Health Canada Announces Recall of Eye Drops for Possible Bacterial Contamination

Novartis (the distributor) is recalling a batch of Genteal Artificial Tears made by CIBA Vision Canada Inc., due to possible bacterial contamination.

The eye drops are sold over-the-counter throughout Canada and are used to relieve eye irritation or dryness.

Health Canada advises consumers to check the lot number on the bottle. The recalled bottles contain 25-milliliters and "Lot 51436" appears both on the top of the box and on front panel of the bottle. The Drug Identification Number is 02231289, and is located on the label and packaging.

According to the advisory issued by Health Canada: "Use of eye drops contaminated with bacteria may cause serious eye infection. People who are immune suppressed, such as those with HIV/AIDS, or who are undergoing chemotherapy or taking drugs which cause immune suppression may be at a higher risk for infection."

Consumers who may have used drops from the recalled batch, with an expiry date of 2008-08, and who experience symptoms of eye infection should seek medical attention. Symptoms include:

·    Redness.
·    Swelling.
·    Discharge.
·    Pain.
·    Itchiness.
·    Increased sensitivity to light.
·    Changes in vision.
According to Novartis, the product met all specifications, including sterility, before sale, but that the recall was occurring as a "precautionary measure based on a recent review of the production facility controls."

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