How Safe is it to Use Generic Latisse for Longer Eyelashes?

Generic Latisse Usage

In this article, we will discuss about the side effects of generic latisse usage and the safety measures to follow: 

They say, “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder,” and it does. But doesn’t it also lie in the eyes of the person being looked at?

On average, people deem eyes as the most attractive feature of a person’s face. Having captivating eyes, thus, is a definite boost to someone’s appeal. And long, silken eyelashes add to that appeal.

Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with a naturally luxurious set of eyelashes. For this reason, people resort to fake eyelashes, eyelash extensions, and supplements that claim to promote lash growth.

However, another revolutionary alternative has come up in recent times, which is the use of Bimatoprost ophthalmic solution. It is sold under the brand name Latisse among others.

Initially created, marketed, and sold exclusively by Allergan under a patent, Latisse is now available as a generic drug as well. This has brought it within reach of the masses who may have found it difficult to splash the cash on Allergan’s expensive product.

The question, however, arises whether generic Latisse is safe to use or not? We will try to answer it in this article.

Safety Concerns of Generic Latisse Usage

Latisse or bimatoprost was originally prescribed solely for treating open-angle glaucoma caused due to raised ocular pressure.

During clinical trials, it was noticed that the subjects who were given Lumigan (the ophthalmic solution containing bimatoprost) instead of a placebo, grew dramatically longer and thicker eyelashes. The drug also darkened the color of the lashes.

This ‘side effect’ presented a novel solution for cosmetic enhancement of eyelash length as well as volume. Allergan wasted no time in acquiring FDA approval for it and thus came about Latisse as we know it.

Generic Latisse is the same formulation selling at a lower cost. Naturally, the benefits and risks involved with the use of Allergan’s Latisse are applicable in the case of its generic counterpart as well.

Listed below are some safety risks associated with the use of Latisse:

Eye Redness

The main safety concern of Generic Latisse usage is the risk of the solution getting into the eyes. The solution is meant to be applied topically, that is, externally, at the base of the eyelashes. If it gets into the eyes instead, there might be some redness and itching.

This can easily be prevented by taking extra care while applying the medicine. To know more about how to properly put in eye drops read our article.

Darkening of Eyelids

There have been reports of eyelid darkening as a result of improper Latisse application. This is not a permanent effect, however, and only in rare cases persists beyond the duration of Latisse use.

Risk in Glaucoma Patients Already on Medication

Since bimatoprost reduces intraocular pressure, it should be used judiciously in patients already taking other IOP-lowering drugs. Patients intending to use Latisse for cosmetic eyelash enhancement should talk to their ophthalmologist for proper dosage instructions.

Iris Discoloration

Some reports suggest that if the medication does get into the eyes, brownish discoloration of the iris (central colored part of the eye) may occur. This effect is not temporary like the darkening of eyelids.

Again, this is preventable by being extremely careful during application.

Extra Hair Growth

Hair growth in unintended areas might occur if the medication regularly comes into contact with the skin in those areas. To avoid this, use the applicator to apply the solution and wipe off the extra medication from around the base of the eyelashes.

Dry Eyes

Occasionally, Bimatoprost may cause dry eye syndrome, wherein the protective tear film of the eye gets eroded. Symptoms include burning sensation, itching, gritty feeling in the eyes.

Peri-Orbital Fat Loss

Some users reported a loss of fat on their upper eyelids after continued application of Latisse. As a result, there is an appearance of the eyes being sunken and hollow.

Rare Side Effects

Pain, swelling, inflammation of the eyes can occur in very rare cases. Vision changes, clouding of the eye lens, nausea, watering of the eyes, increased light sensitivity, and headaches have also been reported. Sometimes, the eye can get infected, causing a discharge.

But as mentioned, these are extremely infrequent and can be treated with appropriate medication.

Certain safety issues are specific to generic Latisse usage. These include:

Less Effective

Similar to any other generic drug, there might be small differences in the way the medication works when compared to its branded counterpart. These slight differences can result in the drug being less effective, besides leading to the occurrence of some harmful effects.

Users have reported little to no improvement of eyelash length or thickness even after long-term application.

Non-Prescription Buys

Generic drugs carry the same labels and precautions as their brand name equivalents. But, due to laxity arising from misconceptions about generic medications being safer, people tend to bypass a doctor’s prescription before buying them.

In the case of Latisse, obtaining it at lower than normal costs is a very alluring prospect for consumers.

This is risky, as non-prescription buys make it easy to overlook a particular individual’s medical history. Additionally, buying the medicine online illicitly exposes the user to all kinds of fraudulent behavior.

Chances of Spurious Versions Being Sold

Once a brand’s patent of a drug or formulation expires, a generic version of the drug can be made. However, this allows non-FDA approved versions to be produced and sold by just about any pharma company looking to gain quick profits.

With medication as popular as Latisse, it becomes an even more enticing prospect to sell cheap knock-offs and make money at the expense of gullible customers. These copies of the drug not only tend to be less effective but also tend to make severe side effects appear.

What is the Recourse Available to Potential Buyers of Generic Latisse?

Having considered the safety issues mentioned above, it becomes abundantly clear that the careful usage of generic Latisse can prevent the development of most or all of them.

People who want to cosmetically enhance their eyelashes using this solution should always ensure to obtain a prescription first. In any case, they should avoid opting for cheap drugs claiming to be Latisse and only buy them from trusted retailers, online or otherwise.

Additionally, if they do go for a generic version being sold online, they should take a thorough look at all the reviews first.


Generic Latisse is equivalent to Allergan’s Latisse in strength and formulation. There is no reason for it to not work as safely and effectively as its branded counterpart, just as long as it is obtained on a legal prescription and the instructions for usage are followed religiously.