The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a deadly outbreak of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections from EzriCare Artificial Tears.
EzriCare Artificial Tears are preservative-free eye drops that were sold at Walmart and other stores nationwide.
At least 50 people were infected in 11 states, including one person who died. Many others were hospitalized or suffered permanent vision loss, according to the CDC.
Infections were reported in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Washington state, but more people may have been infected in other states.
Open bottles of EzriCare eye drops tested positive for Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria that were highly resistant to antibiotics, including carbapenem antibiotics as well as the antibiotics ceftazidime and cefepime.
The CDC recommends that clinicians and patients immediately stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears until the investigation is complete.
On February 1, EzriCare LLC posted an update on its website at https://ezricare-info.com/, claiming that “we are not aware of any testing that definitively links the Pseudomonas aeruginosa outbreak to EzriCare Artificial Tears.”
No recall has been issued as of February 1, but EzriCare said that a recall will be announced by Global Pharma Healthcare PVT Limited, the company that manufactures EzriCare Artificial Tears.
The products are labeled as EzriCare Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops (Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium, 10mg in 1mL) in ½ fl. oz (15mL) containers (NDC: 79503-0101-15), according to EzriCare.