A Popular Brand of Eye Drops Was Recently Recalled—Here’s What You Should Know

Updated: Feb. 08, 2023

One brand of over-the-counter eye drops has been linked to a dangerous bacterial infection, according to the CDC.

For anyone with dry eyes, contacts or other persistent eye conditions, artificial tears—more commonly known as eye drops—are essential. It stands to reason, then, that when the CDC released a statement warning of an infectious and drug-resistant bacteria outbreak associated with eye drops on Wednesday, Feb. 3, panic ensued.

Before you rush to throw out your eye drops, here’s everything you need to know about the outbreak, including why eye drops are being affected, which brands of eye drops have been recalled, and what you can do if you have used these eye drops.

Which eye drops have been recalled?

On Thursday, Feb. 4, Global Pharma Healthcare officially recalled both Ezricare eye drops as well as Delsam Pharma brand eye drops nationwide, due to potential bacteria contamination.

Ezricare eye drops are preservative-free, meaning that they are typically gentler on patients who must take eye drops multiple times per day, but have fewer of the bacteria-fighting preservatives of other brands.

Why are these eye drops being recalled?

The bacteria in question is called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Between May 2022 and January 2023, 55 people in 12 states were identified as being infected with this bacteria. Some of those patients lost their vision and one person died. Notably, the CDC estimates that in 2017, this bacteria caused approximately 2,700 deaths and 32,600 hospitalizations.

The FDA and CDC are still investigating, but the majority of the recently affected individuals had used eye drops, indicating a potential link. Those that used eye drops cited using up to 10 different brands and sometimes used a combination. However, most reported using the brand EzriCare Artificial Tears.

EzriCare has claimed that it is “not aware of any testing that definitively links” the bacteria to the brand, however, it “immediately took action to stop any further distribution or sale” of the eye drops once it became aware of a potential link.

At this time, investigators at the CDC and FDA are not yet sure at what stage in the process (from manufacturing to use) the eye drops were potentially contaminated.

What are the CDC’s recommendations if I have these eye drops?

First things first—if you use EzriCare Artificial Tears or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears, stop immediately. Throw out the products, regardless of the expiration date. Affected boxes of eye drops will show the following codes:

  • EzriCare: NDC 79503-0101-15 and UPC 3 79503 10115 7
  • Delsam Pharma: NDC 72570-121-15 and UPC 72570-0121-15

Second, if you notice any symptoms of eye infection—such as eye pain, itchiness, discharge, blurry vision or increased sensitivity—report these problems to the FDA and see a doctor immediately.

Finally, if you have any lingering questions about the recall, contact EzriCare and Delsam Pharma at the below phone numbers or emails:

EzriCare Contacts

Phone: (518) 738-7602

Email: [email protected]

Delsam Pharma Contacts

Phone: (866) 826-1309

Email: [email protected]

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