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Laser Eye Center of Carolina
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Smithfield, NC 27577

New Drug for Longer Lashes

Submitted by Dr. Dean Dornic on Fri 02/27/2009 - 09:30

Doctors are always looking for new uses for existing drugs. What started out as a medication for a very serious eye problem is now making waves as the latest thing in cosmetics. It can make eyelashes longer & thicker.

Latisse contains bimatoprost, a compound from a glaucoma drug called Lumigan. It binds to receptors in the eyelashes that may be involved in the development and re-growth of hair follicles. Allergan has used bimatoprost since 2001 in Lumigan.

The company began studying the potential of using a lower dose of topical bimatoprost to stimulate eyelash growth after Lumigan users developed unusually lush lashes. It’s specifically being marketed as a once-a-day medication to treat eyelash hypotrichosis, or lack of hair growth.

Latisse pushes more follicles into the growth phase, and lengthens the time they spend there. But you do need to be careful applying Latisse.

If it gets on other skin, it can cause discoloration.

And some users in the trial reported redness, or itching of the eyes.

The drug’s effect isn’t immediate. According to manufacturer Allergan, the drug usually brings results two to four months after users start it.

Latisse has been on the market for about two weeks now… And it’s generated a lot of interest.

But it isn’t cheap. It costs about $240 dollars for a year’s supply. And you have to keep using it to keep your lashes full.
It’s possible that the drug may also spur eyebrow and scalp hair growth, doctors told the Wall Street Journal. But Allergan spokesperson Heather Katt says the company hasn’t explored using Latisse for those purposes