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Critics take a dim view of ads for eyelash enhancer

November 2, 2009 |

In December, the Food and Drug Administration approved Latisse to treat “hypotrichosis,” a disease of deficient eyelashes. But Allergan Inc. advertised Latisse as “an historic innovation in eyelash enhancement.”

At least, it did until the FDA made the company correct its “misleading” promotions and stop omitting risks. Now, ads for the prescription drug warn that it may make eyes itchy and red, turn blue eyes brown, cause unwanted hair growth, and darken eyelids. (Jeepers creepers, where’d you get those peepers?)

Even so, Consumer Reports’ health blog last week joined others that have criticized – or parodied – Latisse ads featuring actress Brooke Shields, an unlikely poster girl for skimpy lashes.

Consumer Reports criticized Allergan – the company that made Botox a beauty product – for “taking a legitimate medical condition and broadening it to the point where it could apply to almost anyone.”

Latisse began as Lumigan, a glaucoma drug approved in 2001 that turned out to have a desirable side effect – lusher, darker eyelashes.

However, when users quit $100-a-month Latisse, their eyelashes return to a less glamorous state.

by Marie McCullough

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