Prostaglandin and Topical Prostaglandin Analogues

Prostaglandin Analogues

Topical Prostaglandin Analogues

Prostaglandin and Topical Prostaglandin Analogues

Bimatoprost (Latisse® for eyelash growth):

  • Use: Apart from treating glaucoma, it’s approved for enhancing eyelash growth.
  • Mechanism: Increases the length, thickness, and darkness of eyelashes by prolonging the anagen phase of the eyelash hair cycle.
  • Side Effects: For eyelash growth, potential side effects include eye itching, redness, skin darkening around the application area, dry eyes, and potentially darkening of the iris color with long-term use.


  • Use: Solely used for glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
  • Mechanism: Lowers IOP by increasing the outflow of aqueous humor from the eye.
  • Side Effects: Common side effects include conjunctival hyperemia, eyelash changes (although not as pronounced or desired as in cosmetic use), and eye irritation.


  • Use: Indicated for glaucoma and ocular hypertension treatment.
  • Mechanism: Similar to other prostaglandin analogs, it works by increasing aqueous humor outflow.
  • Side Effects: Can cause ocular side effects similar to tafluprost, including redness, blurred vision, eye discomfort, and potential changes in eyelash length and pigmentation.


  • Use: Primarily used for lowering IOP in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.
  • Mechanism: Works by increasing the outflow of aqueous humor.
  • Side Effects: Side effects include iris pigmentation changes, eyelid skin darkening, blurred vision, and eye irritation. Eyelash changes (increased length, thickness, pigmentation) can occur but are generally considered side effects rather than therapeutic outcomes.

Comparison Summary:

  • For Glaucoma: All four are effective in reducing intraocular pressure, with slight differences in efficacy, side effects, and dosing regimen.
  • For Eyelash Growth: Only bimatoprost (marketed as Latisse®) is approved for cosmetic enhancement of eyelashes. While the other prostaglandin analogs may cause eyelash growth as a side effect, they are not approved for this purpose, and their formulations are not optimized for eyelash enhancement.
  • Side Effects: All can cause similar ocular side effects due to their mechanisms of action. However, the risk of iris pigmentation changes and skin darkening around the eyes is most notably associated with bimatoprost, especially given its application for eyelash growth.

Insights from Research

Adoption by the Cosmetic Industry

Controversies and Safety Considerations

Future Directions in Eyelash Enhancement

Prostaglandins Pros and Cons

  1. Lash Growth: Prostaglandins like bimatoprost (found in Latisse) are effective in promoting lash growth. They extend the growth phase of eyelashes, resulting in longer, thicker lashes over time.
  2. Glaucoma Treatment: Certain prostaglandin analogs are used to treat glaucoma by reducing intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eyes, which can help prevent vision loss.
  3. Wound Healing: Prostaglandins play a role in the inflammatory response and can aid in the process of wound healing.
  4. Labor Induction: Prostaglandins are sometimes used in medical settings to induce labor or ripen the cervix in pregnant individuals.
  1. Eye Irritation: Prostaglandin analogs used in lash serums like Latisse can cause eye irritation, redness, itching, and dryness in some individuals.
  2. Eyelid Discoloration: Prolonged use of prostaglandin-containing products may lead to darkening of the eyelids or skin around the eyes, especially in those with lighter skin tones.
  3. Iris Pigmentation: Rarely, prostaglandins like bimatoprost can cause darkening of the iris (eye color change) in some users, particularly those with hazel or green eyes.
  4. Orbital Fat Loss: Long-term use of prostaglandin analogs near the eyes, such as in Latisse, has been associated with potential orbital fat loss, leading to a hollow or sunken appearance around the eyes.
  5. Systemic Effects: Depending on the formulation and application, prostaglandins can have systemic effects, such as lowering blood pressure or affecting heart rate.
  6. Contraindications: Prostaglandin analogs are contraindicated in certain individuals, such as those with a history of eye inflammation, certain eye conditions, or allergies to the ingredients.


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