New warning on Clear Care contact lens solution

Bottles of Clear Care now include a red warning to alert consumers about the hydrogen peroxide solution. (ISMP Canada)

Users of Clear Care contact lens solutions have experienced severe pain and burning in their eyes after confusing the liquid with regular contact lens solution, a Canadian safety group says.

Unlike most contact lens cleaners, Clear Care contains three per cent hydrogen peroxide. It is not meant to be used directly in the eye or to rinse contact lenses.

Rather, the product should be used with a special case to neutralize the hydrogen peroxide in a solution that is safe for the eyes.

"Too many consumers have suffered from corneal burns because they did not realize that this solution is different,"  David U, president and CEO of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada said in a release on Monday.

"The Clear Care package and bottle resemble those of typical multi-purpose solutions, but Clear Care contains hydrogen peroxide, which is harmful if it comes in contact with the eye."

In April 2013, Health Canada asked manufacturers of contact lens solutions containing three per cent hydrogen peroxide to update their labels to highlight the risks of improper use.

Despite new warnings on the outer and inner labels of Clear Care products, ISMP said it received a report to its website, SafeMedicationUse.ca, about a consumer who suffered severe pain from a corneal burn.

The group's recommendations for consumers include:

  • Don't assume that all contact lens solutions are the same; check packaging carefully for details.
  • Before removing your lenses for cleaning, carefully read the instructions for using the product you have selected.
  • Follow the product instructions carefully, step by step.
  • If you are using the Clear Care product, always use the lens case provided with the product.
  • Store lens cleaning solutions containing hydrogen peroxide separately from solutions used to rinse or moisturize your lenses.

It also suggests that vendors not store contact lens solutions containing hydrogen peroxide beside multi-purpose solutions.

ISMP Canada said the manufacturer and Health Canada have been informed of the reported incidents.