Latisse (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.03% is a topical medication used to create longer, thicker, darker eyelashes.  The liquid is applied with a brush to the base of the eyelashes nightly.  Longer, thicker, darker eyelashes develop gradually, starting to become visible around 4 weeks, with full results at 16 weeks.  Results are noticeable by most patients by 12 weeks or before.

Clinical trial results showed lashes were 25% longer, 106% fuller, and 18% darker.

Bimatoprost is a medication with which I am familiar from my treatment of glaucoma patients as an ophthalmologist.  A more concentrated form, called Lumigan, is a glaucoma medication used since the 1990’s.  The “side effect” of longer, thicker, darker eyelashes was first observed in glaucoma patients taking Lumigan, and further clinical studies with the more dilute form in Latisse were designed to test the aesthetic use of bimatoprost, as Latisse.  After a clinical trial to study the safety and effectiveness for lash growth, LATISSE® was approved by the FDA in December of 2008.  Latisse requires a prescription from a physician.

Latisse is especially convenient for those who prefer not to wear mascara.  The convenience of once nightly application, and the lengthening, thickening, and darkening of one’s natural eyelashes save on the time and expense of eyelash extensions and the frequent maintenance required.

Cost: $170 (5mL, approximately 10-week supply)


The most common side effects include itching of the eyes or eyelids, and/or redness (reported in 4% of clinical trial patients).  If this occurs, discontinue use and call for instructions.  Less common side effects include eye irritation, eye or eyelid redness, and dryness of the eyes.

LATISSE® solution use may cause darkening of the eyelid skin which may be reversible. LATISSE® use may cause increased brown iris pigmentation of the colored part of the eye (iris) which is likely to be permanent. While very infrequent, increased iris pigmentation has occurred when LATISSE® was administered.

Note that it is also possible for a difference in eyelash length, thickness, fullness, pigmentation (darkness), number of eyelash hairs, and/or direction of eyelash growth to occur between eyes (e.g., results may vary for each eye). These differences, should they occur, will usually go away if you stop using LATISSE®.

  • Do not apply to the lower lid or in the eye and blot excess solution with a tissue.  LATISSE® solution is intended for use on the skin of the upper eyelid margins at the base of the eyelashes.
  • Only use the sterile applicators supplied with LATISSE® to apply the product.
  • Don’t allow the tip of the bottle or applicator to touch fingers or any other unintended surface, as contamination by common bacteria is known to cause infections.
  • Remove contact lenses prior to applying LATISSE®. Contact lenses may be reinserted 15 minutes afterwards.
  • Remember, if you stop using LATISSE®, lashes will gradually return to their previous appearance

It is possible for hair growth to occur in other areas of your skin that LATISSE® frequently touches. Any excess solution outside the upper eyelid margin should be blotted with a tissue or other absorbent material to reduce the chance of this from happening.

LATISSE® solution is an ophthalmic drug product. If any gets into the eye, it is not expected to cause harm. The eye does not need to be rinsed.  However, it is best to avoid excess product on the brush so that it does not run into the eyes.

If you are using LUMIGAN® ophthalmic solution or other products for elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) or glaucoma, or if you have a history of abnormal IOP or glaucoma, you should only use LATISSE® under the close supervision of your physician.  It is important to inform your doctor of a family history of glaucoma as well.

If you develop a new ocular condition (e.g., trauma or infection), experience a sudden decrease in visual acuity, have ocular surgery, or develop any ocular reactions, particularly conjunctivitis and eyelid reactions, you should immediately seek your physician’s advice concerning the continued use of LATISSE® solution.

Active ingredient: bimatoprost.
Inactive ingredients: benzalkonium chloride; sodium chloride; sodium phosphate, dibasic; citric acid; and purified water. Sodium hydroxide and/or hydrochloric acid may be added to adjust pH. The pH during its shelf life ranges from 6.8 – 7.8.

Cost: $170 (5mL, approximately 10-week supply)