It's not uncommon for pharmaceutical companies to discover that a drug intended to treat one condition can be used for other purposes. That's the case with Latisse, a prescription drug people use to grow thicker, longer eyelashes. Latisse is a diluted version of another drug called Lumigan.
Pharmacists designed Lumigan to treat ocular hypotensive activity. The drug reduces pressure in the eyes -- an important part of treating conditions like glaucoma. The drug has several side effects including increased pigmentation of the eye and eyelid. It also tends to spur eyelash growth.
However, one drug's side effect is another drug's intended application. Latisse uses the same concentration of Lumigan's active ingredients to promote eyelash growth. With this growth comes the risk of suffering other side effects. People using Latisse may experience changes in pigmentation or their eyes may become itchy. In a worst-case scenario, their irises may turn a dark color after months of use. So far, doctors haven't found a way to reverse that change.
If you stop taking Latisse, the benefits will eventually disappear. And since it's not an over-the-counter drug, you'll need a doctor's prescription to purchase it. Don't expect medical insurance to pick up the tab either -- most insurance companies won't cover cosmetic treatments. And since Latisse costs about $120 for a month's supply, it's fairly pricey.
What's in this drug and how do you apply it?