CDC investigates infections, 1 death over EzriCare eye drops
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges EzriCare Artificial Tears' providers and consumers to stop using the product after at least 55 infected people and 1 death appear to have used it.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging healthcare providers and consumers to stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears as it has launched an investigation into at least 55 infections in 12 states that have led to cases of permanent vision loss, hospitalization, and one death.
The majority of the infections have reported using at least one of more than 10 brands of artificial tears, but the majority used EzriCare’s product, according to the agency. As these eye drops are preservative-free, they don’t have ingredients to keep bacteria from growing.
Infections of the cornea, respiratory tract, intraocular fluids, and urinary tract, as well as sepsis, have been reported to the CDC.
Open EzriCare bottles have been tested and the results showed Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria that are resistant to a broad array of antibiotics. However, bacterial isolates that were tested against cefiderocol were susceptible to it.
The bacteria found could be the source of contamination either during use or during the manufacturing process, the CDC says. Unopened bottles are currently being tested.
After learning about the investigation, New Jersey-based EzriCare said in a statement that it “immediately took action to stop any further distribution or sale of EzriCare Artificial Tears. To the greatest extent possible, we have been contacting customers to advise them against the continued use of the product.”
The eye drops are made in India, and “we understand that the same product is also marketed under other brand names,” the company said.
The manufacturer, Global Pharma Healthcare PVT Limited, is working with the US Food and Drug Administration on a recall, EzriCare added.
The CDC has been urging healthcare providers and consumers to immediately stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears. Patients who use this product should be advised to be aware of any signs of infection.
Pseudomonas bacteria are common in the environment, such as in soil and water. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is usually spread in healthcare settings, the CDC said and is increasingly difficult to treat because of antibiotic resistance. It caused more than 32,000 infections in hospitalized patients and about 2,700 deaths in the US in 2017.