Hyperhidrosis Medication: What Are Your Options?

April 01, 2020 3 min read

hyperhidrosis medication

If you are struggling with excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, you may feel like you’ve tried everything to get your sweating under control. You’ve turned your life up-side-down to try to slow down your sweat glands. Your collection of over-the-counter antiperspirants fills up a whole shelf in your medicine cabinet. You stopped drinking coffee and eating spicy foods. You avoid wearing light-colored clothing and carry a handkerchief with you to mop up the visible sweat on your skin. You may wonder if it is time to consider hyperhidrosis medication to curb your sweating.

Luckily there are different types of medicine for excessive sweating now available. The list includes prescription antiperspirants, medicated cloths and oral medication. Read on to learn about these medication options before consulting your doctor about a prescription for sweating.

What is hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. There are two kinds of hyperhidrosis:

Primary focal hyperhidrosis:

Excessive sweating generally occurs in “focal” areas of the body, such as hands, feet, underarms, buttock, head

  • Frequently occurs in more than one focal area
  • Causes equal sweating on both sides of body
  • Sweating rarely occurs during sleep
  • The cause is not known, though it may be heredity

Secondary generalized hyperhidrosis:

  • Excessive sweating is caused by a secondary medical condition or as a side effect of medications
  • Sweat typically occurs all over the body
  • Night sweats may occur

What are the symptoms of hyperhidrosis?

The most common (and obvious) symptom of hyperhidrosis is persistent excessive sweating in one or more areas of your body. As a result, it may cause disruptions in your daily routine or relationships. It may also cause emotional distress or social withdrawal. Depending on where your excessive sweating occurs, you may also experience skin conditions like chafing, rashes or infections.

medication for excessive sweating

What are the different types of hyperhidrosis medication?

There are several types of medication for excessive sweating your doctor may prescribe. They fall into two categories: topical and oral medications.

Prescription-Strength Antiperspirants

Prescription-strength antiperspirants are even more powerful than the clinical-strength antiperspirants you can get online or from a drug store. Your doctor may first recommend a prescription-strength antiperspirant since it is the least invasive medical treatment for hyperhidrosis. The most common active ingredient is aluminum chloride hexahydrate; and it ranges in concentration from 10% to 30%. Prescription-strength antiperspirants are most commonly used to treat excessive sweating of the underarms, hands, feet, and sometimes the face.

The most common side effect is skin irritation.

Medicated Cloths for Topical Application

Newcomer QBREXZA comes in the form of a medicated wipe to treat excessive underarm sweating or axillary hyperhidrosis. (QBREXZA is the Dermira hyperhidrosis drug formerly known as DRM04.) This topical hyperhidrosis treatment differs from traditional medications because it is applied directly where the sweat occurs, instead of being ingested. The non-invasive, once-a-day medicated wipe works by blocking receptors that activate sweat glands.

The most common side effects of QBREXZA may include burning, stinging, or redness of your underarms, and dry mouth.

A prescription-strength antiperspirant is the least invasive medical treatment for hyperhidrosis.

Oral Medication

The most common oral medication is an anticholinergic for sweating. Anticholinergics are nerve-inhibitors that slow down or interfere with involuntary movements and bodily functions, such as sweating.

There are four common oral anticholinergics used to treat hyperhidrosis:

  • Glycopyrrolate – originally developed to treat peptic ulcer disease
  • Oxybutynin – used to help control overactive bladder
  • Benztropine, commonly used for involuntary muscle movements associated with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Propantheline, commonly used to treat gastrointestinal conditions or ulcers

The most common side effects of an anticholinergic for hyperhidrosis include dry mouth, muscle cramps, urinary suppression, and hyperpyrexia (overheating).

An up-and-coming oral treatment is THVD-102, developed by TheraVida. This hyperhidrosis prescription combines the traditional oral anticholinergic, Oxybutynin, with Pilocarpine to help with common side effects.

Consult your doctor for guidance about the type(s) of hyperhidrosis medication that may be right for you. In addition, the International Hyperhidrosis Society website has information about new medical advances or clinical trials for hyperhidrosis medication and medical treatments. 

Ejis sweat proof undershirts are highly effective when used in combination with medication for excessive sweating. For example, pairing one of our undershirts with a clinical strength antiperspirant or wipe provides additional protection and may reduce the need for more evasive solutions. All of our sweat proof undergarmentsare designed to stop sweat marks and body odor associated with heavy sweating. Our sweat proof undershirts and sweat proof boxer briefs have a silent waterproof layer to prevent sweat from reaching your clothes. They also have antimicrobial technology to control odor-causing bacteria.

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