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FDA warns that getting alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the eyes can cause serious injury

FDA is warning that getting alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the eyes can result in serious injury, including corneal abrasions. Between January 1, 2018, and April 30, 2021, there were 3,642 calls made to U.S. poison control centers regarding side effects resulting from eye exposure to hand sanitizers. The most common side effects were eye irritation/pain and red eye/conjunctivitis; however, 58 cases of a more serious injury to the surface of the eye have been reported. Eye exposure to hand sanitizer has been reported in all age groups; however, it has occurred most often in children. Such eye injuries have become much more frequent, likely due to the marked increase in the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Report adverse events involving this or other medicines to the MedWatch program as recommended in the Indian Health Manual and include “IHS” in the reporter section (section G).

Instructions for reporting can be found online at the NPTC Pharmacovigilance website.