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Bimatoprost: Results of 6 mo. usage of Allergan Lumigan

Discussion in 'Alternative Treatments' started by Dr. David 4444, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Dr. David 4444

    Dr. David 4444 New Member

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    Patient Background:
    I am 37 y.o. I earned a Ph.D in biochemistry and an M.D. from a leading U.S. medical school (I don't practice medicine anymore). My hair began receding from the front of my scalp (anterior MPB) at age 26. I was Norwood grade II until age 33. From age 33-37, my hair loss accelerated and I progressed to Norwood grade III (no hair loss in the vertex). I suspect that without any intervention, I will be Norwood grade IV by age 40. I began applying Rogaine 5% over most of my scalp from ages 31-36, but I stopped after seeing very little increase in length, density, thickness, or pigmentation. I have never used any other hair-regrowth product. I believe in the efficacy of dutasteride/finasteride, but I won't risk their side effects. I am aware of other clinical trial-stage topical anti-androgens, but I am wary about using them until more data comes out. I became interested in bimatoprost after hearing several dermatologists tout its efficacy and safety.

    I received a prescription for Lumigan (0.03% bimatoprost) from a university-based dermatologist who researches hair loss. A colleague of mine had a contact at Allergan, and this enabled me to purchase large quantities of Lumigan (insurance only covers 1 2.5 ml bottle/month).

    This is my first time visiting a hair forum and my first post. I am trying to catch up with past posts, so if my data is redundant, I apologize. I will try to keep this as concise as possible and for general readership.

    Method:
    I applied at night 1-1.5 ml of 0.03% Lumigan for 6 months (82 2.5 ml bottles total, at a cost of $325/month). I rubbed it into my scalp (from my orginal hairline to the frontal and temporal regions) for one minute with my fingertips.

    I used the Allergan brand product to ensure purity and I used a large volume for adequate coverage so that at the end of the trial, if I didn't see results, I wouldn't question the purity of the compound or the volume applied (I would still be left with questions about other variables, such as product concentration and delivery vehicle, which I could address after my study). The dermatologist inspected my scalp and took photos at baseline and every 2 months after.

    Results:
    We did not observe any results during the first 2 months of the trial. But by the end of month 3, the hair on my frontal and temporal areas (2.5 to 4 inches above my original hairline) began to show increased density and thickness. By the end of month 4, we observed increased pigmentation of this hair and some of my miniturized hairs had a moderate increase in length. These parameters continued to improve up until the end of the 6 month trial.

    I experienced no significant new growth in the bald areas of my scalp. Vellus hairs formed, but less than 5% became terminal hairs.

    My own subjective assessment of the appearance of my hair is that this treatment has turned the clock back to about a 1.5 years ago.

    I experienced no side effects during the trial.

    Conclusion:
    I am satisfied that bimatoprost has stimulated hair growth for my particular case and will significantly slow my hair loss. I am now interested in applying higher concentrations of product to see if I can achieve even better results. The challenge, of course, is obtaining pure bimatoprost compound (designing the vehicle is less of a problem).

    I don't know if I can justify the cost of this treatment to others. I really don't have an idea of how much members on this forum spend per month on hair regrowth products. I certainly saw results that were much better than with Rogaine for my particular case, but Rogaine is a small fraction of the cost that I invested.

    I would like to hear more details from other members on: 1) whether they have been successful in obtaining pure bimatoprost powder (verified by U.S. lab testing) from overseas companies that advertise bimatoprost, particularly China, and the cost paid; 2) whether anyone has had higher concentrations of bimatoprost solution made by a compounding pharmacy (with a prescription for this concentration). If you have not been able to verify the purity of your bimatoprost orders at a U.S. testing facility, then this is something that I could pursue in the next month. I will also be able to run any questions or ideas that members may have by my dermatologist.

    I would be happy to provide more details or follow up information. Just be patient as I can only stop by once a day.

    Take Care
     
  2. armandein

    armandein Member

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    Thank you for your post.
    How did you measured the changes in your hair? Photos, trichogram, visual ?
    Had you shedding of hair after quiting minox?
     
  3. Dr. David 4444

    Dr. David 4444 New Member

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    The dermatologist had a computerized videomicroscope. I believe the photos were taken with a 50X lens, but I'm not certain. I can find out when I go back.

    I know it is a better analysis tool, but I was not up for the unit area trichogram. Maybe in the future.

    When I stopped using Rogaine, I did NOT have a significant immediate shed that occurred over a period of weeks. I believe I continued to lose hair at the rate I experienced before discontinuing Rogaine. This is a based on a qualitative assessment of my hair. I have no quantitative proof of this. It is possible that the rate of hair loss moderately increased.
     
  4. Rabid

    Rabid Member

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    .03% is tiny dose. Go with at least 1% for best results. :punk:
     
  5. DavisNY

    DavisNY Member

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    Fantastic thread!

    Have you noticed the effects wearing off after discontinuing use?


    is there a way any of us can also get in on ordering some? ideally a slightly higher dosage?
     
  6. TA45

    TA45 Member

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    Thanks for giving us this feedback!
    -Are you able to show us your pictures during progression?
    -What does your derm think about your results?
    -Will your derm be trying this on other patients?
    -Have you kept your increase in thickness since stopping the drug?
    -and finnally my most important question: di you get any sides from either the minox or Lumigan such as a bloated face or eycircles or anything what so ever?
    Thank you again, I (We) look forward to your responses!!:)
    Tim
     
  7. Dr. David 4444

    Dr. David 4444 New Member

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    I am still using the 0.03% Lumigan. I just wanted to provide a report at 6 months so that people could have additional information on which to base a decision to pursue a course like mine. The effects have not diminished. I purchased enough to last 8 months. However, I am now researching commercial sources of Bimatoprost powder in order to make my own solution at a higher dosage (this is the only way to get higher than 0.03%) and exploring a source to test this compound before I use it. After I accomplish this, I will be happy to share a reputable source for bimatoprost.
     
  8. Dr. David 4444

    Dr. David 4444 New Member

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    My dermatologist has cautious enthusiasm about bimatoprost. He has been in the hair game for a while, so he tries not to raise his patients' expectations too high. He saw mild/moderate results from 10-12 of his patients using small volumes of Lumigan. He would have liked to use higher volumes, but it was a supply issue (insurance). I was the first patient he had that had access to large volumes of Allergan brand Lumigan and I was willing to make a $300+ per month investment long term. And not unexpectedly, I had the best results.

    My plan for the next six months once I settle on a reputable bimatoprost source is to use 0.06% bimatoprost for 2 months, 0.09% bimatoprost for 2 months, and 0.12% for 2 months. I will visit my dermatologist before I start 0.06% to have him take photos (a new baseline) and I will visit him every 2 months for a new analysis ( I will inquire the next time I see him as to whether he can provide photos for me to post on this site - I have to be straightforward with him). At the end of the 6 months, I will consider what direction to go with the bimatoprost. I will also consider adding a topical anti-androgen such as CB-03-01 or RU58841. I was aware these compounds were tested in clinical trials, but I was hesitant to consider them until more data came out. But yesterday I looked at threads on this site and I was impressed at how many people have already begun making their own formulations. It gave me a buzz, because I love pioneering spirits in science (the astounding discoveries by independent scientists from the 1700-early 1900's is what attracted me to a scientific and medical career).

    I did not notice any uncharacteristic circles or bloating/facial edema while on minoxidil or lumigan. But to be honest, I really didn't look for it. I'm aware that oral minox can cause sodium and fluid retention, but I didn't realize that many people were experiencing this with the topical. The mechanism has me interested. I am also very physically active, so my face is quite lean, and I may be less susceptible to bloat than others.
     
  9. DavisNY

    DavisNY Member

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    very cool man, and thank you for keeping us posted!

    I would be interested in potentially using this on my temples along with certain thin areas. in your opinion since they are not slick bald yet, would those be the idel locations of use?
     
  10. montrose

    montrose Junior Member

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    How many people are interested in forming a group order for the pure powder?
     
  11. Darke

    Darke Junior Member

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    If there is a reputable, tested source, I would be interested and I imagine we would have enough people for a group buy.
     
  12. Dr. David 4444

    Dr. David 4444 New Member

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    Yes, based on my results and the reports that I have read on this site from others, this would be the best use of the product. I experienced very minimal regrowth in areas that had been bald for 2+ years. I have mild optimism that I will experience a slightly higher level of regrowth in these areas when I go up in concentration. And I'm certain that those people who are using an oral anti-androgen and/or topical anti-androgen will achieve even better results, because these anti-androgens are giving the bimatoprost growth factor a better environment in which to activate the follicle (without the destructive cellular cascade which DHT activates).

    As a caveat: 1) Make certain that you are prepared to invest in a large enough volume of product in order to cover your scalp adequately. The notion that one 2.5 ml bottle/month can achieve this is ludicrous; 2) If you get a generic version of bimatoprost from an online pharmacy, and you plan to use it for 6 months or more, I would get it tested (or do some research on it). There have been many studies done evaluating generics being produced in China and India (which are sold in Canadian pharmacies) and very often the active ingredient is underdosed.
     
  13. DavisNY

    DavisNY Member

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    interesting, is there anyway to find out which version is generic and which is not without testing?
     
  14. Dr. David 4444

    Dr. David 4444 New Member

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    The source that you buy from will generally indicate "brand" or "generic." In many cases, the "brand" is still on patent and the generic is being made by countries that are ignoring the patent. This is the case with bimatoprost, where Lumigan is still under patent.
     
  15. mister x

    mister x Junior Member

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    Spanish Forum people have ordered and to China, and I have advised us to do an analysis to see the quality of the product.

    So please if this forum algier purchasing from China or India or elsewhere and has analyzed and quality please tell where you purchased it, since Spain forum are buying and testing the bimatoprost and look for something very good and good price
     
  16. Aks20

    Aks20 Member

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    Dr David,

    I currently use Minoidil and am fed up of its side effects. For some effect on hair, I get bloated face, bad skin, very obvious lines and wrinkles and permanent raccoon eyes. Its enough to drive one mad. Either bald with very obvious thinning or have some hair and look like a wreck.

    My questions:

    1.
    Can I ween off Minox and use your approach?

    Lumigan's Indian local equivalent exists its called Careprost http://www.thepharmacyexpress.com/Produ ... ost%29&T=d)

    2.
    Will it regrow hairs I lose due to stopping Minox or do they work in entirely different ways? Or should I use both together.

    3.Are there any possible side effects from Bimatoprost? Ie like liver, heart, eyes etc.

    4. One more very important question - did it reduce or stop shedding and reverse miniaturization. Am currently using a very weak Fluridil to try and reduce shedding.

    Just to trying to cover all angles

    Best regards
    Aks
     
  17. Dr. David 4444

    Dr. David 4444 New Member

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    I cannot predict what will happen in your specific case if you stop using minox. Every person has a different reaction when they stop. I stopped using minox over one year before I started using bimatoprost, so it is also hard for me to answer your question as to whether bimatoprost can compensate for stopping minoxidil. The mechanisms for follicle stimulation by minoxidil and bimatoprost still have not been worked out in detail. It is likely that both molecules in part increase blood flow/nutrient delivery to the follicles. Recent data also suggests that minoxidil can increase the synthesis of prostaglandins (and bimatoprost, a prostamide, is structurally related to prostaglandins). So far, there have been very few reported side effects from applying 0.03% bimatoprost to the scalp. I did not experience any.

    It sounds like you have a bit of a cosmetic conundrum regarding stopping minoxidil. I can only advise this: if you are experiencing minoxidil-related side effects that bother you this much and you are willing to put up with them, just be certain that the minoxidil is indeed playing a significant role in improving the appearance/health of your hair.



     
  18. zephyrprime

    zephyrprime Junior Member

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    I have contacted two suppliers in china regarding bimatoprost prices. The prices quoted were for 1500-1600$ for 1 gram. This is enough to make 1111 3ml bottles at the 0.03% concentration. It's pretty pricey as you can see.
     
  19. Aks20

    Aks20 Member

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    Doc, thanks - did you see any decrease or stop in terms of shedding? I lose around a dozen "strong" hairs daily from my thinning areas.

    Also, when you say it thickened up your hair in six months, did it hide any patches or give an appearance of regrowth occurring?

    I have heard bimatoprost depending on prostglandins is fairly safe, but could it affect the eyes as this is a glaucoma medicine and people say effect is systemic?

    Thanks!!
     
  20. Dr. David 4444

    Dr. David 4444 New Member

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    The chances of 0.03% bimatoprost applied to the scalp reducing the intraocular pressure (its intended therapeutic effect for glaucoma) would be extremely low, even the 1 ml/day that I used.
     

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