By guest blogger Michael Cohen:
Ciba Vision, the company that makes Clear Care® Cleaning and Disinfecting Solution for contact lenses, informed us this week that they have been in communication with FDA regarding updates to the container warning system for their product. Seeing all multipurpose cleaning and disinfecting contact lens solutions in look-alike containers, stored side-by-side on store shelves, some contact lens wearers have assumed that the Clear Care product can be used in the same way as others. Not so. Clear Care contains 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, which causes severe burning if used directly in the eyes or as a soaking agent in typical contact lens cases.
Josh Goldstein blogged about this issue on Check Up earlier this summer. The contact lens holder for Clear Care has a built-in platinum neutralizer that reacts with the hydrogen peroxide to neutralize it. Using Clear Care directly in the eye in a typical contact lens case without the neutralizing ring, causes excruciating pain and risks damaging the corneal epithelium.
ISMP is aware of hundreds of incidents where contact lens wearers used the product improperly after missing warnings about the need to soak their lenses only in the special Clear Care contact lens holder packaged with the product. Not only have contact lens wearers suffered eye burns and excruciating pain, some have also chemical injuries to the eye, including tissue injuries. A full description of the problem can be seen here.
Ideally, a redesign of Clear Care and generic equivalent containers should be made to better differentiate them from other products. We spoke to the company about the idea for a new package design that would require the attachment of the contact lens holder to the bottle in order to use the solution. We hope that such a package will be available some day soon.