Bimatoprost is a product that contains prostaglandin analog. It is used as an eye drop to cure glaucoma and its progression. Bimatoprost is also recommended to treat ocular hypertension that is commonly seen in the older people as they progress towards aging.
Uses of Bimatoprost:
Bimatoprost ophthalmic solution was specifically designed to treat glaucoma and ocular hypertension. But after the findings of its use in eyelash lengthening, in 2008 it was approved by FDA for its use as an eyelash enhancer.
- Bimatoprost for Glaucoma:
Glaucoma is a disorder of the eye, which occurs due to increased pressure on the eye due to any nerve damage. Glaucoma can cause a huge damage to the eye vision. Firstly it decreases the peripheral vision of the eye. Then if the condition is left untreated, then the condition may result in permanent blindness. The condition of glaucoma can be treated if the correct medication is used at the correct time. Bimatoprost is one such medicine prescribed to increase the uveoscleral outflow of aqueous humor. This drug also increases trabecular outflow. The bimatoprost solution for glaucoma comes in the form of an ophthalmic/eye drops. The recommended dosage of Bimatoprost ophthalmic (0.01%) for glaucoma is one drop in the affected eye(s) once daily in the evening.
- Bimatoprost to treat ocular hypertension:
Ocular hypertension is also called increased intraocular pressure. This condition arises due to damage to the optic nerve or loss of the vision field. The pressure within the eyes is maintained by the fluids entering the eye through ciliary bodies and the fluid coming out of the eyes through the trabecular meshwork. The drug bimatoprost works by reducing the production of aqueous humor and increasing the outflow of aqueous humor.
- Cosmetic use of Bimatoprost to lengthen the eyelashes:
In Dec,2008, the FDA dermatologic and ophthalmic drug advisory committee approved Bimatoprost for its use in lengthening and darkening the eyelashes. The condition called Hypotrichosis marked by very thin or no eyelash hairs.
To treat Hypotrichosis, the Bimatoprost ophthalmic solution is used as an eyelash nourishing serum. To use this serum on eyelashes, one has to use an applicator brush. Then apply the bimatoprost serum on the upper eyelids every night for few weeks. After few weeks, you can see the desired results. One has to keep on applying the product at least twice in a week to maintain the darkness and the length of the eyelashes.
Side effects of Bimatoprost:
There are a few side effects associated with the use of Bimatoprost ophthalmic. In case you feel any of these side effects do not panic, stop the medicine use and consult your doctor immediately.
The following side effects can be seen:
- Changes in the pigmentation:
The drug bimatoprost ophthalmic has been reported to show the changes in the pigmentation of the iris, the eyelashes, and eyelid area. This pigmentation is due to the increase in the melanin content of the melanocyte cells. Due to this pigmentation the iris may become more brownish, and the eyelashes may also get darkened. However, if the use of the drug is discontinued, then the darkened lashes changes are reversible however the pigmentation of the iris is an irreversible change. The change in the iris colour may not be noticeable for many months and even for many years.
- Eyelash change
The drug may bring some noticeable changes in the eyelashes like extreme increase in the thickness, darkness and length of the lash hairs. This increased length of lashes may cause irritation to the crones and may hinder the visibility. For this you may be required to trim the eyelashes. However, these changes are all reversible changes, i.e. if the drug is discontinued then the eyelashes can come back into their usual form.
- Intraocular inflammation:
This drug bimatoprost and some other prostaglandin analogs are reposted to cause intraocular inflammation. Thus, this drug must be used with caution in the patients suffering from active intraocular inflammation.
- Macular oedema:
This condition has been reported during the use of bimatoprost ophthalmic solution for glaucoma. Hence, the drug must only be used on prescription. Special caution must be paid when using on patients with known risk for macular oedema.
Other common side effects include:
- Blurred vision
- Eyelid redness
- Discharge from eyes
- A temporary burning sensation during use
- Lashes may grow so long that they become ingrown and scratch the cornea
- Unexpected growth of hair if applied incorrectly, on the cheek, for example
Precautions while using Bimatoprost:
- Visit the doctor regularly to make sure that the drug is not causing some unwanted side effects.
- Check with your doctor in case of some eye injury or infection while using the product as the container might have got contaminated, and you might have to replace the bottle with a new one.
- In case you are using the product for eyelash extension, never use it on the lower eyelids and always wipe off any extra solution so as to avoid any unwanted growth of hairs near the eyes.
- Avoid the use of this drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- The drug should only be used by the adults or above 16 years of age due to the potential risks associated with long-term use
Bimatoprost ophthalmic solution is of great use for the patients with glaucoma and for those who want to get beautiful thick eyelashes; however just like other drugs some risk factors are associated. Hence, one should be completely aware of the risk and should take proper precaution to avoid any health hazards.