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CDC Calls for Discontinued Use of Eye Drops with Possible Link to Deadly Bacteria

The maker of EzriCare Artificial Tears has announced a recall of the over-the-counter product.




The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week announced it is investigating an alarming rise in Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections across multiple states.

The cause could be connected to the use of over-the-counter eye drops. In particular, the CDC has advised the immediate suspension of use of EzriCare Artificial Tears.

The CDC has identified 55 cases across 12 states of the rare form of the highly drug-resistant bacteria P. aeruginosa. The agency has been collecting samples since May 2022. The infections occurred in patients’ lungs, eyes, urine, and/or blood. Some were infected in more than one area.

The infections have resulted in one death, some hospitalizations, and vision loss in five of the 11 patients who had eye infections. Thirty-five cases are associated with four healthcare facility clusters. The states with confirmed cases include CA, CO, CT, FL, NJ, NM, NY, NV, TX, UT, WA and WI.

According to the CDC, most patients reported using artificial tears prior to infection. More than 10 different brands of eye drops were named, with some patients using multiple brands. However, EzriCare Artificial Tears were reportedly used by a majority of those infected.

Subsequent CDC testing “identified the presence of the outbreak strain in opened EzriCare bottles with different lot numbers collected from two states,” according to a CDC health alert dated Feb. 1.


The maker of EzriCare Artificial Tears has since announced a recall of its product.

“EzriCare, LLC first received notice of the CDC’s ongoing investigation into a multistate cluster of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections on January 20, 2023. As of today, we are not aware of any testing that definitively links the Pseudomonas aeruginosa outbreak to EzriCare Artificial Tears. Nonetheless, we immediately took action to stop any further distribution or sale of EzriCare Artificial Tears,” wrote the company in a press release dated Feb. 2.

EzriCare Artificial Tears is manufactured in India by Global Pharma Healthcare PVT Limited.

The CDC recommends that patients who have been advised to use the product should talk with their health care provider about an alternative. For now, the CDC is not recommending testing patients who have used this product but are not experiencing any signs of infection.


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