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.
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. There are two kinds of hyperhidrosis:
Excessive sweating generally occurs in “focal” areas of the body, such as hands, feet, underarms, buttock, head
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
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