London: Side effects that come with medicines are often perceived as a bad thing, but sometimes they can bring surprising benefits.
Luscious eyelashes emerged as an unexpected extra in patients using latanoprost eyedrops, used to treat the common eye condition glaucoma, reports the Daily Mail.
The drops work to tackle the pressure within the eyeball, a characteristic of glaucoma that causes visual distortion and blindness.
But in some patients, the drops also stimulated the growth of longer, thicker and darker lashes and eyebrows. Further research is under way in the hope that one day it may lead to new alopecia treatments.
But this is not the first time that a drug has been discovered to have positive side-effects.
In other case, U.S. researchers have found that women taking oestrogen-only HRT, a treatment used to minimise the effects of the menopause, might have a 30 to 40 per cent lower risk of developing breast cancer.
Then there’s the story of Viagra, which started life as a potential angina treatment and turn a treatment for impotence.
Metformin, a drug usually used to treat Type 2 diabetes, could slash the risk of cancer, say researchers from Oxford University.
Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs but also could help boost the sex lives of men who don’t respond to Viagra.
Oral contraceptives reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and continue to protect women long after they stop taking the Pill.
Hormone replacement therapy appears to have brain-boosting side-effects, two recent studies have shown.