We have signed on with Allergan Pharmaceuticals to dispense Latisse for our patients in Denver, Centennial, Aurora and from Colorado Springs and Fort Collins who wish to have longer, thicker, and darker eyelashes. We have received numerous requests from existing patients to offer this product, and although it does not have the "gravity" of LASIK or laser vision correction, it is something that many of our female patients have been requesting. since Latisse can only be prescribed by medical doctors (MD) and not optometrists (OD) we are also providing this for patients referred by our network of co-managing Optometrists. Tomorrow I am going for my weekly segment on the Tom Martino show on Channel 31 and channel 2 in Denver, to introduce our Latisse program, and to discuss and answer question live on air about this new product. I think that once patients have their vision corrected, and no longer have their eyes hidden behind glasses, they are more concerned about their appearance and the thought of improved eyelashes is very appealing.
Latisse is the same pharmaceutical as Lumigan is a drug used to treat a medical eye condition called Glaucoma. It was noted when patients with glaucoma (high eye pressure leading to eye damage) where treated with Lumigan that they started growing longer and thicker eyelashes as a side effect. Latisse is the exact same medication (brimatoprost 0.03% is the generic name) but it is applied to the base of the eyelashes to enhance the effect on the lashes while minimizing the effect on the eye itself.
A few things to know or be aware of before considering using Latisse. First of all you do not want to be pregnant or nursing since there could be some unwanted transfer of product to unborn or newborns with unknown effects. Second, you do not want to have glaucoma since it could confuse the treatment of your glaucoma if you have this condition. third, there can be some increased pigmentation of the colored part of the eye, the iris which may be irreversible. this is most of concern in those with either green or hazel eyes, blue eyed or brown eyed people are not likely a concern. about 3%-4% of patients experience some degree of irritation of their lids or eyes (about one in 25) so if this occurs one would not want to use the product. Finally there is some increased pigmentation possible of the skin around the base of the eyelids, which can be enhancing to the effect, is reversible, but might be a concern.
Because this is a medical treatment, even though cosmetic, we at Dishler LASIK want to have each patient evaluated and educated before prescribing for the first time but we provide these evaluations at no charge at this time. the medication costs about $120 per box and we are dispensing it directly to patients. By labeling 1 box should last about 1 month, but there is the opportunity to extend this considerably and we can discuss this during your consultation.
If you are a LASIK patient, we do not know how long after your procedure to wait before using this medication, but we are suggesting a 3 month period to stop it after LASIK to be on the safe side.
My understanding is that virtually 100% of patients using this product experience longer, thicker and darker lashes within 6-8 weeks of using it once per night. the product is applied only to the base of the upper lashes, and some transfers to the lower lashes automatically. Once the desired effect is achieved, the frequency can be reduce to just a few times per week for maintenance.
Allergan has a nice website, latisse.com and I would recommend anyone considering this treatment to visit their site for further information which is available on both the public and the professional part of the website.
We have been trained to treat patients with Botox as an additional cosmetic improvement product also by Allergan, but have not found much demand for this from our patient population. We are not sure what the demand for Latisse will be, but I am amazed with the statistic that women in the United States spend over 1 billion dollars a year on mascara products alone and this suggests that a more natural hair growth solution might be desirable to a large number of our patients. I also understand that this same product will grow eyelashes in patients who have thin or loss of eyelashes and on carefully considered cases we may try this on an off label basis with proper informed consent.
If you live in Denver and have considered our practice for LASIK or PRK which is what we are best known for, please be aware that there is this new product called LATISSE, it is FDA approved for treatment of eyelashes, and that we are a professional site you can consider to receive this product. Several of our staff are going to start using this on their own eyes (most of them actually) and will be available to discuss their own experiences with you.
Also, if you have any comments, experiences, or comments about Latisse, please use this blog to comment below and share your findings with our other patients. Thanks!