EzriCare eye drops
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging healthcare providers and consumers to stop using EzriCare artificial tears as they investigate at least 50 infections in 11 states that have resulted in cases of permanent vision loss, hospitalization, and one death.
Most people with these infections said they used artificial tears, and EzriCare was the most common brand, according to the agency. These eye drops are preservative-free, which means they contain no ingredients to inhibit bacterial growth.
Testing of opened EzriCare vials identified Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria resistant to carbapenem antibiotics as well as ceftazidime and cefepime antibiotics. Testing of unopened bottles is ongoing, the CDC says.
“The CDC recommends that clinicians and patients immediately discontinue use of EzriCare artificial tears until the epidemiological investigation and laboratory testing are complete,” the agency said.
New Jersey-based EzriCare said in a statement dated Jan. 24 that it had not received any consumer complaints or adverse event reports.
“We have not been asked to issue a recall. EzriCare does not manufacture the lubricating eye drops,” the statement read.
“Nevertheless, and with great caution, EzriCare recommends that, during this evolving situation, you discontinue the use of any servings of EzriCare Artificial Tear Lubricating Eye Drops that you may have until we can find out more details. on any potential security issues.”
Pseudomonas bacteria are common in the environment, such as in soil and water. Pseudomonas aeruginosa typically spreads in healthcare settings, according to the CDC, and is increasingly difficult to treat due to antibiotic resistance. It caused more than 32,000 infections in hospitalized patients and around 2,700 deaths in the United States in 2017.