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    Course Summary

    Stephen Lash & Rachael Smith (15:55)

    Most drugs have side effects - but sometimes these secondary effects, unforeseen and unintended, are not only harmless but actually desirable. Botox was originally developed as a treatment for nerve spasms; but the consequent localised paralysis resulted in a desirable, younger appearance in patients which lead to its now famous cosmetic uses. Eye drops containing the active ingredient bimatoprost have been developed and licensed to treat glaucoma patients by alleviating the pressure on the optic nerve. One observed side effect of this treatment is longer and thicker eyelashes, which has lead to the development of cosmetic versions containing the active ingredient. Rachael Smith, a community optometrist in Winchester, has encountered patient queries regarding these products. Here, she asks Stephen Lash, a trained optometrist and now a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at University Hospital Southampton, about the advice optometrists should give to patients aiming to benefit from the lash enhancing side effects.

    First published in DOCET OQ90 (2014).

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      Learning objectives

      2.2.3 Understand the legal framework surrounding the supply of ophthalmic drugs under licence in the UK, and what to do regarding the use of those being used for a purpose for which they are not licensed in the UK.

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        Audio track (~16 mins)

        Ophthalmic agents in cosmetics
        Stephen Lash & Rachael Smith (15:55)


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        More information and references


        • Priluck JC, Fu S. 2010. Latisse-induced periocular skin hyperpigmentation. Arch Ophthalmol. 128 (6), 792 – 793.
        • Sira M, Verity HD, Malhotra R. 2012. Topical bimatoprost 0.03% and iatrogenic eyelid and orbital lipodystrophy. Aesthet Surg J. 32 (7), 822 – 824.
        • Derek J. 2011. Enhanced eyelashes: Prescription and over-the-counter options. Aesth Plast Surg. 35, 116 – 121.
        • Wester ST, Lee W, Shi W. 2010. Eyelash Growth from application of bimatoprost in gel suspension to the base of the eyelashes. Ophthalmology. 117 (5), 1024 – 1031.
        • Yoelin S, Walt JG, Earl M. 2010. Safety, effectiveness, and subjective experience with topical bimatoprost 0.03% for eyelash growth. Dermatol Surg. 36 (5), 638 – 649.
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