Precautions and Warnings With Bimatoprost
It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about the precautions and warnings with bimatoprost, as the drug could cause potentially dangerous side effects or complications. For example, swelling and infections are problems that may occur with the use of bimatoprost. You should not use bimatoprost at all if you are allergic to any active or inactive components used to make the product.
Bimatoprost: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking bimatoprost ophthalmic solution (Lumigan®) if you:
- Have an inflammatory eye condition such as iritis or uveitis
- Are missing a lens of the eye (a condition known as aphakia)
- Have an artificial lens of the eye (such as if you have had cataract surgery)
- Have any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Warnings and Precautions for Bimatoprost
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking bimatoprost include the following:
- There have been a few cases of bacterial keratitis (a dangerous infection of the cornea of the eye that can quickly lead to blindness) in people who use eye drops. These cases were caused by accidental contamination of the eye drop bottle by the users, who usually already had some damage or disease of the cornea. It is very important to prevent contamination of the bottle. Never touch the tip of the bottle with your eye, hands, or any other surfaces.
- Bimatoprost can cause increased pigmentation (darkening) of certain tissues. It can cause a darkening of the iris (the colored part) of the eyes, the eyelids, and the eyelashes. While darkening of the eyelids and eyelashes usually goes away after bimatoprost is stopped, eye color darkening is usually permanent. This eye darkening is most noticeable in people with light-colored eyes (such as blue eyes), as bimatoprost tends to make the eyes more brown. These changes are not dangerous, and you can keep taking bimatoprost if they occur.
- There have been reports of macular edema (swelling of the macula of the eye) in some people taking bimatoprost. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you have any vision changes, as they may be a sign of macular edema. People missing an eye lens or those with artificial lenses within the eye (such as people who have had cataract surgery) may be at a higher risk for macular edema.
- Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have a history of iritis or uveitis (certain inflammatory conditions of the eye). In general, bimatoprost should be avoided if you currently have eye inflammation.
- Bimatoprost is not approved for angle closure glaucoma, inflammatory glaucoma, or neovascular glaucoma, as it has not been thoroughly studied for these types of glaucoma.
- If you develop any eye condition or require eye surgery, let your healthcare provider know. You may be advised to temporarily stop taking bimatoprost.
- If you wear contact lenses, you must take them out before using bimatoprost and wait at least 15 minutes before re-inserting them.
- Wait at least five minutes in between using bimatoprost and any other eye drops.
- Bimatoprost can potentially interact with a few other medications (see Drug Interactions With Bimatoprost).
- Bimatoprost is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Lumigan and Pregnancy or Latisse and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown whether bimatoprost passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Lumigan and Breastfeeding or Latisse and Breastfeeding).