LATISSE® makes lash growth possible because of its active ingredient: bimatoprost. Although the precise mechanism of action is not known, research suggests that the growth of eyelashes occurs by increasing the percent of hairs in, and the duration of, the anagen (or growth) phase. Lashes can grow longer, thicker and darker because bimatoprost can also prolong this growth phase.
In patients using ophthalmic prostaglandins such as travoprost and latanoprost, as well as prostamides like bimatoprost, it has been anecdotally noted that there had been an increase in diameter, density and length of eyelashes. Allergan has initiated clinical trials investigating the usage of Lumigan as a cosmetic drug. On December 5, 2008, the FDA Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee voted to approve bimatoprost for the cosmetic use of darkening and lengthening eyelashes. The medical term for this is treatment of hypotrichosis, however, the FDA approval is for purely cosmetic purposes.
According to Allergan’s package labeling, users of its Latisse cosmetic product didn’t develop darker irises in clinical studies; however, “patients should be advised about the potential for increased brown iris pigmentation which is likely to be permanent.”