Longer Eyelash Drug Caution

A new drug promises to grow longer, fuller lashes. Consumer Reports ShopSmart takes a closer look at Latisse.

Brooke Shields promotes Latisse. Shields says, "The first and only FDA-approved prescription treatment for inadequate or not enough lashes."

Who knew that inadequate or not enough lashes was a medical condition? And what exactly is Latisse?

"Latisse was originally sold as Lumigan, which is a glaucoma drug." said ShopSmart's Lisa Lee Freeman. "But during drug trials, they found that the drug was actually caused eyelashes to grow thicker. So the drug maker repackaged Lumigan as Latisse, an eyelash grower, and got approval from the FDA to sell it."

Latisse claims to grow lashes in as little as eight weeks, but Consumer Reports says there are real drawbacks.

Not only does it cost about 120 dollars a month, you have to keep applying it or your eyelashes return to their previous appearance. And there are side effects.

"If you have light-colored eyes, they may turn brown," said Dermatologist Dr. Amy Neuberger.

Neuberger says for that reason, she rarely prescribes Latisse to any of her patients with light-colored eyes.

And Consumer Reports ShopSmart says there are concerns that Latisse could conceal underlying glaucoma.

"As with any drug, you have to weigh the benefits against the risks." said Freeman. "And with Latisse, the benefits are purely cosmetic. So we think the risks are not worth it for most people."

Instead, Consumer Reports ShopSmart says consider a good mascara.

In tests, women with short lashes especially like Maybelline Define-A-Lash and CoverGirl VolumeExact. Both cost less than ten dollars.

Consumer Reports also advises us-while Latisse is FDA-approved, there are some cosmetic eyelash-enhancing products on the market that are not regulated at all.

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