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Serious eye-drop recall hits CVS, Walgreens, Walmart: Here’s what to know

Serious eye-drop recall hits CVS, Walgreens, Walmart: Here’s what to know
[Photo: Lars Andreas/Wikimedia Commons]

If you regularly use eye drops, you’re going to want to check your stash.

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Eye drops sold at Walgreens, Walmart, and CVS are being recalled because of concerns that they may not be sterile. If the idea of putting nonsterile drops directly into your eyeballs doesn’t sound all that serious, it very much is according to the recall notice: “Administration of a non-sterile product intended to be sterile may result in serious and potentially life-threatening infections or death.”

The products in question were made by Altaire Pharmaceuticals, which issued a voluntary recall for the eye drops, noting that the recalls are being labeled a “precautionary measure” and that “Altaire has received no reports of adverse events, nor has Altaire obtained any out of specifications results including sterility testing . . . for the products.”

The recall was first made for eye drops sold as Walgreens and Walmart store-brand products and Perrigo prescription ophthalmic ointments. Yesterday it was extended to include CVS Health–branded products.

The list of products being recalled is extensive: Altaire is recalling 74 lots from Walmart, five different products from Walgreens, including Lubricant Eye Drops Moisturizing and Sodium Chloride Ophthalmic Ointment, 5% Hypertonicity Eye Ointment, and 30 different products and various lots from CVS, including those sold under the names 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.

There are so many eye-related products on the recall list that the easiest thing is to check your medicine cabinet and compare the eye drops and ointments to the affected lots, expiration dates, and sizes on the recall notice. Check here for Walgreens, here for Walmart, and here for CVS Health–branded products.

Consumers with questions about the recall can contact Altaire Pharmaceuticals by calling 1-800-258-2471 or emailing otcdruggist@aol.com. Yes, aol.com.

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