Monday, December 08, 2008
Sometimes a drug side-effect can turn out to be a beneficial thing. An FDA-approved eye medication, called Lumigan
, used regularly to treat glaucoma patients, was found to have a beneficial side effect - it makes eye lashes grow. It has few other side effects.
Ophthalmologists at the University of Miami, confirmed this finding of eyelash growth in a recently completed scientific study. With daily application of Lumigan to the eyelash with a mascara brush, the average lash length increased by 2.01 mm over a six week time period, compared to the placebo-treated side.
Allergan, the makers of Botox and Lumigan, recognized a good thing - and have developed a spin-off of Lumigan, called Latisse, just for women who want to have longer, fuller lashes. Latisse has the same active ingredient as Lumigan. Latisse is waiting for FDA approval, but this is expected in the first part of 2009.
In the meantime, Lumigan can be used "off-label" by prescription for those that just can't wait for Latisse. And yes, experiments on whether this drug can work for hair-loss elsewhere on the body are in the works....
While several other cosmetic companies market products for eyelash enhancement, by law, they can't use any ingredients as potent as these prescription-strength products. Also, the FDA-approved products like Lumigan have all sorts of safety data behind them, which is always reassuring.
Thomas Fiala, MD
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