Treating Hair Loss with Xalatan (Latanoprost)
Prostaglandins have been traditionally used for the treatment of both open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension. The funny thing is doctors accidentally found out the prolonged use in these eye drops surprisingly increased the density and pigmentations of eyelashes. This epiphany is what brought up the idea for why they later used and marketed these drops for cosmetic purposes to elongate the eyelashes in the form of Latisse.
The active ingredient of Latisse, bimatoprost, is present in Allergan’s product. The drug company Pfizer sells a similar product called Xalatan. Xalantan (latanoprost) behaves similar to prostaglandin PGF2α and for the same reason can increase the growth of eyelashes.
As mentioned, the effect of Xalantan on length and pigmentation of eyelashes was proven several years ago. There are several positive studies which indicate the effects of Xalantan on hair in the other parts of the body such as eyebrows or scalp hair. However Xalantan is still not approved, nor currently recommended for scalp hair restoration. More research is needed to address its efficacy for hair loss prevention in its pattern form.
There is a recently published study in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology called “Assessing the Efficacy of Topical Treatment by Latanoprost on Hair Growth and Pigmentation in Androgenetic Alopecia.”
This study was writen by Blume -Peytavi et al. in the Department of Dermatology of Charite-Universitatsmedizin in Berlin. In this study the researchers evaluated the number of hairs, their thicknesses, and pigmentations in a 24 week period while patients used the medication topically on their scalp. They concluded that Latanoprost significantly increases hair density in the form of terminal (thick, mature hair) and vellus hair (peach fuzz). It is recommended that this product could be used as a hair loss medication in the future, but more research is needed to assess its long term effects before we can truly consider latanoprost as a hair loss medication.