What Bimat Is
Bimat is a brand name of bimatoprost, an ophthalmic solution (eye drops) intended for the treatment of high pressure inside the eye and associated problems such as glaucoma. It also increases the growth, size, and thickness of eyelashes.
Bimatoprost is a synthetic analog of prostaglandin, a physiologically active natural lipid compound. The mechanism of action of the agent is simple: it decreases the pressure in the eye by lubrication, draining extra fluid from the eye. Bimatoprost is well absorbed through the cornea, and the maximum concentration in the eye starts after four hours. The effect lasts for at least 24 hours. A small percentage of the substance enters the bloodstream. However, bimatoprost is not accumulated in the body.
Recommendations for Use, Dosage, and Overdose
Follow all the directions on your prescription and the drug label carefully. Do not change the dose of the drug or treatment duration on your own; use it exactly as your doctor recommended.
The usual dose of bimatoprost is one drop in the affected eye once a day before sleep. However, depending on the condition and its severity, another dose and interval may be prescribed; follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
Bimatoprost ophthalmic solution contains a preserving agent that may discolor soft contact lenses. Therefore, it is not advised to use drops while having contact lenses on. After taking the drug, wait at least 15 minutes before putting on your contact lenses.
Wash your hands before applying the eye drops.
Application procedure: Tilt your head back slightly, preferably while lying down. Gently pull down your lower eyelid with your fingers to make a small pocket. Raise the dropper above the eye, tip down. Look up and away from the dropper and squeeze out a drop.
When the drop is on the eye, close your eyes for 2-3 minutes with your head tipped down. Do not blink or squint. To keep the solution draining into your tear duct, press your finger to the inside corner of the eye gently for about 1 minute.
If you were prescribed any other eye drops, wait at least 5 minutes before applying those.
Do not touch the eye with the dropper tip or place it directly on your eye, as it may damage the cornea or cause infection, which may result in serious vision problems.
If the solution has changed its color or has visible particles in it, do not use drops. Get a new drug from a pharmacy.
Inform your doctor about the progress of treatment or if you develop any complications, such as eye injury or infection.
If you accidentally forgot to apply the drops, skip the missed dose and use the drug at the next scheduled time. There is no need to make up for the missed dose with an extra one.
Bimatoprost is hard to overdose, and if it indeed happens, it is not considered to be dangerous.
Precautions and Contraindications
Bimatoprost cannot be used for patients with known allergy to it. To make sure the eye drops are safe for you, tell your doctor about any history of the following:
- Eye swelling or infection;
- Retinal detachment; or
- Surgery or injury affecting the eye lens.
Bimatoprost drops may occasionally cause a slight change in the color of your eyes, lids, and lashes, usually increasing the brown pigment. Eyelashes often grow longer and thicker. These changes are slow and may not be visible for months or years. Sometimes color changes may be irreversible, even after the end of the treatment. If only one eye was treated, it may result in a visible difference in eye or eyelash color between the two eyes.
There were no studies conducted on the effect of bimatoprost on an unborn baby during pregnancy. However, the effect is considered to be negligible since a very low amount of the drug actually penetrates into the bloodstream. In any case, you should always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning pregnancy. The same way, it is not known whether bimatoprost passes into breast milk and can affect the baby. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
Bimatoprost is not intended for patients younger than 16.
Interactions with Other Drugs and Substances
No interaction studies have been conducted for this medicine. Interactions with systemic drugs are considered unlikely, since bimatoprost does not reach relevant concentrations in the bloodstream. Also, it does not negatively interact with timolol drops.
It is unlikely that oral drugs or injections can affect bimatoprost. However, to ensure that your doctor has the full picture, tell him/her about the medications you are taking, both prescription and over-the-counter ones, like vitamins and herbal products.
Most common bimatoprost side effects are similar to other prostaglandin analogs. Conjunctival hyperemia occurs in about 10% of patients. Other effects include eye and eyelid redness, blurred vision, burning sensation in the eye or other discomfort, and permanent darkening of the iris to brown. Rare adverse effects can be headache and nausea (in less than 1% of patients).
Certain side effects are specific to the cosmetic use of the drug, when it is applied to the skin at the base of the eyelash. These can be infection if one-time applicators are reused and change of the eyelid color or area beneath the eye. Studies suggest that wiping the eye with an absorbent pad after the application of the drops can result in shorter eyelashes and a smaller chance of hyperpigmentation in the eyelid.
Get urgent medical help if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction to the drug:
- Trouble breathing;
- Swelling of your face, tongue, lips, or throat.
Stop the treatment and call your doctor immediately if you notice:
- Severe discomfort, burning, crusting or drainage in the eye.
The following may be the symptoms of an infection:
- Changes in sight;
- Swollen, red or itchy eyelids.
The list of side effects is not complete, and others may occur.
Keep in Mind
Before the treatment consult your doctor to ensure the information mentioned above applies to your case. Do not forget to inform him/her about your medical history, any currently taken drugs or special circumstances: allergies, breastfeeding, pregnancy, etc.
Do not recommend or share your medicine with any other person, even if the symptoms are similar to yours.
Keep away from children’s reach. Store the drug in a dark ventilated place away from moisture and sunlight. Do not use the drops after they expire as it can be dangerous and dispose of any unused remedy.
If you experience any strong side effects, seek medical attention.