In a first, the FDA approved a drug that is designed specifically to reduce excessive sweating, the Associated Press reports. Most people are unaware that this common disorder exists, and for those that do have it, excessive sweating is clinically known as hyperhidrosis. The condition can be localized to a particular area on a person’s anatomy or it can be diffuse, meaning that it involves most of the skin.
Many of us sweat when we are hot, stressed or when we exert ourselves. However, hyperhidrosis sweating episodes far exceed what we would consider normal.
Axillary hyperhidrosis is another form of the condition, and it involves excess sweating localized to the underarms. Still another is Palmoplantar hyperhidrosis, which is localized to the palms and soles of the feet. These two types of hyperhidrosis cause at least one episode weekly, and they happen during waking hours. The episodes of sweating in these cases often occur on both sides of the body.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people that have hyperhidrosis may sweat so much that it soaks through their clothes, and may even drip off of them. The excess sweating can get in the way of day to day activities, cause embarrassment, and increase social anxiety. Hyperhidrosis can even affect educational goals and the pursuit of work.
Other complications of excess sweating include skin infections because people who sweat profusely are often more prone to this type of infection.
The drug approved by the FDA for treating excessive sweating is named Qbrexza. When it is made available to patients, it will most likely help them lead a better social life. The drug works by blocking the activation of sweat glands, and it is contained within a cloth that is wiped over the skin daily.
It is estimated that 15.3 million people in the U.S. have hyperhidrosis, but only 1 in 4 of those people seek treatment. Currently, excessive sweating is treatable by using prescription-strength antiperspirants, oral medications, Botox injections, microwave destruction and as a last resort, surgery that interrupts select nerve pathways.
Qbrexa does have known side effects, including blurred vision, burning and itchy skin, constipation, dry mouth, eyes, and skin, as well as throat and head pain.
The manufacturer of Qbrexa, Dermira Inc., unlike some other drug manufacturers, has not disclosed the price of their new drug. Qbrexa is expected to go on sale in October.
In one study conducted by Dermira Inc., using Qbrexza helped 53 percent of the participants by cutting their sweat production by half, while only 28 percent of the participants in the control group, which used a nonmedicated cloth, reported a noticeable difference.