Everything You Need to Know About the Drug That Stops You From Sweating

Everybody sweats.

But there’s a big difference between the normal amount of sweating you might experience after a workout and perspiring to such an extreme that you sweat through your T-shirt without even getting up off the couch.

People who live with hyperhidrosis — the medical term used to describe “excessive sweating” — don’t just sweat when they stand out in the heat or spend an hour at the gym. Their overactive sweat glands make them sweat day and night — often without relief.

Researchers may have come up with a solution to solve this problem.

The FDA just approved a treatment for excessive sweating.

The FDA just approved a treatment for excessive sweating. | iStock.com/ElNariz

The Food and Drug Administration has officially approved the use of a drug designed to treat excessive sweating. This could be effective for people living with hyperhidrosis or those with medical conditions of which sweating is an unfortunate side effect.

Qbrexza, which will be available in October, was developed to treat excessive underarm sweating specifically, even though many people with hyperhidrosis also often sweat excessively from their hands and feet.

The drug, when applied once daily via a cloth wipe, blocks sweat glands under the arms from activating. reducing the amount of sweat produced.

Humans need to sweat. It’s such an important part of life that each of us has at least 2 million sweat glands distributed throughout our bodies — but in higher concentrations under our arms. We sweat to cool off, which is why you sweat so much when you’re nervous. Stress can raise your body temperature, triggering your sweat glands to get to work.

Once you cool off, you stop sweating. Unless your sweat glands frequently go into overdrive and don’t seem to know when to take a break.

Since sweating is so important, you don’t want your sweat glands to stop doing their work altogether — especially not all over your body. This is why some current treatments, such as surgeries that destroy sweat glands, might not be the best options for everyone.

Medications like Qbrexza could also replace short-term treatments like Botox, which only last six to 12 months before you have to repeat injections (ouch).

A team performs surgery.

A team performs surgery. | Jacoblund/iStock/Getty Images

Hyperhidrosis can increase a person’s risk of skin infections, but it has much greater emotional and social impacts. While a drug used to treat a condition that causes excessive embarrassment might not seem logical, the anxiety that comes along with it can disrupt a person’s daily life — and might even prevent them from landing a job or forming personal relationships.

Imagine unexpectedly shaking someone’s sweat-soaked hand when meeting them for the first time. Especially when it comes to networking and job interviews, first impressions matter. This condition can make every encounter feel like a nightmare and end in panic and shame.

Like all drugs, Qbrexza has shown some possible mild to moderate downsides. Reported side effects of the drug include:

  • Dry mouth, eyes, and skin
  • Itchy and burning skin
  • Head and throat pain
  • Constipation
  • Blurred vision

If you’re constantly sweating through your clothes, there might be non-invasive relief in sight. No more spending your paycheck on top-notch deodorants. Hopefully.

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