LATISSE is a prostaglandin analog, indicated to treat hypotrichosis of the eyelashes by increasing their growth including length, thickness and darkness. The active ingredient bimatoprost has been used since 2001 to lower high eye pressure in people with glaucoma. Bimatoprost is a compound derived from fatty acids that bind to receptors in the eyelashes that may be involved in the development and re-growth of hair follicles. The true mechanism by which LATISSE works is unknown, but the manufacturer (Allergan) speculates the growth of eyelashes occurs by increasing the percent of hairs in, and the duration of the anagen or growth phase.
In clinical studies LATISSE™ solution was evaluated for its effect on overall eyelash prominence in a multi-center, double- masked, randomized, vehicle-controlled, parallel study including 278 adult patients for four months of treatment. The primary efficacy endpoint in this study was an increase in overall eyelash prominence as measured by at least a 1-grade increase on the 4-point Global Eyelash Assessment (GEA) scale, from baseline to the end of the treatment period (week 16). LATISSE™ was more effective than vehicle as measured by the GEA score, with statistically significant differences seen at 8-week (50% with Latisse vs. 15% with placebo), 12-week, (69% with Latisse vs. 20% with placebo) and 16-week (78% with Latisse vs. 18% with placebo) treatment durations.
Full effects are expected at 16 weeks. Overall, an average of 25% increase in length, 106% increase in fullness/thickness and 18% increase in eyelash darkness was seen in the clinical study patients.
After the 16-week treatment period, a 4-week post-treatment period followed during which the effects of bimatoprost started to return toward baseline. The effect on eyelash growth is expected to abate following longer term discontinuation.