Urgent CDC Warning: Eye Drops Linked to 3 Deaths, Loss of Vision

The CDC is warning eye drops users of a rare bacterial infection from 2 brands of eye drops. The infection is resistant to antibiotics and has resulted in the loss of vision, loss of eyeballs and the death of 3 patients.

Updated 22 March 2023
Urgent CDC Warning: Eye Drops Linked to 3 Deaths, Loss of Vision
Key Finding

An outbreak of a deadly bacterial infection, which can cause both blindness and even death, has been confirmed by the CDC to be linked to two brands of eye drops. 

Key Risk

Consumers must take their own action to find and identify the potentially contaminated products, specifically the 'Artificial Tears' brand, in their homes. These products were available over the counter and consumers won't be contacted directly in the recall and must search for the contaminated products themselves. 

Sections on this page
  1. Importance of CDC Warning & What to Do Next
  2. How To Identify 'Artificial Tears' Eyedrops

Eye drops users have been issued a new warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about a rare and dangerous bacterial infection which has been detected in two brands of over the counter eye drops.

68 patients have now been identified across 16 states, with 3 confirmed deaths linked to the outbreak. 

The rare infection is resistant to most antibiotics making it difficult for medical professionals to treat and extremely dangerous to patients and their vision. 

The rare bacterial infection, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is typically caused from contaminated soil, has been found in two brands of eyedrops, causing loss of vision, loss of the eyeball and the loss of life in three people. 

The two particular eye drop brands identified by the CDC and FDA are EzriCare Artificial Tears and Delsam Pharma's Artificial Tears.

Both brands were officially linked to the outbreak by the CDC in February. Both eye drop brands are owned by Global Pharma. 

Ezricare have issued a Discontinue Use notice on their website for the Artificial Tears product and have issued a product withdrawal/recall with the FDA 

The bacteria are commonly found in water and soil and on people's hands. It is usually found in hospitals among people with weak immune systems, but this time, otherwise healthy people were also infected. The CDC expects more cases to be reported. The bacteria can cause infections in other parts of the body besides the eyes, and can even cause death if it gets into the bloodstream. 

Importance of CDC Warning & What to Do Next

It is extremely that consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to the use of these eye drops. All consumers should be vigilant as this product was available over the counter and did not require a prescription. 
For consumers, it is important to ensure that:
  1. All use of the impacted brands (i.e. Artificial Tears brand from EzriCare or DelsamPharma) is stopped immediately.  If you use any eye drops, you must check that the product is not listed currently by the FDA or CDC.
  2. If you are not a frequent user of eyedrops, it is important to search for any old bottles which might be in your house as these may be contaminated and will stay contaminated. 
  3. If you have any of the symptoms listed below, you must immediately contact your doctor or healthcare professional
  4. Participate in the recall with the manufacturer (see below)


If you have any of the following symptoms, it is vitally important to contact a health care provider. 
  • Yellow, green or clear discharge from the eye
  • Eye pain or discomfort
  • Redness of the eye or eyelid
  • Feeling of something in your eye (foreign body sensation)
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision
It is important to heed the CDC warning as the brand's own response page does not clearly acknowledge that the products have been officially linked to the outbreak by the CDC. EzriCare's website requires users to click through and read more.
On the EzriCare page, the company posted the following statement on 1 February 2023:
As of today, we are not aware of any testing that definitively links the Pseudomonas aeruginosa outbreak to EzriCare Artificial Tears. 
However on the same day of 1 February, 2023, the CDC conclusively wrote in a Health Advisory Alert that:
CDC laboratory testing identified the presence of the outbreak strain in opened EzriCare bottles with different lot numbers collected from two states.

For customers, it is important to know that this product was sold across the USA and did not require a prescription. Therefore doctors / retailers won't be contacting customers as part of the recall. Consumers must do their own work to find the contaminated bottles. 

The parent company, Global Pharma Healthcare, has said that it has informed its distributor network of the issue and of the official recall. 

The company says that customers who have the recalled product in their possesssion should stop use of the product. 

Artificial Tears website from EzriCare shows 'discontinue use' warning
EzriCare's site shows a 'discontinue use' warning

How To Identify 'Artificial Tears' Eyedrops

The ingredients for EzriCare's and De Artificial Tears are listed as follows:
  • Artificial Tears (carboxymethylcellulose sodium) Lubricant Eye Drops, 10 mg in 1 mL, ½ fl oz (15 ml)

Product Codes

  • Ezricare NDC 79503-0101-15, UPC 3 79503 10115 7
  • Delsam Pharma’s NDC 72570-121-15, UPC 3 72570 12115 8. 

Recall Information

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact the manufacturers. 


  • Phone: Dial 1-516-715-5181 for Aru Pharma/Ezricare, LLC 
  • E-mail: Contact Aru Pharma/Ezricare, LLC  at [email protected]

Delsma Pharma

Further information about the recall can be found at the FDA's website.


The two products impacted by the recall are shown below. 

Artificial Tears from EzriCare
Artificial Tears from EzriCare

Delsam Pharma's Artificial Tears packaging
Delsam Pharma's Artificial Tears packaging