CDC warns against using EzriCare eye drops over bacteria concerns
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory Wednesday for the use of preservative-free EzriCare Artificial Tears to be discontinued nationwide.
The Rhode Island Department of Health said the product was linked to cases of a strain of extensively drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa across the country.
According to the CDC, Pseudomonas is a type of bacteria. Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause infections in the blood, lungs, and other body parts after surgery.
The product is sold over-the-counter at Walmart, Amazon, and numerous other retailers.
Although EzriCare Artificial Tears are not yet under an official recall, health officials and the product manufacturer have advised patients and healthcare providers to immediately stop using these eyedrops.
The CDC further explained that these bacteria have a way of successfully avoiding the effects of antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause.
These bacteria can become drug resistant when they develop resistance to several types of antibiotics.
In 2017, multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa caused around 32,600 infections among hospitalized patients and around 2,700 deaths in the U.S., the CDC reported.
Hospitalized people are at the largest risk of infection, especially people on breathing machines, with devices like catheters, or with wounds from surgery or burns.
For more information on EzriCare Artificial Tears or Pseudomonas aeruginosa, visit ri.gov or cdc.gov.