the product.Source: AP News