Why is this medication prescribed?
Topical bimatoprost is used to treat hypotrichosis (less than the normal amount of hair) of the eyelashes by promoting the growth of longer, thicker, and darker lashes. Topical bimatoprost is in a class of medications called prostaglandin analogs. It works by increasing the number of eyelash hairs that grow and the amount of time that they grow.
How should this medicine be used?
Topical bimatoprost comes as a solution (liquid) to apply to the upper eyelids. It is usually applied once a day in the evening. Use topical bimatoprost at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use topical bimatoprost exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Using topical bimatoprost more often than once a day will not increase eyelash growth more than the recommended use.
It may take at least 4 weeks before you see any benefit from topical bimatoprost and up to 16 weeks to see the full effect of the medication. Continue to use topical bimatoprost even if you have already seen an effect. Topical bimatoprost will only increase eyelash growth while you are using the medication. If you stop using topical bimatoprost, your eyelashes will return to their original appearance within several weeks to months.
Do not apply topical bimatoprost to the lower eyelids or to broken or irritated skin on your upper eyelids.
It is possible for hair growth to occur on other areas of your skin with repeated applications of topical bimatoprost. Be careful to blot any excess solution outside the upper eyelid margin with a tissue or other absorbent material to prevent this from happening.
If topical bimatoprost gets into your eye(s) while you are applying the solution, it is not expected to cause harm. Do not rinse your eye(s).
Topical bimatoprost comes with sterile applicators to apply the medication. Do not reuse applicators and do not use a cotton swab or any other brush or applicator to apply topical bimatoprost.
To use the solution, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands and face thoroughly with soap and water. Be sure that all makeup is removed.
- Do not let the tip of the bottle or applicator touch your fingers or anything else.
- Hold the applicator horizontally, and place 1 drop of topical bimatoprost on the area closest to the tip, but not on the tip itself.
- Immediately move the applicator carefully across the skin of the upper eyelid at the base of the eyelashes (where the eyelashes meet the skin) going from the inner part of your lash line to the outer part, just as you would apply liquid eyeliner. The area should feel lightly moist but without runoff.
- Blot any excess solution with a tissue.
- Discard the applicator after applying to one eyelid.
- Repeat these steps for other eye using a new applicator.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using topical bimatoprost,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to bimatoprost or any other medications.
- you should know that bimatoprost is also available as Lumigan®, a solution to be instilled in the eyes to treat increased pressure in the eyes. If you use the topical solution and the eyedrops together, you may receive too much medication. Talk to your doctor about using topical bimatoprost if you are also using the eyedrops.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any medications for increased pressure in the eyes such as latanoprost (Xalatan) and travoprost (Travatan). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had swelling of the eyes, a missing or torn lens, or eye pressure problems. Call your doctor if you develop any eye condition such as an injury or infection or if you have surgery on your eyes during your treatment with topical bimatoprost.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using topical bimatoprost, call your doctor.
- you should know that topical bimatoprost contains benzalkonium chloride, which can be absorbed by soft contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, remove them before applying topical bimatoprost and put them back in 15 minutes later.
- you should know that it is possible for differences in eyelash length, thickness, fullness, color, number of eyelash hairs, and direction of eyelash growth to occur between eyes. These differences will usually go away if you stop using topical bimatoprost.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply extra solution to make up for a missed dose.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Topical bimatoprost may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- itchy eyes
- dry eyes
- eye irritation
- redness of the eyes and eyelids
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience this symptom, call your doctor immediately:
- blurred or decreased vision
Topical bimatoprost may cause darkening of the eyelid skin, which may be reversible if you stop using the medication. Topical bimatoprost may change the color of your eyes to brown, which is likely to be permanent. Call your doctor if you notice these changes.
Topical bimatoprost may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Before having your eye pressure checked, tell the person doing the test that you are using topical bimatoprost.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.