Celebrity / NYJSM Consult / Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields consults Dr. Vasey and NYJSM.com

November 10, 2009

Matthew Vasey, MD

"Let me tell you about LATISSE®. LATISSE® is a prescription treatment for hypotrichosis used to grow eyelashes, making them longer, thicker and darker. Eyelash hypotrichosis is another name for having inadequate or not enough eyelashes. Here is why I was excited about it - I've been in entertainment my whole life and tried products that don't always work as they claim. LATISSE® is the first and only science-based, clinically-tested, treatment approved by the FDA. After using it for four months, my lashes grew and I loved my results!

It's important you talk to your doctor to see if you are an appropriate candidate for treatment and to understand the potential side effects. Full safety information is also available on the LATISSE® Web site. Dr. Vasey, could you explain the potential side effects and full safety information for LATISSE® to your readers?

I also want to tell you about the LATISSE® Wishes campaign, a campaign with Allergan and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which helps make wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses. Register your support at LATISSE.com between now and through the end of December to help grant the wishes of children in your community."

Thank you Ms. Shields, I am more than happy to elaborate on the potential side effects and review the safety information of LATISSE® to our readers. As you mention, eyelash hypotrichosis is the medical term for having inadequate or not enough eyelashes. Eyelashes serve the primary function of protecting one's eye from dust or particulate matter in the air from contacting the eye's surface. Eyelashes can provide the brain with a sensation of proximity or nearness to an object as well as, playing a role in our mainstream culture's perceived image of beauty. Functioning in conjunction with eyelid movement, eyelashes can also serve as a non-verbal means of communication.

LATISSE® solution is a prescription treatment for hypotrichosis used to grow eyelashes, making them longer, thicker and darker. Medically termed bimatoprost this medication, approved in 2001 by the FDA, was originally used to reduce ocular hypertension. Like other medicines in this class, prostaglandins, the effects on eyelashes were consistently observed. In December of 2008, the medication termed LATISSE® was approved for a new indication by the FDA, eyelash growth including length, thickness and darkness.

Quoting from the FDA material, the exact mechanism by which bimatoprost causes eyelash growth is unknown ... eyelash enhancement is believed to occur by three mechanisms: prolonging the growth phase of the hair cycle resulting in longer length; by stimulating the resting follicles resulting in thicker/fuller lashes; and by increasing melanin synthesis resulting in darker pigmentation.

Here is a link to the FDA page for LATISSE®:
Click to view

As with all medicines, there are potential side effects or risks. The important thing is to weigh the risks and benefits on an individual basis with your doctor and make an educated and informed decision. Aside from optimal outcomes, we as medical professionals strive for an informed understanding by the patient of a particular treatment option.

Here is some important safety information when considering treatment with the product LATISSE®. If you are using prescription products for lowering eye pressure or have a history of eye pressure problems, only use LATISSE® under close doctor supervision. LATISSE® may cause eyelid skin darkening which may be reversible, and there is a potential for increased brown iris pigmentation which is likely to be permanent. There is a potential for hair growth to occur in areas where LATISSE® solution comes in repeated contact with skin surfaces. If you develop or experience any eye problems or have eye surgery, consult your doctor immediately about continued use of LATISSE®. The most common side effects after using LATISSE® solution are an itching sensation in the eyes and/or eye redness.

For more safety information on LATISSE®, please refer to full prescribing information:
Click to view *Page 6-8 represent the FDA - Approved Patient Package Insert

For more company sponsored information on LATISSE®, please refer to the web site:

For more information on LATISSE® Wish Campaign, please refer to this page:
Click to view

For more information on the Make-A-Wish Foundation, please refer to this page:
Click to view

NYJSM.com on Social Media