The FDA Just Approved a New Prescription Cloth to Treat Excessive Underarm Sweating

Think about the armpits of your shirt on your sweatiest summer day. Now make them twice as drenched in the middle of a cold winter day — that's what some people with hyperhidrosis have to deal with. Hyperhidrosis, aka excessive sweating, can affect several areas of the body, but the armpits are one of the most frequently complained-about sweaty spots, not only because of the perspiration itself, but because of the effect it can have on clothing. Typically, when clinical-strength antiperspirants aren't enough to minimize underarm sweat, the next-step treatments have been limited, expensive, and sometimes uncomfortable. However, a newly approved treatment may offer those with hyperhidrosis an exciting new noninvasive option.

Late last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Qbrexza cloth, also known as glycopyrronium, for the topical treatment of primary axillary hyperhidrosis — excessive underarm sweating — in patients nine years of age and older. It's an anticholinergic, which means it blocks neurotransmitters and "works by blocking the signal from binding to the sweat glands," New York City-based dermatologist Joshua Zeicher tells Allure. "It is applied topically every day by the patient in the form of a towelette. It has the convenience of being applied at home and there is no discomfort associated with needle sticks."

The needle sticks Zeichner is referring to are those associated with Botox, injections of which work by preventing a signal from being released from your nerves so they don't stimulate your sweat glands, he explains. Another in-office option is MiraDry, a device that uses energy to destroy sweat glands after the patient's underarm area is numbed. Qbrexza, however, doesn't need to be administered by a doctor. Once prescribed, it's up to the patient to apply the treatment each day.

"For years, dermatologists have been telling us of the need for new treatment options that address primary axillary hyperhidrosis given the stigma and burden associated with this condition," Tom Wiggans, chairman and chief executive officer at Dermira, said in a press release. "From the start, our goal was to develop an approach that went beyond masking a person's excessive underarm sweating and instead focused on treating the condition in a clinically meaningful way. We partnered with dermatologists and the FDA during the development stage and listened to the people who have been living with this condition to understand how they would define a meaningful benefit. It is our hope that Qbrexza will not only provide the clinical benefit these sufferers have been seeking, but help to reduce the overall burden on their lives."

According to Zeichner, Qbrexza shows promise for doing exactly that. "In the clinical trials, patients experienced sweat reduction as early as their first visit to the office after one week," he tells Allure. Unfortunately, new patients will not be able to experience the sweat reduction this summer, as Qbrexza is expected to become available in October. However, to someone with hyperhidrosis, sweat relief is welcome any time of year.

For more information about Qbrexza, visit

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