Phoenix company recalls eye drops over contamination risk

Pharmedica is recalling two lots of Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops over problems "that could result in blindness."
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 11:23 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A Phoenix company is recalling potentially contaminated eye drops which, if used, could lead to serious issues including blindness, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Pharmedica USA LLC is recalling two lots of Purely Soothing 15% MSM eye drops. There have not been reports of injuries or illnesses related to the product, but the FDA advises that consumers stop using the drops immediately. It’s the latest in a series of recent recalls involving products for the eyes. Last week, Apotex announced a recall of six lots of Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution, 0.15%, used for patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The company said cracks in its bottle caps could lead to contamination.

In February, the FDA announced a sweeping recall of over-the-counter EzriCare and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears eye drops that were linked to an outbreak of drug-resistant infections. One person died and eight others suffered vision loss, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The agency said testing of unopened bottles of EzriCare Artificial Tears will help determine whether contamination occurred during manufacturing.

“Preservative-free vials tend to be a little bit more at risk for this setback that we’ve seen,” said Dr. Dave Patel, an Ophthalmologist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. “I’ve yet to see anything with the bottled version lead to an infection.” Preservative-free eye drops are typically used by people who require more frequent eye drop use. “Those come in single-use or limited use,” Dr. Patel said, “And they don’t have the protection of keeping it sterile while it’s opened.”

The doctor said he is worried that some patients are trying to stretch the number of uses they get out of a single vial or dropper. “I know some patients with cost limitations want to save a little for a later time,” he said. “If you are using a vial or a preservative-free, maintain isolation. Don’t put it in a cluster of things or your pocketbook or your purse because that’s where the potential risk for contamination occurs. I would use it and try to stay on the label. Use it once and discard the unused product. That way, you’re always going to get a fresh drop which is sterile.”

If you have used the recalled drops and have questions or persistent pain or redness of the eye, consult your doctor.