Consumer Watchdog

Warning on eye drops expands: Now 27 brands and types could cause blindness

Contaminated eye products are especially dangerous because they bypass some of the body’s natural defenses.

Courtesy of FDA | Public Domain

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Monday night expanded its warning about contaminated eye drops that could cause blindness. A 27th product was added and will be pulled from store shelves.

The affected products are sold under brands including CVS Health, Rite Aid, Target Up&Up, Equate (Walmart,) Velocity Pharma and Leader and Rugby, both of which come from Cardinal Health.  The FDA last week asked the manufacturer to recall the affected eye drops; that hasn’t happened yet as of Oct. 31. Most of the retailers involved have agreed to pull the products off shelves and websites, but that doesn’t help people who already purchased them.

The FDA doesn’t have the authority to issue mandatory recalls of over-the-counter medications; bills have been introduced in Congress to change this.

This warning, which could expand further, follows three separate recalls of eye drops this year. One was linked to four deaths and 14 cases of vision loss, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Contaminated products that people put in their eyes are especially dangerous because that delivery method can “bypass some of the body’s natural defenses,” the FDA said. No injuries connected to these 27 products have been reported yet.

See our statement on this FDA warning.

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