Prostaglandin analogs have become a cornerstone of glaucoma therapy. The ability of this class of glaucoma medications to alter the eyelashes has been widely reported in the literature. Increased length, thickness, pigmentation and even number have been reported. One recent report involved a case of unilateral trichiasis, or misdirected eyelashes, associated with the monocular use of topical prostaglandins.1 Poliosis, or whitening of the eyelashes, was recently reported by a group in Australia as a bilateral side effect in seven patients undergoing treatment for primary open angle glaucoma with topical prostaglandin F2 alpha analogs.
Hypertrichosis, or increased lash length, pigmentation or thickness is a relatively common side effect of prostaglandin use. Latanoprost was shown in one study to produce hypertrichosis with a higher incidence in the female population than male.3 As alluded to earlier, this side effect did not have a particularly deleterious psychological effect on their female patients. In this study, this potentially permanent side effect showed an overall incidence rate of no more than 3 percent.
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