Effects of LATISSE (bimatoprost 0.03 per cent topical solution) on the ocular surface

Clin Exp Optom. 2017 Nov;100(6):583-589. doi: 10.1111/cxo.12507. Epub 2017 Jan 25.


Purpose: LATISSE is marketed for the treatment of hypotrichosis (loss of eyelashes), using a prostamide analogue and preserved with benzalkonium chloride, which is an effective preservative; however, it also causes irritation to the ocular surface. LATISSE is applied to the lid margin; however, with the blink, some solution may fall onto the ocular surface. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of LATISSE on the ocular surface over two months.

Methods: Non-dry eye participants interested in eyelash lengthening were invited to a prospective uncontrolled, open-label clinical study using LATISSE for two months. Eyelash length, subjective symptoms, tear film stability, osmolarity, ocular redness and intraocular pressure were evaluated at baseline (T0) and at one (T1) and two months (T2).

Results: Twenty-eight women (ages 18 to 29) entered the study. Fifteen completed the study with five who discontinued due to burning upon instillation and eight were lost to follow-up. Average eyelash length increased at each time (p < 0.001). Dryness, burning and grittiness remained low (less than 25/100) throughout the trial with dryness showing a significant change between T0 and T1 (p = 0.04), but not between T1 and T2 (p > 0.05). No difference (p > 0.05) was noted for the non-invasive break-up time, photochromametry or tear osmolarity. Intraocular pressure showed a decrease with time but translated to only a one to two mmHg change, which was not clinically relevant.

Conclusions: LATISSE increases eyelash length within a short time (less than two months). Patients seeking eyelash enhancement options should be educated as to the use, precautions and any secondary effects, including the potential for discomfort upon instillation.

Keywords: LATISSE; benzalkonium chloride (BAK); bimatoprost; eyelash enhancement.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Ophthalmic
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects
  • Bimatoprost / administration & dosage*
  • Bimatoprost / adverse effects
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / chemically induced
  • Eye Pain / chemically induced
  • Eyelashes / drug effects*
  • Eyelashes / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypotrichosis / drug therapy*
  • Hypotrichosis / physiopathology
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tears / chemistry
  • Tonometry, Ocular
  • Visual Acuity / drug effects
  • Young Adult


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Bimatoprost