LatisseLatisse is the first FDA approved (Dec. 2008) topical medication for eyelash growth. It is used to make eyelashes longer, thicker and darker. Applied once a day, it works in over 75% of those using it. Latisse takes about 16 weeks to work. The drug is available only through a doctor’s prescription.
Latisse is applied once a day to the base of the upper eyelashes. The bottom lashes receive the drug from the top lashes through blinking. A 30-day supply costs approximately $120 (About 6000 INR) . Once results are seen, it is possible to decrease the application to every other day, decreasing the cost and the inconvenience of applying the medication.But it has to continued for maintenance.
Background Latisse was first marketed under the name Lumigan to treat eye conditions associated with glaucoma. While being studied for the medical condition glaucoma, researchers noticed the drug had the side effect of stimulating eyelash growth and darkening of the eyelashes. It re-applied for FDA approval for the cosmetic purpose of eyelash growth under the new name. The active ingredient in both Lumigan and Latisse is Bimatoprost. Both products are made by the company, Allergan.
How it Works? Bimatoprost is a compound derived from fatty acids designed to bind to prostaglandin (PG) receptors. PG receptors are present in hair, particularly in the dermal papilla and outer root sheath of the hair follicle. Although the precise way that Bimatoprost works is unclear, it is believed to affect the growth of hair follicles by increasing the percent of hairs in the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle and increasing the duration of this phase. The long-term safety of Bimatoprost is based on clinical trials over 13 years.
Side Effects Side effects occur in about 4% of patients using Latisse and include itchy eyes, redness and skin pigmentation. The rare side effect of iris pigmentation that can occur when Bimatoprost has been used in much higher doses for glaucoma has not been reported when it is used to treat eyelashes, but this is still a potential risk. Any individual on antibiotics or other drugs, with heart medication, as well as those with neurological and certain other diseases, and those with severe allergies should discuss these conditions prior to beginning the treatment program. In addition, pregnant women as well as those with skin infections or other conditions on the upper eyelids are not good candidates.Latisse also has the potential to stimulate the growth of scalp hair although there may be some risk when applying it repeatedly to a large surface area.
Off-Label Use Although Latisse has been approved for use on eyelashes, its potential benefit in making eyebrows more full is currently being explored. This is, of course, an easy added advantage of using the medication, since there is usually enough medication left on the applicator stick to use on the eyebrows as well – for those who desire thicker brows.
At present, the cost alone would make this form of treatment prohibitive.