Bimatoprost 0.03% solution
3 and 5 ml bottles
Lumigan (trade name)- for glaucoma- approved 2001
Latisse (trade name)- for lengthening eyelashes- approved 2008
No generic available
1 drop of Latisse is placed onto a special sterile applicator. Then closing the eye it is applied to the upper eyelid margin at the base of the eyelashes. Application is one time daily in the evening. It is understood that the bimatoprost applied to the upper eyelid margin will give a coating to the lower eyelid when the eyelids close. A new applicator should be used for each eye and the sterile applicators should not be reused. Excess solution should be blotted with a tissue.
Some patients have used the residual solution off-label on their eyebrows with reported increased growth. Use of this product on the scalp has been disappointing.
Increased eyelash growth is usually noted at 4 weeks and peaks at 16 weeks.
Mode of Action
Bimatoprost appears to work by increasing the growth (anagen) phase of the eyelashes, although some think it is by shortening the resting (telogen) phase. It increases the pigmentation of the eyelashes by stimulating melanogenesis.
Bimatoprost is a prostaglandin agonist used as a treatment to lower intraocular pressure for glaucoma. Lumigan is essentially the same solution as Latisse but is meant to be used as eye drops as in glaucoma patients. Latisse, as mentioned above, is only to be used to coat the upper eyelid margin.
Itching, irritation and redness of the eyelids are the most common side effects as well as dry eyes, occurring is less than 4% of patients. Particularly if used excessively or improperly, macular edema and fat atrophy in the periorbital tissues may occur. This is primarily with Lumigan eye drop use.
Increased pigmentation of the eyelashes and sometime the eyelid skin occurs. Also, patients need to be aware that the color of the iris can darken to a brownish color and that this can be permanent.
A study of 278 adults using bimatoprost 0.03% had a 106% increase in eyelash thickness compared to a 12% increase with the control vehicle after 4 months of use.
A 2016 study of 336 patients with eyebrow hypotrichosis had 118 apply 0.03% bimatoprost once daily and another 118 patients twice daily to their eyebrows. 84% at twice daily and 77% at once daily had measurable improvement at 7 months.