PEOPLE’S PHARMACY Eyedrops making eyelashes grow?

By Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedo

Q: I have been drinking a lot of cranberry juice to ward off a urinary-tract infection. I also have been eating dried cranberries as a snack. Is it possible this could affect Coumadin? My blood work is now out of bounds. I haven’t changed anything else in my diet.

A: There have been several cases of cranberries increasing the blood-thinning potential of Coumadin (warfarin). A fatal hemorrhage attributed to the combination of cranberry juice and warfarin was reported last year.

Scientists have investigated this possible interaction and found that susceptible people may experience a 30 percent increase in anticoagulant activity when cranberry is consumed with Coumadin (British Journal of Pharmacology, August 2008). This suggests that cranberries could pose problems in combination with warfarin.

Q: A few years back, someone wrote to you and asked about eyedrops making a family member’s eyelashes grow. I lost this article. Please tell me the name of the medicine.

The prescription glaucoma medicine Lumigan (bimatoprost) has an unusual side effect, eyelash growth. This ingredient is available as Latisse, prescribed to help eyelashes grow thicker and longer.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. They can be reached at

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