Pharmedica USA is recalling its Purely Soothing 15% MSM eye drops, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The recall notice warns consumers that the product is non-sterile, meaning it may contain germs and bacteria, and that using it might permanently damage their retina. It is the third over-the-counter eye drop brand to be recalled this year.
Pharmedica has advised customers to immediately stop using its product, which it says can cause blindness. People who bought the product are encouraged to return it for a refund.
"Use of contaminated eye drops can result in the risk of eye infections that could result in blindness," according to Pharmedica's Feb. 3 recall notice.
Pharmedica, a privately held company based in Arizona, said in the recall that it has not received reports of any illnesses related to the drops.
Purely Soothing is used as an anti-inflammatory remedy to help with eye irritation or swelling. The product has been sold worldwide via e-commerce sites like Amazon, Pharmedica said. The drops come in white, cylindrical bottles with eye-dropper caps and a white lid. The Lot Numbers and UPC codes of the recalled products are:
- Lot Number: 2203PS01, 1 oz, UPC 7 31034 91379 9;
- Lot Number: 1808051, ½ oz, UPC 7 31034 91382 9
The FDA warned Americans on February 2 against using Delsam Pharma's Artificial Eye Ointment, an over-the-counter eye drop from Global Pharma Healthcare of India. The product has been linked to a bacterial outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause eye infections for people who wear contact lenses, among other illnesses.
Global Pharma is the same manufacturer behind the EzriCare Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops, which were also
Symptoms of an eye infection can include discharge, eye pain or discomfort, redness of the eye or eyelid, the feeling of something in the eye, as well as increased sensitivity to light or blurry vision.
As of Tuesday, the Centers for Drug Control and Prevention said 64 patients across 13 states have reported being infected by Pseudomonas aeruginosa after using more than 10 different brands of artificial tears, including EzriCare and Delsam. The CDC also reported eight cases of customers losing their vision.
At least 16 patients have been hospitalized for eye infections linked to recalled drops, a CDC spokesperson told CBS News. Five were permanently blinded and one had to have an eyeball surgically removed. A male patient died in Washington state after the infection spread to his bloodstream.
Most cases linked to the outbreak involved eye drops purchased online before the recall. One customer reported buying EzriCare at a Costco warehouse.
Delsam and EzriCare are still listed for sale on several websites including Amazon. The products rank among the top 50 best-selling "dry eye relief" products on the site.
Consumers with questions concerning the Purely Soothing 15% MSM recall can contact Pharmedica online at email@example.com or by calling (623) 698-1752 Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 a.m and 5 p.m. Mountain time. Consumers experiencing any health issues that might be related to their use of the products should contact a physician or health care provider.
Alex Tin contributed to this report.
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