Allergan, the company that brought us Botox, has recently introduced a prescription drug eyelash growth treatment called Latisse™. It is the first, and currently only, prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for growing longer, thicker, darker eyelashes. Specifically, Latisse™ has been approved as a novel treatment for hypotrichosis of the eyelashes (i.e., having inadequate or not enough eyelashes).
Does Latisse Really Work? A Review of
Allergan’s Latisse Eyelash Growth Treatment
What is Latisse™?
Latisse™ is an ophthalmic drug product - bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03% - available only through a doctor. It is a once-daily prescription treatment for hypotrichosis used to grow eyelashes, making them longer, thicker and darker.
When a drug called Lumigan, from which Latisse's main ingredient bimatoprost was derived, was being tested for use in patients with glaucoma, it was found to have an unusual side effect; it increased the length of eyelashes. Bimatoprost, the active ingredient in Latisse™, was first approved in 2001 as a medical product to lower intraocular pressure in people with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Patients treated with bimatoprost for this specific eye condition experienced eyelash growth as a side effect. The drug maker, Allergan Inc., sought and received FDA approval to market a spin-off of the drug called Latisse™ as a cosmetic treatment to those wanting longer, thicker, darker lashes.
What are the ingredients in Latisse™?
Active ingredient: bimatoprost
Inactive ingredients: benzalkonium chloride; sodium chloride; sodium phosphate, dibasic; citric acid; and purified water. Sodium hydroxide and/or hydrochloric acid may be added to adjust pH. The pH during its shelf life ranges from 6.8 - 7.8.
Bimatoprost is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in the formulation of Latisse™ and is a structural prostaglandin analog, a lipid 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. Although the precise mechanism of action is unknown, PG receptors are thought to be involved in the development and regrowth of the hair follicle by increasing the percent of hairs in, and the duration of, the anagen or growth phase.
How does Latisse™ work?
Latisse™ is believed to work in two ways: first, by extending the length of time that eyelash hairs stay in their growth (anagen) phase; and second, by increasing the number of eyelash hairs that are in the growth phase. This means that when your existing eyelash hairs are replaced with new eyelash hairs, the new hairs will be thicker, darker, and longer. However, Latisse™ will not affect the appearance of your existing eyelash hairs. (You should continue to use mascara in addition to Latisse™ solution until your new thicker and more luxurious eyelashes grow out).
Does Latisse™ really work?
Yes! Latisse™ will increase the thickness, length, and darkness of your eyelashes. As we have previously mentioned, Latisse™ is the first, and currently only, science-based treatment approved by the FDA to enhance eyelash prominence as measured by increases in length, thickness and darkness of eyelashes.
What were the results of the Latisse™ clinical trials?
Latisse™ was clinically tested in a Phase III, multi-center, double-masked, placebo-controlled study to assess its safety and effectiveness. According to Tosti et al., 2004:
In the pivotal Phase III study, 278 healthy adult patients with no active ocular disease and with baseline minimal or moderate eyelash prominence were randomized to apply either LATISSE™ or vehicle to both upper eyelid margins once daily for 16 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was overall eyelash prominence at the end of the 16-week treatment period as measured by a ≥1-grade improvement on a 4-point Global Eyelash Assessment Scale. Secondary efficacy endpoints were eyelash length, thickness, and darkness as determined by Digital Image Analysis of patient photographs taken in a standardized manner.
All of the endpoints in the LATISSE™ pivotal trial were met. By the end of the 16-week treatment period, patients treated with LATISSE™ experienced statistically significant greater improvement (p < 0.0001 for each endpoint) than those in the vehicle group in the measurements of eyelash prominence, length, thickness and darkness. LATISSE™ was also well tolerated with the most commonly reported adverse events being non-serious and cosmetic in nature. Common adverse events observed in the clinical trial included eye redness (3.6%), itchy eyes (3.6%) and skin hyperpigmentation (2.9%).
What does this mean?
Simply put, in the study to evaluate the Latisse™ eyelash grow treatment, 137 people used Latisse™ and 141 others used a placebo solution for 16 weeks. The appearance of eyelashes was rated on a four-point scale ranging from "minimal" to "very marked." By the end of the study, 78% of the Latisse™ group had at least a one-point improvement, compared with 18% of the placebo group. Study results showed the eyelashes of patients that were treated with Latisse™ typically grew 25% longer, 106% thicker and 18% darker. Side effects, which included eye redness, were generally temporary and mild and stopped when the drug was discontinued.
Before and After
Take a look at this representative before and after client photo and the progressive improvement seen at weeks 1, 8, and 16 with Latisse™. It is important to know that visible improvement in the appearance of the eyelashes will occur gradually. In the clinical trial leading to FDA approval, the majority of Latisse™ users saw a significant improvement in eyelashes within two months, with the optimum improvement occurring after four months of use. For more before and after client photos look here.
How much does Latisse™ cost?
Latisse™ is available only by prescription and costs approximately $120 for a one month supply (roughly $4/day). Since Latisse™ is considered a cosmetic enhancement it will likely not be covered by most insurance companies. However, $120 a month seems like a small price to pay for the lashes you have always dreamed of; especially for the biggest beauty addicts out there who regularly shell out thousands on Botox treatments and pricy anti-aging creams.
The Downside of Latisse™:
- Latisse™ is available only through a doctor’s prescription. It is not available over-the-counter.
- Latisse™ will not affect the appearance of your existing eyelash hairs, you must wait for your existing eyelash hairs to be replaced with newly grown eyelash hairs.
- Visible improvement in the appearance of the eyelashes occurs gradually - it takes approximately two months of daily use before a significant improvement in eyelashes occurs, with the optimum improvement occurring after four months of use.
- A person using Latisse™ for eyelash growth must continue to apply it or their eyelashes will shrink back to their previous length within a few months.
To Sum Up:
Allergan held a clinical trial with 278 volunteers, about half of whom used Latisse™ daily for 16 weeks. The results of the study were reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration, which approved the drug in late December of 2008. In that study, eyelashes typically grew 25 percent longer, 106 percent thicker and 18 percent darker.
Interested? Click here to visit the Latisse™ website for more information on this prescription treatment for growing longer, thicker, and darker eyelashes.
If you don't want to get a prescription for a daily beauty routine, try a generic version much like Latisse™ that helps stimulate lash growth -
everLASHing by Verseo. Clinically proven to produce 54% fuller lashes, everLASHing does NOT need a prescription and comes with a 100% unconditional guarantee.
See for more info.
Or try Rapid Lash Eyelash Renewal Serum. Rapid Lash uses polypeptides to improve the length, thickness and volume of the lashes while protecting against breakage. Proteins and vitamins fortify the lashes to encourage the appearance of growth while adding strength and shine. It's about 1/3 the price of Latisse™ and users love it. Check out the over 200 reviews.
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