How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Bimatoprost belongs to the class of medications called prostaglandin analogues. It is used to treat inadequate (or not enough) eyelashes. It works by increasing the growth of eyelashes including increasing their length, thickness, and darkness. The effect of this medication is generally not noticeable until it has been used continuously for 2 months. The effect of this medication is not permanent. If you stop using this medication, your eyelashes will gradually return to their original appearance.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each mL of clear solution contains bimatroprost 0.03%. Nonmedicinal ingredients: benzalkonium chloride 0.05 mg/mL, sodium chloride, sodium phosphate dibasic heptahydrate, citric acid monohydrate, and purified water. Sodium hydroxide and/or hydrochloric acid may be added to adjust pH.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose of bimatoprost eye solution is one drop (using the provided disposable applicator), applied once daily at night to the upper eyelid margin of each eye, at the base of the eyelashes.

This medication should not be applied more than once daily. Applying bimatoprost eye solution more often than once daily will not increase the growth of eyelashes.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

This medication is for external use only. Do not allow the dropper tip to touch the fingers or any other surface because this could contaminate the tip with common bacteria known to cause eye infections. To apply this medication, use the sterile, disposable applicators that come with the medication.

To apply the solution:

  1. Wash your face to ensure that it is clean.
  2. Remove contact lenses, if you wear them.
  3. Remove one sterile applicator from its tray. Hold the sterile applicator horizontally and place one drop of bimatoprost eye solution on the area closest to the tip.
  4. Draw the applicator across the skin of the upper eyelid margin, where the eyelashes meet the skin. Apply the solution evenly, starting at the inner part of your lash line and moving to the outer part.
  5. Blot any excess solution that extends beyond the eyelid margin.
  6. Safely dispose of the applicator.
  7. Using a new sterile applicator, repeat the process for the other eye.

Do not apply this medication to the lower eyelash line.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

If bimatoprost eye solution gets in your eyes, there is no need to rinse the eye as it is not expected to cause harm.

If you wear contact lenses, remove them before applying bimatoprost eye solution. They may be reinserted 15 minutes after applying the medication.

Store this medication between 2°C to 25°C (36°F and 77°F) and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Bimatoprost eye solution should not be used by anyone who is allergic to bimatoprost or to any of the ingredients of the medication.

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • blurry vision (temporary)
  • burning, dryness, itching, redness of the eye
  • darkening of eyelid skin colour
  • eye irritation
  • redness of eyelids

Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • eye or eyelid infection (e.g., redness or swelling of the eye or eyelid)
  • eye pain
  • vision changes

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Contamination of the bottle or applicators: It is very important to not allow the tip of the bottle to contact the eye or any other surface in order to avoid contaminating the solution. A fresh applicator should be used with each application of the medication.

Eye changes: Bimatoprost eye solution may cause eyelid skin darkening, which is usually reversible after the medication is stopped. When this medication is instilled directly into the eye to treat increased eye pressure, it can cause darkening of the iris (the coloured part of the eye), which is usually permanent. Colour changes occurred less frequently when this medication was applied to the eyelid margins.

Eye conditions: People with certain types of eye conditions (e.g., uveitis, certain lens problems) should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. If you develop any eye infections, eyelid reaction, or eye pain while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Eyelash changes: Eyelash changes may not be the same for each eye. There may be differences in the length, thickness, darkening, or number of eyelashes, and the direction of eyelash growth.

Hair growth outside the treatment area: Increased hair growth can occur in areas where this medication comes in repeated contact with. It is important to apply this medication only to the skin of the upper eyelid margins at the base of the eyelashes with the provided applicator, and to carefully blot any excess medication from the eyelid margin.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if bimatoprost passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and efficacy of using this medication have not been established for children.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between bimatoprost eye solution and any of the following:

  • bimatoprost (when used to treat increased pressure in the eye)
  • latanoprost
  • travoprost

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.