Side Effects Of Latisse

Latisse was discovered by accident. Latisse is in the same class of drugs that are used to treat glaucoma. The category of drugs is called Prostaglandin Analogues. When patients used these drugs for their glaucoma, it became apparent that the side effect of this category of drugs was thicker, fuller eyelashes.

Can Latisse Change Eye Color?

An undesired side effect of Latisse is a possible change in the color of the iris. The iris is the part of the eye that determines what color your eye is. It is more likely that Latisse changes eye color in patients who have lighter colored eyes, such as blue eyes. This side effect, unfortunately, is not reversible. All patients using this drug should be aware that this could happen. When Latisse changes eye color, the resulting color of the iris is usually a brown darkening.

The odds of Latisse changing eye color are higher if you have lighter color eyes, when compared to eyes that already have brown pigment. Most of the studies that have been done regarding prostaglandin analogs and eye color change were when the patient was putting a drop of medication inside the eye to treat glaucoma. Because Latisse should be applied to the upper lid’s lash line and is not meant to go inside the eye, the side effects may be slightly different. Given the proximity of the lash line to the eye, it is possible that some of the medication may also get inside the eye.

Other Side Effects Of Latisse

There are other side effects of Latisse that you should be aware of. In some patients, Latisse can cause a darkening of the eyelid skin. The effects of this tend to go away if you stop using the drop. Some people develop also report eye redness after using Latisse, but this usually is temporary. Itching and eye redness happen in about 4% of patients using Latisse. Long term eye redness with Latisse could be a sign of an allergy and should be discussed with your ophthalmologist. If you have a history of eye inflammation (uveitis) or swelling in the back of the eye (macular edema), you should not use Latisse. Always use Latisse under the direction of an ophthalmologist.

Side Effects Of Latisse: Take Home Points

The generic name for the drug in Latisse is called bimatoprost. Once it was discovered that bimatoprost had this effect on eyelashes, the drug was rebranded and approved for use for the sole purpose of giving people thicker and fuller lashes. Latisse should only be used on the upper eyelid and not on the lower eyelid. Do not use Latisse if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. One irreversible side effect of Latisse is a darkening of the iris in certain patients. It is more likely that Latisse changes eye color in patients who have lighter eyes. Other side effects that are usually reversible include eye redness, eyelid skin darkening, and itching. Do not use Latisse with contact lenses inside the eye.

Related: Eye Drops For Droopy Eyelid


Priluck JC, Fu S. Latisse-induced periocular skin hyperpigmentation. Arch Ophthalmol. 2010 Jun;128(6):792-3. doi: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2010.89. PMID: 20547960.

Centofanti M, Oddone F, Chimenti S, Tanga L, Citarella L, Manni G. Prevention of dermatologic side effects of bimatoprost 0.03% topical therapy. Am J Ophthalmol. 2006 Dec;142(6):1059-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2006.07.019. Epub 2006 Aug 7. PMID: 17157592.

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