FDA Issues Urgent Warning on Contaminated Copycat Eye Drops: Health Risks and Safety Concerns

In a recent announcement, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has raised a red flag concerning copycat eye drops, urging the public to exercise caution due to potential contamination and health risks.

The FDA specifically highlighted South Moon, Rebright, and FivFivGo eye drops, cautioning consumers about their packaging, which closely resembles that of Bausch + Lomb’s Limify brand eye drops—an over-the-counter product approved for redness relief.

Despite claims to address conditions such as glaucoma, which typically require prescription drugs or surgery, the copycat products pose a significant threat. The FDA conducted tests on samples of South Moon and Rebright eye drops purchased online. Shockingly, South Moon was found to be tainted with burkholderia cepacia complex, a group of bacteria capable of causing antibiotic-resistant infections. While Rebright did not show contamination, the FDA strongly advised against its use.

Moreover, the FDA’s testing revealed that South Moon and Rebright drops lacked brimonidine tartrate, the active ingredient found in authentic Limify eye drops. Unfortunately, samples of FivFivGo were not available for testing.

The origin of these copycat products remains unclear, prompting the FDA to intensify its ongoing investigation. The agency has received reports related to potentially fake Lumify eye drops, citing concerns about quality, eye irritation, pain, and infection. As a precautionary measure, the FDA advises consumers to purchase eye drops only from reputable retailers, such as state-licensed pharmacies.

This warning follows closely on the heels of a recent eye drop recall, during which 28 products were pulled from store shelves due to safety concerns. Investigators discovered unsanitary conditions at a manufacturing facility in India, prompting the recall. Last year witnessed a series of recalls related to eye drop products, with four deaths and multiple cases of vision loss linked to these incidents.

In light of these developments, it is crucial for consumers to stay informed, exercise vigilance, and prioritize purchasing eye care products from trusted sources to safeguard their eye health.

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