Can I Use Latisse Instead of Lumigan for Glaucoma?

I am 46 years old and have advanced glaucoma. My doctor has prescribed Lumigan as one of my medications. I have no insurance, and I have to pay out of pocket for all my medications. I have found a foreign pharmacy that sells bimatoprost 0.03%, labeled as Latisse, for $10/bottle (versus $60-70 in U.S. pharmacies). Would it be safe and effective to use the product labeled "Latisse" in place of Lumigan for glaucoma?

Doctor Answers 8

Using Latisse for Glaucoma

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Thank you for your question. I do not recommend you use Latisse for treatment of your Glaucoma.  Please speak with your Ophthalmologist to see what options you have in regards to your Glaucoma medication but do not use Latisse.. it has not been tested for treating Glaucoma and could cause problems for you.  


No. No. No.

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Although they are identical formulations, the preparation of Latisse is designed for the eyelashes. The volume of medicine delivered to your eye will not be enough to treat the glaucoma.

And the amount of medicine in a bottle of Latisse is lower than how much you will get in a bottle of Lumigan, so you won't be saving any money in the long run anyway.


Do NOT use Latisse to treat your glaucoma

A.J. Amadi, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Latisse is for eyelashes, not for eyes

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While both Latisse and Lumigan are bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03%, Latisse is approved for use on eyelashes only. It is also very risky ordering medications from foreign pharmacies, especially when you don't know where the medication is being manufactured.


Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Would not use it

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Bimatoprost 0.03% is a formulation for both Latisse and Lumigan. However, Lumigan is used as a drop, while Latisse is brushed on the lash line. I would be more concerned buying from a foreign pharmacy with unclear regulation as to the control and formula of this medicine. Be careful, the drops may contain some additives or preservatives not present in the Allergan version of this drug that passed careful FDA control.

Natalie Borodoker, MD
New York Ophthalmologist

What's the "Real" Question Here?

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The real question that is being posed is should one purchase their glaucoma medication at a deep discount from a "foreign" pharmacy? I have patients who are originally from India and Mexico and they travel to their home countries frequently. They have reported to me that they are able to obtain their medications from legitimate pharmacies at much cheaper rates when compared to the U.S. It really makes me wonder why Americans are charge so much more for the same medications (I hear that it has to do with the cost of research and development).

With that being said, it doesn't answer that question about the "foreign" pharmacy YOU are using. The medication could be legitimate, but it could be counterfeit, which is a huge, worldwide problem nowadays. Do you really want to take the chance that you are gettting nothing more than saline, or even worse, something that could harm your eyes. Glaucoma is a potentially blinding condition and requires proper treatment and continued follow-up.

Technically, Lumigan and Latisse are bimatoprost 0.03% and there is no real difference between the two (Lumigan does come in a 0.01% concentration which helps to reduce some side effects like hyperemia or red eyes). Both are designed to be used one drop every night. Lumigan is applied directly to the eye, whereas Latisse is applied to the upper lid with an applicator. Latisse samples come in 3 ml bottles and Lumigan samples come in 2.5 ml bottles, although Lumigan can be purchased in various bottle sizes.

The bottom line is that  you need to talk to your ophthalmologist about other medication options to treat your glaucoma if you are unable to afford what he or she has prescribed. Xalatan is now available as a generic in the United States. The generic name is latanoprost. You may also be able to get your doctor to sign you up for a patient assistance program that allows you to receive your medication directly from the pharmaceutical company at no cost.

Good luck.

Relief Jones, III, MD
San Antonio Ophthalmologist

Latisse is not intended to be used for glaucoma

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It's true that bimatoprost is a glaucoma medication, but only your ophthalmologist can tell you if it is appropriate for your type of glaucoma. 

In addition, how do you know what you are getting by ordering medications from a foreign pharmacy?  I would not recommend either using Latisse for glaucoma or getting it from a foreign pharmacy.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Latisse isn't for glaucoma, and buying from a foreign pharmacy is questionable

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There are two issues. The first is that you should only use the drug that has been prescribed by your doctor. If you'd like to use Latisse, please ask your doctor first before using. However, I don't think it is a viable replacement for Lumigan. The second issue is purchasing a product labeled "Latisse" from a foreign pharmacy. Are you sure that it is actually Latisse and not something else? There are many knockoffs and counterfeit drugs out there. I would recommend you purchase any drug from a reputable source that you can trust.

Low-cost Lumigan

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I am sorry to hear that you are faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to pay out of pocket for Lumigan.  I would be concerned about using a copycat foreign medication in the eyes.  It is unclear if the quality controls would be similar to what Allergan and the FDA require, but probably not.  There is more than just medicine in these products: preservatives, drug vehicle, etc.  There might be a lot of unwanted material in there, even if the medicine components were similar, which may or may not be true.  The way the product is formulated may increase your risk of eye infections if you use repeatedly in the eye.

I would recommend that you look into patient assistance programs from Allergan, which you can find on their web site.

Joseph Walrath, MD
Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.