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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Eye experts urge caution after FDA recalls dozens of eyedrop brands

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Monday, November 6, 2023   

As the Food and Drug Administration warned more than two dozen over-the-counter eyedrops could potentially cause infection, partial vision loss and blindness, medical experts in the Commonwealth are urging residents to toss out and report suspected products to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event portal.

Dr. Richard Eiferman, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Louisville, explained the FDA requires a preservative be added to all eyedrops, and the recalled products either lacked the preservative or it was ineffective, leading to contamination. He said anyone experiencing pain, discharge and decreased vision after using drops should seek immediate medical attention.

"If you have an infection in the eye, bacteria can double every 20 minutes," Eiferman pointed out. "You've got a gazillion organisms in a very short period of time, and it can absolutely overwhelm the eye and cause a blinding infection."

The recalled products include eyedrops under the brands CVS Health, Leader and Rugby, Rite Aid, Target, Up & UP, and Velocity Pharma. The FDA said major chain stores, including CVS, Rite Aid and Target, are removing the products from their shelves and websites. Cardinal Health has voluntarily recalled six Leader brand drops, and Harvard Drug Group has voluntarily recalled two Rugby brand eyedrops.

According to the FDA, investigators found unsanitary conditions and positive bacterial test results after sampling production areas in a facility linked to the suspected brands. Eiferman believes the problems stems from retailer supply chains.

"What's happening is that these chains are buying off these off-label drops and putting their own label on them," Eiferman noted. "That seems to be the origin of these infections."

Before tossing recalled products into the trash, consumers should check to see if they are included on the FDA's "flush list."


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