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Eye drops from CVS and Walgreens are being affected by the recall. Getty Images
  • Altaire Pharmaceuticals expanded its voluntary recall of multiple eye drops and other products.
  • It has also recalled a variety of products sold by CVS.
  • The products are being recalled over concerns they may not be sterile, but no injuries have been reported.
  • Non-sterile eye drops could lead to a painful or even dangerous infection from bacteria or fungi.

Altaire Pharmaceuticals Inc. has expanded its voluntary recall of eye drops and other products.

It had already announced a recall of 30 types of over-the-counter eye drops sold by CVS over concerns that the products may not be sterile.

Between July 15 and 17, Altaire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. issued three more recall notices on several batches of prescription and over-the-counter eye drops and ointments over sterility concerns.

The recall comes a week after a handful of Altaire eye drops and ophthalmic ointments sold at Walgreens and Walmart were taken off the shelves due to sterility issues.

The recalls have been described as a precautionary measure. No illnesses or adverse side effects have been linked to any of the affected products so far, the company announced via the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last Wednesday.

If you bought any of the eye drops, however, you’ll want to avoid using them as they could cause serious infections or even death, according to the FDA.

“Use of non-sterile eye drops can be dangerous because this will introduce bacteria and other organisms, including fungi [and] acanthamoeba, into the eye. This can cause an infection to develop particularly in contact lenses wearers or in patients with compromise of the ocular surface, including patients with dry eye, lid infections, and diabetes,” Dr. Luciano Del Priore, the chair of Yale Medicine’s department of ophthalmology, told Healthline.

The new lots of recalled items include OCuSOFT ophthalmic solutions, eye drops, and ointments along with several style, pink eye, allergy, and cataract eye products sold under the brand name Natural Ophthalmics and TRP Company, Inc.

They also include various types of eye wash, ophthalmic solutions, and eye ointments labeled by Altaire.

The company has now issued seven recalls over a potential non-sterility issue.

Other recalled drops include those manufactured for and sold exclusively at CVS, dating back to 2016.

You can find the full list of the affected eye drops from CVS here. They include:

  • CVS Health Natural Tears Lubricant Eye Drops Preservative Free
  • CVS Health Lubricant Eye Drops for Mild to Moderate Dry Eye
  • CVS Health Dry Eye Relief Eye Drops
  • CVS Health Preservative Free Lubricant Eye Drops Sensitive Solution
  • CVS Health Preservative Free Lubricant Gel Drops Dry Eye Relief
  • CVS Health Lubricating Gel Drops for Anytime Use
  • CVS Health Overnight Lubricating Eye Ointment
  • CVS Health Lubricant Eye Ointment
  • CVS Health Extra Strength Lubricant Gel Drops
  • CVS Health Fast Acting Lubricant Eye Drops Dry Eye Therapy
  • CVS Health Preservative Free Lubricant Eye Drops Sensitive Solution
  • CVS Health Preservative Free Lubricant Eye Drops Advanced Relief
  • CVS Health Lubricant Eye Drops Advanced Relief
  • CVS Health Fast Acting Lubricant Eye Drops Preservative Free
  • CVS Health Preservative Free Lubricant Eye Drops Fast Acting
  • CVS Health Lubricant Gel Drops-Moderate to Severe Dry Eye Relief
  • CVS Health Multi-Action Relief Drops
  • CVS Health Lubricant Eye Drops Lasting Dry Eye Relief
  • CVS Health Maximum Redness Relief Eye Drops
  • CVS Health Redness Relief
  • CVS Health Lubricant Eye Drops Multi-Symptom Eye Relief
  • CVS Health Lubricant Eye Ointment Sensitive Formula

The other affected batch of eye drops were also produced by Altaire and sold under the brand names Walgreens, Perrigo, along with Equate and Support Harmony.

They included moisturizing eye drops, sodium chloride ophthalmic ointment and solution, allergy relief eye drops, and lubricant eye ointment.

Using eye drops contaminated with pathogens, like bacteria or fungi, can lead to serious infections of the eye.

“Most commonly, this would be in the form of an infectious corneal ulcer. This can lead to serious adverse effects including scarring and impairment of visual function,” says Dr. Edward Manche, a cornea specialist and the director of the cornea and refractive surgery service at Stanford Health Care.

Some of the early signs and symptoms that you may be developing a corneal infection include redness, discharge, pain, and blurred vision, according to Manche.

Some people may also experience sensitivity to light, swelling around the eyelids, and excessive tearing.

If you notice any of these symptoms after using the recalled drops, contact an eye doctor immediately.

They can conduct an eye exam and determine if you may have a corneal ulcer. If you do, they’ll typically prescribe an antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral eye medication — depending on the type of pathogen involved.

According to Manche, sterility issues can be caused by a variety of reasons.

For example, there may have been a failure to follow proper manufacturing procedures or there may have been a breach in production when the drugs were manufactured.

“The manufacturer and regulatory agencies will have to determine where the problem is and how to rectify it before they can be allowed to restart production for sale to consumers,” Manche said.

Altaire is currently working to ensure the safety and sufficiency of quality assurance controls in its manufacturing facility, the company stated.

If you experience any adverse reactions after using the drops, be sure to report it to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.

Doing so will help the FDA continue safety surveillance of the affected eye drops and eye ointments.

Altaire Pharmaceuticals Inc. has recalled several types of over-the-counter and prescription eye drops and ointments due to a possibility sterility issue.

Those who bought the affected products should avoid using them, as non-sterile eye drops could cause serious infections and even death.

While it’s unclear what has caused the sterility issue, the company is working to ensure all products and manufacturing processes are safe and up to code.