Eyelash Growth Side Effects from Eyedrops

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Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that has affected many individuals. To keep glaucoma at bay, doctors often prescribe eye drops. These eye drops coincidentally cause eyelash growth and increased thickness of lashes. Doctors have now taken the glaucoma eye drops and found a way to use them exclusively for eyelash growth therapy. One prescription product, Latisse, is derived from the glaucoma eye drop, Lumigan.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disorder that is associated with internal eye pressure that can lead to damage of the eye's optic nerve. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness and causes some vision loss in more than half of approximately 2.5 million Americans who have the eye disorder. It causes no pain and no symptoms until vision loss occurs. Typically, those suffering from glaucoma turn to eye drops to maintain the pressure in the eye at a healthy level.

Glaucoma Eyedrops

Prostaglandin or prostamide analogues are types of glaucoma drops that can lead to eyelash growth and improved thickness of lashes. These drops include Xalatan, Lumigan and Travatan. They are used once a day, at night, and are shown to lower the pressure in the eye. These drops must be prescribed by your doctor and taken according to your doctors instructions.


Latisse, which is a variation of the Lumigan glaucoma eye drop, is sold as an eyelash enhancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Latisse as a prescription drug in December 2008. Instead of being put directly in the eye--like Lumigan--Latisse is applied to the lashline daily, usually at night. Bimatoprost, which is found in the glaucoma drops, is used to reduce the pressure within the eye, but the quantities of bimatoprost in Latisse are significantly smaller, and doctors say it should not be a problem for those who do not suffer from glaucoma.


Several products on the market claim to grow eyelashes. Some include LiLash, Jan Marini, Marini Lash, Revitalash, Enormous Lash, Talika, Mavala and Rozge. Latisse is the only product requiring a doctor's prescription. Most of these products can be purchased at spas and salons or through online retailers. Prices, as of 2010, for eyelash-growth products range from £9 to £104.

Side Effects

The eyelash-enhancing effects of products such as Latisse are not permanent, and if you discontinue use, lashes will return to their normal length. Gradual darkening of the iris can occur as well as darkening of the skin around the eyes. Mild irritation also may occur. If symptoms persist, discontinue use and see your doctor.

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