Bausch and Lomb, maker of the contact lens solution ReNu with MoistureLoc, withdrew its product on April 13, 2006, along with the recommendation that people immediately stop using ReNu with MoistureLoc because of a possible link between the product and the development of fusarium keratitis, a serious fungal eye infection. If left untreated, this infection may result in blindness.
Federal Health Agency Action
In addition to the withdrawal of ReNu with MoistureLoc, there is a continuous investigation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) of the fungal eye infection in users of contact lenses in order to find out what factors contributed to risk.
Fungal Eye Infections – “Fungal (Fusarium) Keratitis”
Fusarium keratitis is a fungal infection that affects the cornea. Factors that are likely to cause such infection include contact with the cornea by a fungal-causing material, and in rare occasions, the use of contact lens.
The CDC says that there is a probable link between the use of soft contact lenses and the development of fungal keratitis. There is an estimated 30 million users of soft contact lenses in the US and there is about 4-21 cases of fungal keratits for every 10,000 users of soft contact lens. The infection is more prevalent in warm climates. Fusarium Keratitis cannot be transmitted from one person to another and is not contagious.
Fusarium Keratitis symptoms may vary in severity, but the following are the most common symptoms of the infection:
- Pain or inflammation in the eye
- Unusual sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
- Eye watering or tearing
If you are contact lens user and you are experiencing these symptoms, go to your eye care professional as soon as possible.
Treatment for fungal keratitis includes anti-fungal medications such as those in pill or eye drops. It should be started as soon as the infection manifests. There are those who may not respond to the mentioned treatment and may require surgery, including corneal transplant.
Eye Care Advice for Contact Lens Users
The FDA recommends the following for eye care for contact lens users:
- Stop using Bausch & Lomb “ReNu with MoistureLoc” products and discard all remaining MoistureLoc solution including partially used or opened bottles.
- Consult your eye care professional concerning use of an appropriate alternative cleaning/disinfecting product.
- Consider performing a “rub and rinse” lens cleaning method, rather than a no rub method, regardless of which cleaning/disinfecting solution used, in order to minimize the number of germs and reduce the chances of infection.
Follow proper lens care practices:
- Wash hands with soap and water, and dry (lint-free method) before handling lenses.
- Follow the specific lens cleaning and storage guidelines from the doctor and the solution manufacturer.
- Keep the contact lens case clean and replace every 3-6 months.
- Wear and replace lenses according to the schedule prescribed by the doctor.
If you experience any symptoms such as redness, swelling, discharge, pain, blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light, or tearing, consult with your doctor as soon as possible.
ReNu with MoistureLoc: Getting Legal Help
Even if most medicines are expected to have side effects, it is the duty of the manufacturer of these medicines to inform the medical community and the public of known risks associated with the drugs they produce. Failure to give adequate warning to the public and the medical community of the dangers of the drug makes the manufacturer liable under product liability for any injury that may be caused by their product.
If you or your loved one has suffered any of the dangerous symptoms or unusual reaction after taking ReNu with MoistureLoc, go to your doctor or the hospital as soon as possible. You may also consider consulting with an experienced attorney in order to get more information regarding your rights and possible remedies for the injuries you suffered because of the use of ReNu with MoistureLoc.