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Latisse Grows Longer Eyelashes, What’s the Catch?

By HERWriter
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Brooke Shield’s lovely face looks out at you from the Latisse® advertisement which shows before-and-after pictures of, I assume, her eyelashes treated with Latisse®, a prescription drug used to grow longer, fuller eyelashes. What woman wouldn’t want longer more luxurious eyelashes? Does it work and what are the drawbacks?

Latisse® (bimotoprost ophthalmic solution) was created after doctors noticed that patients using Lumagen, a drug to treat glaucoma to reduce the pressure in their eyes, began growing thicker, fuller eyelashes. Latisse® is a reformulated form of that glaucoma drug. The FDA approved use of Latisse® in Dec 2008 and Allergan, the same manufacturer of Botox, sells the drug by prescription only for the treatment of hypotrichosis (inadequate hair growth).

How does it work?

Latisse® is thought to help keep more eyelash hairs in the anagen (growing) phase of hair growth for an extended time, but the exact mechanism is unknown. Latisse® was tested in clinical trials on 278 healthy adults without eye disease for 16 weeks. Those treated with Latisse® had significantly greater improvement in length, thickness and darkness. Latisse® is only intended for use on the upper lashes and should not be applied along the lower lid.

The downside:

Side effects with Latisse® are supposed to occur in less than 4 percent of the people using it. They are eye redness, eye itchiness and skin hyper pigmentation (darkening). Women in some forums said they liked the darkening as it made their eyes look like a light amount of eyeliner was present. However, it is unclear how women are supposed to be able to tell the difference between an allergic reaction to Latisse®, which would cause redness and itchiness, and acceptable amounts of this side effect.

It is also possible for the colored portion of the eye (the iris) to darken which is not reversible if stopping Latisse®. Hair growth can occur in other places than intended, so care must be taken to apply Latisse® to eyelashes only and avoid getting it in the eye due to increased risk of lowered eye pressure.

Add a Comment5 Comments

Thanks Susan..I will keep you posted...guess I'm just really impatient!

December 7, 2009 - 3:12pm

Oh, I'm applying it correctly...maybe it just hasn't been a long enough time yet..hopefully, in the next few weeks I will really see a difference. Thanks.

December 7, 2009 - 2:29pm

I would check back withthe doctor who prescribed it to you and make sure you are applying it correctly and ask them what their experience has been. The clinical trial that tested people did so for 16 weeks. I don't know at what week they started to notice eyelash growth.

December 7, 2009 - 9:21am
EmpowHER Guest

I have been using Latesse for 6 1/2 weeks now and I have maybe noticed minimal growth. I do not see any new growth or thickness what-so-ever. Do I need to be more patient or perhaps I'm in that small percentage where it doesn't take much of an effect.

December 7, 2009 - 7:34am
EmpowHER Guest

Hey all, I use a cosmetic called Revitalash. It is a lash conditioner that helped my lashes grow longer and thicker. It was much less expensive than latisse, is created by an eye doctor, and does not have the nasty side effects of the drug. I love it!! -Courtney

September 10, 2009 - 1:52pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.