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Latisse for the Ladies When is a drug's side effect a good thing?

When it has a positive effect?

That's right. One in particular is Lumigan. While in clinical trials for treatment of glaucoma, researchers noticed the drug caused some patients to develop longer and fuller eyelashes.

Voila… the company recognized a new opportunity. So it sought and was awarded FDA approval to sell Lumigan under another name, Latisse. It's the first product approved by the FDA to enhance eyelashes.

In a clinical trial, Latisse, when used nightly, was shown to provide significant increase in eyelash length, thickness and darkness which was most pronounced 8-16 weeks after use began.

The downside is that the effect is not permanent; you have to apply Latisse once a day to the base of the upper lashes to maintain its effect. Once you stop, your upper lashes will return to their previous appearance over several weeks to months.

This "side" effect has it's own possible side effects which include itching, redness and permanent darkening of the iris due to increased melanin content.

The active ingredient of Latisse is Bimatoprost.

It's a structural prostaglandin analog, a lipid compound that binds to receptors present in hair, particularly in the areas of the eyelashes involved in the development and re-growth of hair follicles. It increases the percentage of hairs in their growth phase.

Starting March 2009, Latisse should be available by prescription. It's price tag: $120 for a month's supply. But the drug is not just for the vain.

It's for those undergoing chemotherapy or who have something called hypotrichosis which is not having enough lashes.

Good to know at least one side effect was a positive one.

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For more information…

FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Approval of First Prescription Eyelash Enhancer Latisse
Report of the FDA approval of Latisse in December 2008 by Miranda Hitti for WebMD Health News.
For more information…

Complete description of lumigan from clinical pharmacology, adverse reactions, dosage and administration and other resources from a trusted source.
For more information…

Lumigan Eyelash Extension (AKA Latisse)
YouTube video news story about Latisse from Fox News.
For more information…


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