What is bimatoprost?

careprost-bimatoprostBimatoprost is a synthetic drug that chemically resembles Prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormones produced by the body and have several functions such as controlling the relaxation and contraction of smooth muscles. Bimatoprost mimics the function of the prostaglandin prostamide. It is used externally for treating two conditions that can affect the eye. These are:

  • Bimatoprost is used in reducing intraocular pressure (IOP)
    The drug increases the outward flow of aqueous fluid out of the eye through the trabecular meshwork and through the uveoscleral route.
  • It is also used in treating open angle glacoma
    Bimatoprost slows down the progression of open angle glacoma. However, the drug is not effective in treating narrow angle glacoma and neovascularglacoma.

Other than the above two functions, bimatoprost has been linked to two cosmetic effects. These include the following:

  • Bimatoprost causes an increased growth of the eyelashes
    The drug prolongs the growth period of growth of eye lashes. This results in longer, darker and thicker eyelashes.
  • The prostaglandin analog causes a reduction in orbital adipose tissue
    The orbital adipose tissue refers to the fat that stored around the eyes. The drug Bimatoprost reduces the fat around the eyes. This makes Bimatoprost a viable remedy for the condition commonly known as crow’s feet characterized by hollows beneath the eyes.

Long_eyelashesIt is the active ingredient in Lumigen, a topical eye medication made by Allergen. Lumigen is a clear, isotonic 0.03% Bimatoprost preparation. It contains other inactive ingredients which include benzalkonium chloride, sodium chloride, sodium phosphate, citris acid and purified water. Users of contact lenses need to wait atleast 15 minutes after using Lumigen. This is because benzalkonium chloride can get absorbed into the lense reducing their effectiveness.

Mode of action

Intraocular pressure is a condition that arises when excess aqueous humor(fluid) accumulates in the eye. If left untreated, the condition leads to the damage of the optical nerve, finally resulting in total loss of vision. Bimatoprost reduces ocular hypertension (pressure) by increasing the flow of the aqueous fluid out of the eye. The fluid flows out through two channels namely:

  1. Trabecular meshwork

    The trabecular meshwork is a system of tubes located below the cornea. The tubes drain the excess aqueous fluid back into the blood stream.

  2. Uveoscleral route

    This route refers to the manner in which aqueous fluid seeps into surrounding tissue, finally ending up as part of the inter cellular fluid. The inter cellular fluid end up in the blood stream via the lymphatic system.

Cosmetic use

3-Bimatoprost-OphthalmicStimulation of eye lash growth

Bimatoprost activates the prostamide alpha F2 receptor in eye lash hair follicles. The prostaglandin, prostamide, then prolongs the growth period of the eye lashes which allow the eyes to thicken and lengthen. Bimatoprost also causes an increase in the natural pigment melanin. The pigment is responsible for the darkening of eye lashes.

Reduction of orbital adipose tissue

The activation of the prostaglandin prostamide prevents the differentiation and survival of adipose tissue around the eyes. This allows for the enzymatic breakdown of fat stored in the tissue.

Use and dosage

The following steps should be followed when self-administering the drug.

  1. The face and hands are cleaned with soapy water. The face and hand are then dried thoroughly.
  2. Using one hand, the lower eyelid is gently pulled away from the eye and a single drop of a 0.03% Bimatoprost placed in the pouch. The eyes is then closed immediately.
  3. Using a finger the lower lid is massaged to spread the drug throughout the eye. The eyes should remain closed for at least 5 minutes.

One drop of 0.03% Bimatoprost (Lumigen) is used for each eye. This should be done in the evening unless otherwise indicated by a qualified physician. The treatment should last for the period indicated by the doctor. You should always consult your doctor before you buy Bimatoprost

For cosmetic use, the 0.03% Bimatoprost preparation is applied in the skin near the eyelashes using an applicator. Care should be taken to prevent the preparation from getting on any other part of the face. This is done twice a day until the desired effect is achieved.

Side effects

A number of side effects have been reported by users of Bimatoprost. These include:

  • Permanently darkened eye rashes
  • Permanent pigmentation of the iris to a brownish color
  • Unexpected hair growth on area that got into contact with the Bimatoprost preparation such as the cheek.
  • Inward growth of eyelashes that end up scratching the cornea causing irritation
  • Blurred vision and photophobia (light sensitivity)

The Common Areas Where One Can Get a Pharmacist

imagesA pharmacy is a place where one goes to get healthcare services and where one can buy drugs over the counter. Pharmacies have increased the accessibility of healthcare services since they are widespread unlike hospitals where one has to take long distances to get one. A pharmacist is the person who works in a pharmacy. These people play a big role in providing quality healthcare since they are professionals in medicine. They use the clinical expertise in conjunction with their practical knowledge to enhance safe use and supply of drug to the public.

Registration of a pharmacist with the general pharmaceutical council and an experience of at least a year under the control of an experienced and qualified pharmacist are compulsory for a pharmacist to be qualified. Pharmacist works either in hospitals or in community pharmacies.

Some pharmacists work in a hospital pharmacy where they play an important task in taking care of the patients. These people manage caseloads and give treatment programs to all patients for they work s as a multi disciplinary team. They also specialize in many clinical areas such as pediatric, cardiology, respiratory medicine and critical care.

imagesOther pharmacists work for the society in community pharmacy. These pharmacies are found in premises on local streets all over the country. In these, they prepare and give out prescribed and non-prescribed drugs. A community pharmacist also gives advice on the usage of the medicines given out and highlights the likely side effects of the same. They also helps a patient decide on whether to visit a doctor or not depending on the illness since they asks the patient a range of questions. The questions session is also done before giving out medicine when patient asks for medicine, which does not need a prescription making them reliable. Pharmacists also give advice on common problems such as pains, coughs, aches and healthy eating. Community pharmacies have been improved through private consultation areas where one can comfortably talk to the pharmacist with confidence about even the most personal symptoms.