Put down those eye drops! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently warned that 26 over-the-counter eye drop products, including those sold in CVS, Target, Rite Aid and Walmart, could lead to severe side effects. The FDA says the affected eye drops hold “the potential risk of eye infections that could result in partial vision loss or blindness.” The full list of products, mostly comprised of store brand’s like Up & Up and Rite Aid Health, can be viewed here.
The FDA recommended the manufacturer of these products recall them after an investigation found “insanitary conditions” in the manufacturing facility. Bacterial tests came back positive from environmental sampling of areas in the facility.
CVS, Rite Aid and Target have confirmed they will remove these products from stores. Some retailers may still have them available but do not purchase them. If you already have them in your possession, discard them immediately.
Ophthalmic drug products pose a heightened risk of harm since “drugs applied to the eyes bypass some of the body’s natural defenses,” the FDA explains. The FDA has yet to receive any adverse reports of eye infections linked to these products. If you have signs or symptoms of an eye infection after using these products, seek medical care.