This page gives you information about bimatoprost eye drops used to stimulate eyelash growth and the possible side effects.
What is bimatoprost and how does it work?
This medication is currently prescribed off label. This means that it is being used for a condition it was not previously meant to treat.
Bimatoprost has only been prescribed by the consultant after careful consideration of other treatment options.
Bimatoprost was originally designed to treat glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) but was found to help promote longer, thicker, darker eyelashes in healthy women.
How is bimatoprost used?
One drop of bimatoprost should be applied directly to the base of the upper eyelashes, once a day at night.
Each application of bimatoprost should be from a new applicator, for each eye, each night.
Do not apply drops into the eyes or to the lower eyelid.
Always remove your contact lenses before applying the drops and wait at least 30 minutes before putting them back in.
When will the hair growth be noticed?
Hair growth is noticed between 4 to 16 weeks in 80 out of every 100 people that use bimatoprost.
Possible side effects of bimatoprost
Most patients do not have any side effects. However there have been reports of:
- itchy, red eyes
- darkening (brown) pigmentation of the coloured part of the eye (the iris) which may be permanent. This is more common when used for treating glaucoma
- eyelid skin darkening, this can sometimes be permanent
- hair growth in other areas that bimatoprost touches, such as the eyelids or face
- thinning of the skin around the eye. This is called ‘orbital atrophy’ but is more common in the treatment of glaucoma
There is also a small risk of inflammation inside the eye for people who use the drops for glaucoma.
Other side effects may be possible but many patients use bimatoprost without experiencing any.
Please contact Dr Takwale’s secretary if you develop any side effects after using bimatoprost. The contact details are at the end of this page.
Who should not use bimatoprost?
If you have ever had eye surgery or eye problems in the past, it will be strongly advised that you are reviewed by an ophthalmologist before starting bimatoprost treatment.
You should not use bimatoprost if you:
- have eye inflammation or infection of any kind (for example, uveitis)
- are planning or are due to have eye surgery
- have glaucoma or abnormal intraocular pressures in the eyes
- have a family history of glaucoma (an ophthalmology review would be needed before treatment)
- if you are under 18 years of age
Bimatoprost must not be used during pregnancy or when breast feeding as there is no research to suggest it is safe to do so.
Please read the patient information sheet enclosed with the medication.
Dr Takwale’s secretary
Tel: 0300 422 5396
Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 3:00pm