FDA says all homeopathic eye drops should be taken off the market

A lot of scary things have happened this year, but perhaps the most surprising of the 2023 horrors is eye drops.

In our current revolution around the sun, tiny, seemingly innocuous squeeze bottles have repeatedly made shocking headlines, including lengthy recall lists, alarming factory inspections, and reports of people suffering from near-inability to Horrifying reports of cured bacterial infections, loss of eyes and vision, and death. .

Reflecting on this unexpected health threat, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday issued an advisory titled “What You Should Know About Eye Drops” in hopes of preventing this year’s danger from spreading into next year. One thing worth noting from the regulator is this stern statement: No homeopathic ophthalmic product should be used by anyone, and every such product should be removed from the market.

This is surprising given that none of this year’s high-profile infections and recalls involved homeopathic products. However, it should be welcomed by any advocate of evidence-based medicine.

Homeopathy is an 18th-century pseudoscience that produces fake remedies that are no better than placebos and can be toxic or even fatal if not prepared properly. This approach relies on two false principles: the “Law of Similars,” also known as “like cures like,” meaning that a substance that causes specific symptoms in healthy people can treat conditions and diseases involving the same symptoms, and ” The law of like “infinitesimals”, which states that diluting a substance makes it more effective. Therefore, homeopathic products start with toxic substances, which are then often extremely diluted and forgotten during the ritual. Some homeopaths believe that water molecules can have “memories” ”.

Identify risks

In the United States, these products are marketed as legal treatments and sold alongside evidence-based treatments (although consumer advocates are working to change that). The reason this is currently allowed is due to a regulatory quirk: Under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, homeopathic products are generally exempt as long as the active ingredients in the product comply with the premarket safety and efficacy review of homeopathic products. It is believed that it can be exempted from FDA’s premarket safety and efficacy review. Listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia, which is a list of substances approved for homeopathy.

In recent years, though, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission have cracked down on homeopathic products. It appears from today’s advisory that the FDA is not blocking homeopathic products for the eyes. The regulator noted that any product targeting the eyes “poses a higher risk of harm” because the eyes are a highly immune-privileged part of the body. That is, the innate immune response is suppressed in the eye to prevent damaging inflammation that could threaten vision. “Any drug used in the eyes must be sterile to reduce the risk of infection,” the FDA said.

But it doesn’t seem to matter to the FDA whether homeopathic eye drops are labeled sterile. “Do not use ophthalmic products that are labeled as homeopathic as these products should not be marketed,” the regulator warns. Their lack of premarket safety and effectiveness review appears to be enough to warrant avoidance.

The FDA also warns consumers not to use any over-the-counter eye drop products that claim to treat glaucoma, cataracts, retinopathy, or macular degeneration because there are no actual treatments for these conditions. If an over-the-counter product claims this, you can assume it is fake and avoid use. Consumers should also avoid any products containing methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), which is illegally sold in the United States, and any products containing silver sulfate or silver, as they can permanently change the whiteness of your eyes.

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Image Source : arstechnica.com

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