FDA warns consumers against using 26 eye drop products because of infection risk

Federal regulators are warning consumers to stop using a number of over-the-counter eye drops that may pose an infection risk, marking the latest of several alerts this year against artificial tears.

The notice applies to 26 eye drop products marketed under several store brands, such as CVS Health, Rite Aid and Target Up & Up, in addition to the Leader, Rugby and Velocity Pharma brands, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday. The eye drops may contain bacteria that could cause eye infections, potentially blinding them, the agency said.

The FDA said it has not received any reports of infections from consumers who have used the suspect products. However, the agency is recommending that manufacturers pull all potentially contaminated products from store shelves.

According to the FDA, federal investigators found harmful bacteria and “insanitary conditions” at a manufacturing facility where several eye drop products are produced.

The agency urged consumers who have purchased the potentially contaminated eye drops to discard them. The FDA said that consumers who think they have suffered an adverse reaction to the lubricants should report their concerns to the agency’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.