The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging the public to immediately discontinue use of EzriCare Artificial Tears, and said the eye drops could be linked to infections across the United States that have resulted in hospitalization, vision loss and one death.
EzriCare brand artificial tear eye drops are often marketed in a blue package with light blue dots on the front and “EzriCare” printed on the upper left. Bottles of EzriCare eye drops often are blue with a light blue top.
As of January 31, 2023, a total of 55 patients in 12 states were identified with infections caused by a strain of the extensively drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria between May and January. Most patients had used artificial tears before the onset of their condition, and CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating the infections. Patients reported more than 10 brands of artificial tears, and some patients used multiple brands. The majority of patients who used artificial tears reported using EzriCare Artificial Tears, a preservative-free product dispensed in multidose bottles. This was the only common artificial tears product identified across the four healthcare facility clusters.
While no cases have been identified to date in Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) encourages healthcare providers and residents to follow CDC’s recommendations. LDH has notified all providers. Below are recommendations for the public:
- Discontinue using EzriCare Artificial Tears pending additional guidance from CDC and FDA.
- If patients were advised to use EzriCare Artificial Tears by their healthcare provider, they should follow up with their healthcare provider for an alternative artificial tears product to use.
- Patients who used EzriCare Artificial Tears and who have signs or symptoms of an eye infection, such as discharge from the eye, eye pain or discomfort, redness of the eye or eyelid, feeling of something in the eye, increased sensitivity to light, or blurry vision, should seek timely medical care. At this time, CDC does not recommend testing of patients who have used this product and who are not experiencing any signs or symptoms of infection.