FDA warns about contaminated eye drops

At least twenty eye drop products can cause eye infections that result in partial vision loss or blindness.

According to a new warning from the US Food and Drug Administrationcustomers should immediately stop using over-the-counter eye drops marketed under the brands CVS Health, Leader, Rugby, Rite Aid, Target Up&Up and Velocity Pharma.


What you need to know

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning for 26 over-the-counter eye drop products
  • The products may cause eye infections leading to partial vision loss or blindness
  • The affected products are marketed under the brands CVS Health, Leader, Rugby, Rite Aid, Target Up&Up and Velocity Pharma
  • FDA investigators found that the eye drops were manufactured in unsanitary facilities

Patients using such products and experiencing symptoms of an eye infection are urged to seek immediate medical attention or speak to a healthcare provider.

The FDA warning comes after the agency last week recommended recalls to the products' manufacturers following an investigation that revealed unsanitary manufacturing conditions and positive tests for bacteria. The FDA says eye drops must be sterile because applying them directly to the eyes bypasses the body's natural defenses.

The agency said it has not received any reports that the eye drops have caused infections.

While CVS, Rite Aid and Target have said they are removing the products from their stores and websites, eye drops from Leader, Rugby and Velocity brands may still be available both in stores and online.

Customers with the defective eye drops should do this dispose of them safely. The FDA recommends dropping them off at a drug collection point. If that is not possible, the FDA recommends checking the flush list to determine if it can be disposed of by flushing the toilet or if it can be thrown in with household waste.

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