CDC Warns Against Popular Eye Drops that Could Cause Blindness

By Osborne & Francis
October 25, 2023

After a string of antibiotic-resistant infections was linked to EzriCare eye drops, the CDC warned eye drop users against using EzriCare Artificial Tears. The makers of EzriCare Artificial Tears have recalled their eye drops in the wake of this discovery. 

However, for some eye drop users, the damage has already been done. People who developed serious infections from using EzriCare Artificial Tears have incurred substantial medical bills, lost wages, and in some cases, become permanently blind.

Ezrica Artificial Tears users should immediately stop using this product and contact their doctor if they begin experiencing symptoms of an eye infection. The product liability lawyers of Osborne & Francis can help you pursue compensation for the costs related to your infection and treatments. 

To schedule a free consultation with our award-winning personal injury lawyers, you can reach us at (561) 678-0156 or contact our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando

EzriCare Artificial Tears Recalled Because of Infection Risk

Ezricare eyedrops have been recalled as a defective product. EzriCare Artificial Tears are typically used by people who have dry eyes as a result of allergies, excessive screen time, hormone changes, an autoimmune disease, or as a side effect of other medications. These eye drops are available over-the-counter in multi-use bottles from various retailers, including Walmart. 

In order to make up for an unhealthy tear film, Ezricare’s eye drops contain a 1% Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium solution that helps with tear production. EzriCare eyedrops are manufactured in India by Global Pharma Healthcare PVT Limited and designed and imported by Aru Pharma Inc. 

The makers of EzriCare Artificial Tears issued a voluntary recall on February 2nd, 2023, after the CDC investigation determined that eye drops were the common denominator between the multi-state cluster of infections. The CDC also issued a warning to consumers on January 20th, and the FDA has followed suit.

EzriCare Artificial Tears Cause an Eye Infection Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed specimens collected between May 2022 and January 2023, which allowed them to determine that infected patients used eye drops prior to becoming ill. Testing the EzriCare eyedrops involved collecting specimens from “sputum or bronchial wash (13), the cornea (11), urine (7), other nonsterile sources (4), and blood (2), and from rectal swabs (25)” by the CDC with the assistance of state health agencies. 

Thus far, the CDC has received reports of 55 cases of infection in 12 states. This multi-state cluster of antibiotic-resistant infections has been linked to the following:

  • Blindness
  • Hospitalization
  • Death from a bloodstream infection

Serious infections like these can also lead to sepsis and organ damage. Anyone who has used EzriCare Artificial Tears should be aware of the signs of eye infection and seek medical assistance immediately if they believe they may have been infected. You may have an eye infection if you are experiencing the following:

  • Fever
  • Dry or itchy eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Unusual discharge 
  • Pain, swelling, or redness around the eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to light 

What Pathogens are Causing the Eye Infections? 

The infections caused by EzriCare Artificial Tears are Verona Integron‐mediated Metallo‐β‐lactamase (VIM)‐ and Guiana‐Extended Spectrum‐β‐Lactamase (GES) producing carbapenem‐resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (VIM‐GES‐CRPA). The enzymes VIM and GES render antibiotics ineffective in the bacteria they produce.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa refers to the gram-negative bacteria that are responsible for the recent string of infections. Gram-negative bacterial infections are resistant to both standard antibiotics and ultra-strength antibiotics, a class of drugs known as carbapenem.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections are most commonly found in hospital settings, so the circumstances of this outbreak are already unusual. Furthermore, the CDC says that this specific strain has never been found in the U.S. before the outbreak triggered by defective Ezricare Artificial Tears.

How Are These Eye Infections Being Treated?

The EzriCare Artificial tears infections are carbapenem-resistant, so medical providers are extremely limited in their treatment options. Medical providers may attempt to use combination therapy, which relies on using two different antibiotics at the same time to attempt to manage an antibiotic-resistant infection. 

Alternatively, they may choose to try one of the few drugs available that have been designed to combat multi-drug-resistant infections. While new antibiotics are being developed to fight multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas infections, there are only two FDA-approved options: ceftazidime-avibactam (Avycaz) and ceftolozane-tazobactam (Zerbaxa). Infections that resist antibiotics remain a significant threat in healthcare settings.

Damages You May be Able to Recover in an EzriCare Eyedrop Lawsuit

EzriCare users who have developed serious and life-threatening infections may be entitled to receive compensatory damages for their losses. Plaintiffs in product liability claims may seek compensation for both special damages and general damages. 

Special damages are losses that have an established monetary value, such as the price of a course of antibiotics. General damages offer financial relief for emotional or intangible losses, like losing the ability to see. Additionally, plaintiffs may receive punitive damages, but those are intended as a deterrent for e negligent defendant rather than reimbursement for losses a plaintiff sustained.

Examples of Damages in an EzriCare Artificial Tears Lawsuit:

Medical expenses

  • Medication
  • Hospitalization

Job-related losses

  • Lost wages
  • Missed promotions
  • Reduced earning potential

Pain and suffering

Loss of quality of life

Wrongful death

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of services and support

Two EzriCare eyedrop users with similar injuries are not guaranteed the same settlement. What your Ezricare Artificial Tears claim is worth will depend on your ability to demonstrate how your losses have affected your life. The greater the impact, the more compensation you are likely to receive. 

For example, if a 25-year-old Uber driver loses their eyesight as a result of an antibiotic-resistant eye infection, they would likely receive more compensation than a 90-year-old person with cataracts living in a nursing home who also went blind due to an EzriCare eyedrop infection. 

A product liability attorney will be able to help you evaluate your damages and contextualize them to ensure maximum compensation.

How Osborne & Francis’ Defective Product Attorneys Can Help You

As your product liability attorney, it is our job to protect your right to seek compensation for your damages and negotiate to maximize your compensation. The EzriCare eyedrop attorneys of Osborne & Francis are accomplished negotiators in the area of product liability law with ample experience handling mass tort claims. 

We have recovered millions of dollars in damages for clients who were injured by the negligence of other individuals or companies. 

The personal injury lawyers of Osborne & Francis have earned a reputation as formidable negotiators based on our ability to persuade, provide compelling evidence, and protect the rights of our injured clients. 

We have served injured Floridians for over 5 years by managing communication with the other parties involved, investigating defective products, and demanding fair settlements.

At Osborne & Francis, we can offer you access to valuable resources, expert legal guidance, and a supportive team that understands the importance of recovering the full value of your claim. Our team is committed to maximizing compensation for our injured clients, and we are prepared to do the same for you in an Ezricare Artificial Tears lawsuit.

Contact Osborne and Francis to Discuss Your EzriCare Artificial Tears Claim

As a consumer, you should be able to trust FDA-approved, over-the-counter medical products, like EzriCare Artificial Tears. The qualified personal injury lawyers of Osborne & Francis have the legal knowledge and tenaciousness to ensure that the makers of this defective product are held accountable for their negligence. Our team will work tirelessly to secure a fair settlement on your behalf.

You don’t have to worry about being pressured into settling your claim for less than you deserve. Our trial attorneys won’t rest until they have negotiated a settlement that accurately reflects your damages, even if that means that we have to take a negligent manufacturer to court.

EzriCare eyedrop users who have developed antibiotic-resistant infections may be able to recover the cost of their medical bills, lost wages, and other damages like pain and suffering in a product liability lawsuit. To schedule a free consultation with a product liability lawyer, you can reach us at (561) 678-0156 or contact our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando. We look forward to reviewing your case and explaining the benefits of our services.

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