Are there any prescription treatments for excessive sweating?
There are prescription treatments for excessive sweating. The clinical name for excessive perspiration is hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating is a common problem and typically affects areas of the body like the feet, groin, hands, armpits. For some people with hyperhidrosis, it can affect the face.
Excessive sweating prescription treatment options
There are several major prescription treatment options for excessive sweating including the medications Drysol® and Robinul®, Botox® injections, and even surgical procedures.
Drysol® and Robinul®
Drysol® (aluminum chloride hexahydrate) may be a good choice for people who do not get relief from herbal or non-prescription antiperspirants. Drysol® is reported to work in 80% of the people who use it for excessive sweating. You apply it to the hands, feet, or underarms. Do not apply it to broken, irritated, or recently shaved skin.
Apply Drysol® at bedtime to dry skin in affected areas. To prevent irritation, wash it off in the morning with plain water. Do not use your regular daytime antiperspirant in Drysol® treated areas. Repeat the treatment nightly until the perspiration is under control. Drysol® may irritate your skin, so if it becomes sore or itchy, contact your physician for advice. When sweating is under control, you may try your daytime antiperspirant. The thick skin of the palms and soles is harder to treat than underarms, and may require treatment for a longer period of time.
Your doctor may also prescribe an anticholinergic drug such as glycopyrrolate (Robinul®) if your sweating is excessive all over the body.
Botox® and surgical treatments
One promising new study has shown that injection with one of the toxins from the bacteria that cause botulism (Botox®) is also effective at stopping excessive sweating. Treatment with one injection reduces sweating for 4 to 17 months. You should only try Botox® if topical treatment such as Drysol® does not work for you. Botox® may stop the sweating, but will not stop body odor. This potential treatment is not effective in all people, can be painful, and you should discuss it with your doctor.
Another treatment for excessive sweating is surgery or iontophoresis (which uses a form of electricity to turn off the sweating), that can be used if prescription medications are unsuccessful.
Back to Ask a Pharmacist