Long lashes without prescription, but with risks

From the New York Times

If you are sensitive to mascara then you may be tempted, or have been tempted to try this new wonder drug said to encourage eyelash growth, but beware, as it is proving to have some unpleasant side effects.

Latisse has been promoted to women on television by Brooke Shields, who recommends women ask their doctor if the treatment is right for them.

But it turns out that although the manufacturing company, Allergan says they would cut off supplies to any doctor who sells Latisse on the internet, many doctors are selling Latisse over the internet without a proper consultation. Many beauty salons are also selling Latisse to customers.

Most people use Latisse, a drug with the same formulation as a treatment for glaucoma, without any side effects. But one rare side effect is that Latisse can change blue or hazel eyes brown forever. Another is discolouration around the eyes. One woman got the drug from her beautician who did not ask for a medical history, nor mention a single risk, nor that a doctor needed to prescribe the drug. She got a purple discolouration all around her eyes, which has not disappeared in the five months since she stopped taking Latisse.

Allergan says it is investigating any doctors who are selling the drug over the internet and has already stopped supplying Latisse to two health care providers, but one doctor working out of Pennsylvania claims Allergan knows he sells it online. Many states in America prohibit online sales of drugs, but Pennsylvania does not. Allergan acknowledges the side effects can be redness, itchiness and irritation which will go away if use is discontinued, but states that the less common discolouration around the eyes “may be reversible”.

October 2010

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