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Nov 6, 2023

Women's Health

Latisse: Eye Drops that Cause Eyelash Growth

What is Latisse?

Latisse is a prescription medication that has been approved to thicken, lengthen, and darken eyelashes. Latisse contains the active ingredient bimatoprost, which is a medication that was originally approved to treat glaucoma. When it was used for glaucoma, individuals were finding that their eyelashes became long, dark, and full, so a new product, Latisse, was approved for this specific use.

Latisse should be applied nightly on the skin directly on the margin of the upper eyelid at the base of the eyelashes. You must also blot away any excess liquid from the skin below the margin of the eyelid, to make sure it doesn’t get on your skin. Latisse should not be used on the lower eyelid. It’s also important to use a new sterile applicator for each eye and each use to prevent any contamination.

Buy branded Latisse or a generic bimatoprost option.

How Latisse Works for Eyelash Growth

The mechanism for Latisse to cause eyelash growth isn’t completely understood. The medication is thought to increase the number of eyelashes in the growth phase, as well as how long they stay in this phase. This typically takes 16 weeks to reach full effects.

A more advanced form of this condition is referred to as toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), characterized by the involvement of over 30% of the skin's surface and substantial damage to the mucous membranes.

Typical Side Effects of Latisse

Unfortunately, the effects of Latisse does come with the risk of side effects. This includes:

  • Eye itchiness
  • Red/inflamed eyes
  • Darkening of the skin surrounding the eyes

There are also other, rare dangers of taking Latisse, including:

  • Change of eye color
    Sometimes, Latisse can cause a change in the colour of your iris (the coloured part of your eye) usually leading to an increase in brown pigment. This colour change typically occurs slowly over time but is permanent once the change has occurred.
  • Macular edema
    Macular edema is a condition in which part of the eye, the macula, becomes swollen from fluid build-up. This has been reported to occur following treatment with Latisse, and so people with known risk factors for macular edema should use this medication with caution.
  • Unwanted hair growth
    Since Latisse increases the growth of eyelashes, it makes sense that it would increase the growth of other hair. Because if this, it’s important to make sure not to apply Latisse to any skin apart from the base of the eyelashes and to blot away any excess solution to prevent dripping.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I wear contact lenses while using Latisse?
    Latisse can be absorbed into your contact lenses, so it’s advised that contact lenses be removed before application and to wait 15 minutes before putting the contact lenses back in.
  • Can I use Latisse if I’m pregnant?
    There are no well controlled studies about the safety of Latisse during pregnancy in humans. Studies completed in animals have shown that the medication may not be safe during pregnancy, though this is not always transferable to humans. It’s best to speak with a healthcare provider in order to weigh the pros and cons of using Latisse during pregnancy.
  • How long do the effects of Latisse last?
    Unfortunately, the effects of Latisse on your eyelashes are not permanent. After a few weeks to months, your eyelashes will return to their previous length, thickness, and darkness. This is because your eyelashes will continue to fall out and regrow back at your normal rate once you stop using Latisse.


  1. LATISSE® (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.03%. Food and Drug Administration. (revised: 3/2012). Retrieved August 16, 2023, from
  2. Latisse® (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.03%. Latisse. Retrieved August 16, 2023, from

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