A Food and Drug Administration study finds a drug from Botox maker Allergan Inc increased the length, thickness and darkness of eyelashes. The FDA advisory panel that meets Friday to evaluate the proposed cosmetic use of the drug, bimatoprost, now sold for treating glaucoma.
Four out of 137 patients who used the drug, which was applied daily along the upper eyelids, dropped out of Allergan's study because of mild or moderate eczema, dry eye, eye inflammation or dermatitis.
Allergan, in a separate summary, said problems reported by users "occurred at a low frequency and were largely mild in severity, cosmetic in nature, and reversible." Allergan estimates global peak sales for the eyelash drug could top $500 million per year. The proposed brand name is Latisse, and it would be sold by prescription.
Allergan evaluated the eyelash use in a study of 137 patients who were given the drug and 141 others who got a placebo. Researchers rated the appearance of eyelashes on a four-point scale ranging from "minimal" to "very marked."
After 16 weeks, 78 percent of patients who got the drug had at least a one-point improvement, compared with 18 percent of placebo patients, the FDA staff review said.