Public Warned against Using Unregistered Eye Drops for Sore Eyes

A health watchdog cautioned the public against using eye drops that are not registered with the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).

The EcoWaste Coalition sounded the alarm after procuring an unregistered eye drop product costing P100 from a self-styled “eye doctor” who does his business at the sidewalk of Rizal Avenue in Santa Cruz, Manila.  

The product “Herbal Eye Drop Wild Sampaguita Extract,” which comes in small plastic bottle with blue cap and label,” supposedly cleanses and removes bacteria from the eyes.   

“With cases of sore eyes on the rise and with the supply of eye drops reportedly getting scarce, some sufferers may be tempted to use this product whose quality and safety is dubious,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.

“Given the proliferation of unregistered health products in the market, it’s important for consumers to know how to spot the untrustworthy eye drops,” he said.

Citing the “Herbal Eye Drop Wild Sampaguita Extract” as an example, Dizon cited the following as red flags that vigilant consumers should know about:  no manufacturer and/or importer information, no ingredients’ list, no instruction on usage and no precautionary statement.

Dizon pointed out that while the label indicated “BFAD No. FR 40738,” the product as per FDA website is not registered.

He added that although the label specified March 2016 as the expiration date, no information was provided on the product’s date of manufacturing and lot number.

The FDA had previously advised consumers “that the use of unregistered eye drops present safety risks and adverse health consequences.”

“The use of unregistered eye drops may result in inflammation, irritation, infection of the eye or loss of vision,” the FDA warned.

This year, the FDA issued several advisories banning the sale and use of the following unregistered eye drops mostly imported from India:

1.  Carboxymethyl Cellulose Sodium + Glycerin (Tearbright Plus) 10 mL Eye Drops

2.  CMD Eye Drop 15 ml.

3.  Gatifloxacin + Prednisolone Acetate (Gatsun-P) 5 mL Eye Drops

4.  Latanoprost Ophthalmic Solution (Latanobright) Eye Drops 2.5 mL

5.  Moxifloxacin Hydrochloride (Moxibright) 5 mL Eye Drops

6. Moxifloxacin Hydrochloride + Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate (Moxibright DM) 5 mL Eye Drops

7.  Moxifloxacin Hydrochloride (Occumox) 5 mL Eye Drops

8. Naphazoline Hydrochloride + Zinc Sulphate + Chlorpheniramine Maleate (Naphabright) Eye Drops 10 mL

9.   Olopatadine Hydrochloride (Patabright) Eye Drops 5 mL

10. Potassium Iodide + Calcium Chloride (Catabright Plus) Eye Drops 5 mL

“The abovementioned drug products pose potential danger or injury to the consuming public and the importation, selling or offering for sale of such is in direct violation of Republic Act No. 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009,” the advisories stated.

The EcoWaste Coalition on Saturday went drug store-hopping in Rizal Avenue near Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital in search of the above unregistered eye drops, and was relieved not to find them being sold in the area.