The Real Reason Lumigan Got Taken Off Shelves

Eyedrops are a super convenient product to have on hand, especially when you deal with chronic eye issues. For glaucoma and other related eye diseases, reducing pressure in the eye can offset the complications caused by the conditions and prevent larger issues, such as blindness. With a 0.3-milligram (mg) dose, Lumigan eyedrops (also called bimatoprost ophthalmic solution, per RxList) functioned as a saving grace for those looking to reduce pressure in the eyes (via WebMD). According to RxList, Lumigan drops also aid in eyelash growth for those who experience a lack of lash length and fullness. Following complications, however, the high dosage was removed from shelves to make way for a much lower 0.1-mg dose.

The lower dose of Lumigan drops is still available, with common side effects that include irritation, dry or watery eyes, dizziness, and unstable vision. More serious side effects following long-term use include changes in vision, discharge, dizziness, and light sensitivity. With these risks present, it's not surprising that the products were deemed unsafe at the higher dosage.

Lumigan seems to be safer at a lower dose

According to Prescriber, the European Medicines Agency released the following statement regarding the original Lumigan dosage: "Compared with the current authorized strength which contains 0.3 mg/ml bimatoprost and 50 ppm benzalkonium chloride, the new strength contains a third of the concentration of bimatoprost (0.1 mg/ml) and 200 ppm benzalkonium chloride. The higher concentration of benzalkonium chloride increases the ocular absorption of bimatoprost thus allowing for a lower concentration of bimatoprost to be administered (0.1 mg/ml). This new formulation, with a reduced concentration of bimatoprost, achieves comparable IOP-lowering efficacy to the current authorized strength and an improved overall safety profile."

This is to say that the lower dosage allows for a more effective product while lowering the overall risk of side effects when using Lumigan drops. To use the new dosage safely, advises that you should avoid using them with contact lenses and make sure to wait a full five minutes before using other prescription eyedrops.