We automatically assume our eye drops are sterile — but if they’re not, users could potentially catch
The eye drops, made by Altaire Pharmaceuticals, were voluntarily recalled by the company as a “precautionary measure.” Though Altaire claims they’ve received no reports of failed sterility tests or adverse reactions to the products, the recall notice warns:
“Administration of a non-sterile product intended to be sterile may result in serious and potentially life-threatening infections or death.”
It’s not clear why the products were recalled, but consumers with any Walgreens, Walmart, or CVS-brand eye drops should check the label and expiration date. Seventy-four “lots” — product batches — are being recalled from Walmart, along with 30 different CVS eye products, and five more from Walgreens. Perrigo-brand eye drops, which can only be purchased with a prescription, were taken off shelves, as well.
The potentially non-sterile drops could be labeled under any of the following names: Lubricant Eye Drops Moisturizing and Sodium Chloride Ophthalmic Ointment, 5% Hypertonicity Eye Ointment, Natural Tears Lubricant Eye Drops, Lubricant Eye Drops for Mild to Moderate Dry Eye, Dry Eye Relief Eye Drops, Extra Strength Lubricant Gel Drops, and Multi-Action Relief Drops. That’s a lot of dry eyes.
Since the drops were sold under four brands, and dozens of different names, it’s important to check the product number and expiration on each individual bottle. The recalled lot numbers and dates are listed in the Sources section below, with different links for Walgreens, Walmart and CVS.
Again, the recall isn’t due to any reports or tests — it’s voluntary on the part of the company. But if you or your child is a regular eye drop user, follow safety precautions and check your lot numbers.