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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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40 Comments to “Bimatoprost 0.03% discontinued”

  1. I just got the higher solution from the chemist. I have been using the lower one for two years now and nearly panicked. Thanks to you folks I understand that the two are practically interchangeable. Hope I read that well.

    Comment by mwangi gituto — February 10, 2022 #

    1. @Mwangi Gituto,

      The two are interchangable but I would still recommend double checking with your pharmacy that they gave you the correct product.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — February 10, 2022 #

  2. I was prescribed Lumigan 0.1mg/ml at hospital where I was diagnosed with glaucoma. When I received my prescription from doctor the strength was 0.3 mg/ml. I didn't recognise the difference and I have been using the 0.3mg/ml. Since this I have been getting pain in my eye, just like the high pressure pain I had before I was diagnosed with glaucoma, should I continue to use this?

    Comment by Elizabeth Mitchell — February 16, 2021 #

    1. @Elizabeth Mitchell,

      I would advice you speak to your doctor and pharmacist and make sure that the correct product, as advised by the hospital, has been prescribed and dispensed for you. If it has you still need to let your doctor and the hospital know about this possible side effect.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — February 16, 2021 #

  3. I have a bottle of 0.03% drops. I am using an extremely fine brush to apply the drop solution to my eyelids as a Latisse substitute. Any problem with thus application?

    Comment by Patricia — May 1, 2020 #

    1. @Patricia,

      That's fine, it's a different product for a different problem - Latisse is used to promote eye lash growth, not for raised intra-ocular eye pressure. In the UK it is private as it is for a cosmetic, rather than medical purpose.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — May 2, 2020 #

  4. I have been using Lumigan 0.03% for glaucoma/high eye pressure for 12 years now with no problems, itchy eyes sometimes.

    Comment by garry — March 15, 2020 #

  5. 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 #

    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 #

  6. 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 #

  7. Can I apply this to grow eyebrows?

    Comment by Eyebrows — March 30, 2019 #

    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 #

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