Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Bimatoprost 0.03% discontinued

The manufacturer of bimatoprost (Lumigan®) has discontinued the 0.3mg/ml or 0.03% strength of this product in dropped bottles, the 0.01% product and the unit dose version are not affected and remain available.

According to an Assessment Report at the European Medicines agency the lower strength product is a direct equivalent. The report states, "Compared with the current authorised 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 authorised strength and an improved overall safety profile.

There is a cost difference between the two strengths with the 0.03% strength currently priced at £10.30 for 3ml and the 0.01% strength currently more expensive at £11.71 for 3ml.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this product being discontinued. It may be prudent to run clinical system searches to identify any patients who are currently prescribed this product to allow a review and an alternative to be arranged.

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33 Comments to “Bimatoprost 0.03% discontinued”

  1. I have just been given this drop from a cosmetic salon for eye lash growth. Luminance 0.3ml. Having just read it has been discontinued and not licensed for the UK, should I be concerned?

    Comment by Toni — August 6, 2019 #
    Reply

    1. @Toni,

      This medication has never been licensed for this use in the UK, but it is licensed for that use in America. As far as I'm aware it is a prescription only medicine in the UK so the legality of the supply made to you is questionable.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — August 6, 2019 #
      Reply

  2. With Lumigan I had brown staining around my eyes then redness and eyes "popping out of my head" followed by extreme pain in the head, the face and the mouth. Once I stopped Lumigan these symptoms disappeared very quickly.

    Comment by L. During — May 8, 2019 #
    Reply

  3. Can I apply this to grow eyebrows?

    Comment by Eyebrows — March 30, 2019 #
    Reply

    1. @Eyebrows,

      Eye lash growth is a very common side effect of this drop when use for raised eye pressure. I believe there is a licensed for this use in America but it is unlicensed for this purpose in the UK.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — March 30, 2019 #
      Reply

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