You have probably heard about LATISSE® the eyelash grower that’s been on the market since the FDA approved it in December 2008. LATISSE® is actually a version of a glaucoma drug in eye drop form called bimatoprost (brand name Lumigan, manufacturer Allergan, Inc.), in use since FDA approval in 2001. During that period doctors and their glaucoma patients noticed the longer, lusher eyelashes appearing over time.
BEST CANDIDATES: Spare, thin eyelashes
TYPICAL RESULTS: Longer, fuller, darker eyelashe
HOW DOES LATISSE® WORK?
According to studies, LATISSE® lengthens, thickens and darkens eyelashes via a process that isn’t fully understood. Like the hair on your head, eyelashes sprout, grow for a while and eventually fall out. LATISSE® both extends the growth phase and increases the number of hairs that sprout.
You apply LATISSE® by dabbing it on the upper lash line each night with the sterile applicators supplied. The drug spreads to your lower lash line automatically as you blink. According to the manufacturer, you should never apply it in your eye or onto your lower lid. Before you apply, your face must be clean and your makeup and contact lenses removed.
After two months of nightly use, you may begin to see results. After three or four months, your doctor may recommend a treatment schedule of every two days. If you stop using LATISSE®, your eyelashes will gradually return to their former state. Study participants experienced these results after 16 weeks:
- Eyelash length increased by 25 percent.
- Thickness and fullness increased by 106 percent.
- Eyelash darkness increased by 18 percent.
POTENTIAL LATISSE SIDE EFFECTS POTENTIAL LATISSE SIDE EFFECTS
According to clinical studies conducted before FDA approval, LATISSE® eyelash lengthener is safe for most people.
However, you may not be a candidate for it if you have certain eye problems (such as uveitis and conjunctivitis), risk for macular edema, severe allergies or skin infections of the upper eyelids. Pregnant women shouldn’t use it, and nursing women may want to wait as well.
Because the active ingredient in LATISSE® lowers intraocular pressure, if you are already using IOP-lowering medications for ocular hypertension and/or glaucoma, you must tell your eye doctor before you try LATISSE® so he or she can monitor your eye pressure closely.
Most study participants had no problems if LATISSE® accidentally got into their eyes. But a few did experience side effects that included dry eyes and eyelid skin darkening. The side effects that occurred in the largest percentage of participants were eye redness (3.6 percent) and itchiness (also 3.6 percent).
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