Allergan (the maker of Botox) has had an eyelash growth product called Latisse in the works for some time and it looks if it will get FDA approval. Take note: Latisse uses the glaucoma drug, bimatoprost, as the active ingredient.

No major safety issues were raised in the FDA review, although four patients in the 278-person clinical study left because of side effects such as dry eye and eye inflammation. Allergan said it would minimize risk by telling doctors and patients about potential drug side effects and instructing users not to use Latisse on lower eyelashes.

The next step towards FDA acceptance was gaining the support of a panel of independent medical experts who met last Friday to vote on Latisse. If they give the all clear it is highly likely that Latisse will reach market because the FDA rarely goes against panel recommendations. This will mean Allergan will become the first company to launch an FDA-approved eyelash enhancer.

This is what Wikipedia lists about potential side-effects from bimatoprost:

  • May cause blurred vision

  • May cause eyelid redness

  • May permanently darken eyelashes

  • May cause eye discomfort

  • May eventually cause permanent darkening of the iris to brown

  • May cause a temporary burning sensation during use

  • May cause thickening of the eyelashes

The University of Maryland has this to say about prostaglandins (a closely related glaucoma drug found in Revitalash, for example) and bitamaprost:

" Side Effects. These drugs do not slow down the heart rate and also appear to be safe for people with asthma. Side effects include itching, redness, and burning during administration. Muscle and joint pain may also occur. All of these drugs may permanently change eye color from blue or green to brown. To date, such color changes do not seem to be hazardous. (The only significant problem may be cosmetic in people who treat only one eye, since the color may differ from the other.) These drugs can increase blood flow in the eye and also make eyelashes become thicker and longer in some patients. (These latter effects are more common with bimatoprost and travoprost than with latanoprost.)"