Eyelash Growth Drug Bimatoprost Trialled as Hair Loss Treatment

added 6th April 2016

A new, one-year clinical trial has been announced by the American pharmaceutical company Allergan Plc, formerly known as Actavis Plc, which will further investigate the drug bimatoprost in relation to male pattern baldness.


BimatoprostThe company had previously looked into this potential area of development in 2013 but part way through the study, despite impressive lab results prior to beginning that clinical trial, the drug was not deemed sufficiently effective for research to proceed at that time.


Originally developed as a glaucoma medication, bimatoprost has more recently been used in cosmetics designed to promote eyelash growth. Now, if these latest upcoming clinical trials prove successful – and safe – this ingredient could also be a key component in future male pattern hair loss treatments.


This latest study will be fairly small in scale, with 90 men all between 18 and 49 years of age and in the early to mid stages of genetic hair loss being recruited to take part. All volunteers who use minoxidil or take finasteride tablets have been advised that they must stop four weeks before the trial starts.


The blind trial aims to uncover the drug’s efficacy with regard to plasma levels, its tolerability and any adverse effects by randomly assigning different concentrations and various formulations of bimatoprost to the test subjects and studying the results. Should the initial data from these tests show positive associations, it is likely that further trials to assess bimatoprost’s efficacy as a male hair loss treatment will follow.


More than likely, the company hopes to develop a rival hair loss product to the readily available unisex treatment minoxidil which is suitable for both men and women. It is believed to help accelerate hair growth by activating the potassium channels and has been approved for the treatment of male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss by both the UK’s MHRA medical licensing agency and the American equivalent, the FDA.

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