Latisse is an FDA-approved drug (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution, 0.03%) prescribed to lengthen, thicken and darken eyelashes. It has the same main ingredient as a glaucoma drug called Lumigan.
Some people using Lumigan for glaucoma were surprised to find that they developed fuller, darker eyelashes. This desirable side effect inspired the drug’s use for cosmetic purposes. However, Latisse can cause some undesirable effects. Some people develop eye redness and irritation, or dark eyelid skin. These effects disappear after discontinuing the drug. Darkening of the iris (the colored portion of the eye) has also been reported, and this side effect cannot be reversed.
Beauty aisles are filled with over-the-counter serums promising to mimic Latisse’s effects. But there are important differences. Bimatoprost, the prostaglandin analog found in Latisse, is FDA approved. But isopropyl cloprostenate, the prostaglandin analog often found in over-the-counter products, is not. Because these over-the-counter serums have not been FDA tested, their safety and effects are not known. Lastisse is the only eyelash growth serum currently approved by the FDA.
A medical prescription is required to use Latisse. If you have an eye condition such as glaucoma, macular edema or eye inflammation, or if you have questions about Latisse’s effects on your eye health, ask your ophthalmologist. Follow the drug’s instructions carefully to avoid side effects.
Tips for using Latisse:
Latisse is not approved for people under the age of 18. Also, it is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Since this is a prescription drug, Latisse should not be used by anyone other than the person to whom it was prescribed.
If you wear contact lenses, take them out before using Latisse. Wait 15 minutes after using the drug before putting your contact lenses back in your eyes.
Do not reuse the single-use applicator for this drug or contaminate the bottle by allowing the bottle tip to come into contact with any other surface, as this may lead to serious eye infection.
If you develop a new eye condition, have a sudden decrease in your vision, have eye surgery or develop any eye reactions, immediately call your ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist has the medical training in eye care to assess your particular reactions and conditions.
Happy New Year! Here’s to seeing you in 2020!
Dr. Mark S. Siegel is the Medical Director at Sea Island Ophthalmology, LLC. Visit www.seaislandophthalmology.com for more.