January 01, 2019

New drug-infused wipe for excessive sweating

Some people experience frequent or constant excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) of their hands, feet or underarms, which can seriously interfere with work, recreation or social activities.

There are a number of treatments for hyperhidrosis, but each has limits and drawbacks. A new option for treatment is topical glycopyrronium tosylate (Qbrexza). This is an individually packaged towelette — much like the moist towelettes for hand cleaning — that's soaked in the drug. The product was recently approved to be applied to the armpit for excessive sweating.

Qbrexza is an anticholinergic drug, which is a class of drug that's sometimes taken orally for excessive sweating. Oral anticholinergic drugs have a number of side effects — particularly for older adults — and may not be tolerable. The aim of Qbrexza is to keep the drying, anticholinergic effect only where it's needed, and not throughout the entire body.

Early research indicates that Qbrexza reduces sweating in those with hyperhidrosis with fairly mild side effects that either go away over time or are tolerable. Qbrexza is very new and research is limited.

Mayo Clinic experts are cautiously optimistic about the drug. They say much more study is needed to establish its role in therapy, both in terms of effectiveness and side effects. This is particularly true over the long term and as it relates to older adults or those with certain chronic diseases.