FDA Warning: Eye Drops Recall
Last updated: November 2023
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning for people not to buy certain eye drops. This warning comes after several eye drop makers began voluntary recalls of eye drop products in 2023. All of the eye drops being recalled are ones you can buy without a prescription (over-the-counter or OTC). And the recall applies across the United States.1
A recall is when the maker or a government agency takes a medicine or product off the market. Recalls happen because of a concern about a product’s safety or effectiveness.1
In the case of the eye drops recall, FDA investigators found unclean conditions in some of the factories that make these eye drops. The FDA warns that germs that get into eye-care products could lead to eye infections. These infections can cause partial vision loss or blindness.1
The current FDA warning comes after a previous phase of eye drop recalls. Earlier in 2023, the US Centers for Disease Control and FDA recalled EzriCare and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears products. A drug-resistant bacteria found in these products led to at least 4 deaths and serious eye issues in several other people.2
What does this mean for people with thyroid eye disease (TED)?
If you have thyroid eye disease (TED), this could affect which eye drop product you can use to relieve some of the symptoms linked to TED. Many people with TED find eye drops help their symptoms. But eye drops are not a cure for TED. And not everyone finds eye drops helpful.3
Which eye drops are being recalled?
So far, nearly 30 OTC eye-care products (including eye drops and gels) have been recalled. You can find the FDA’s list of the eye-care products here. These products are sold under the following brands:1
- CVS Health
- Leader (Cardinal Health)
- Rugby (Harvard Drug Group)
- Rite Aid
- Target Up & Up
- Velocity Pharma
Stores are working to remove these products from their shelves. You may still find eye drops branded under Leader, Rugby, and Velocity Pharma on store shelves. But you should not buy them.1
What you should do
If you have any symptoms of an eye infection after using eye-care products, stop using them immediately and call your doctor.1
If you have eye drops at home that are on the recall list, do not use them. Dispose of them immediately. The FDA has a video on how to properly discard medicine.1
If you have eye drops that are not on the recall list, the FDA says they are safe and fine to continue using.1
If in doubt, check with your doctor
If you are worried about the safety of your eye drops or are unsure if the eye drops you have are safe to use, check with your doctor. They will be able to tell you if the product you have is safe. And if not, they can recommend a safe product to use.
What in your life has TED impacted? (Select all that apply)