May 5, 2006

Health Canada has warned consumers not to use Sandoz's Prednisolone ophthalmic suspension eye drops because of the possibility that the bottles may mistakenly contain another product, Blue Collyrium -- a different type of eye drop that requires patients be monitored by a physician if the medication is used for longer than a 72-hour period. Concerns were raised when one bottle from a shipment of Prednisolone drops was found to contain the other drug.

Patients who have been prescribed Prednisolone should discontinue use of the product and consult their physician immediately, said Health Canada.

"As a precautionary measure, patients should also return the product to the place of purchase and have the pharmacist confirm that the 10 ml white plastic bottle they purchased contains the right product," said the group in a statement. "Prednisolone eye drops are white, while Blue Collyrium drops are dark blue. It may be difficult to identify color differences through the white bottles. This applies to all lots."

Prednisolone is usually prescribed for the treatment of conditions that cause inflammation of the eye and for use after cataract surgery. Blue Collyrium is used to treat eye redness caused by minor irritation.