Oral medications for treating hyperhidrosis have taken on a bad rap over the years. Many doctors and specialists have frowned upon the idea of medication being the long term answer to this condition, simply because of the side effects involved and the fact that you would have to take the medication for life. As the long term effects of taking such drugs haven’t been researched into enough, it’s totally understandable that doctors and even patients to some degree, feel uncomfortable about the idea. And also because doctors agree that as this type of treatment is systemic, it’s unsuitable for use on localised areas such as hands, feet, underarms, and face.
The prescribed drugs primarily used to treat Hyperhidrosis fall into one of three categories, they’re either anticholinergics, beta blockers, or clonidine hydrochloride. The specific drugs include Robinul (Glycopyrrolate), Propantheline, Glycopyrronium bromide, Benztropine, Diazepam, Diltiazem, Indomethacin, and Oxybutynin.
Many people report most success with anticholinergics such as Robinul, or Ditropan. These two medications interupt the neurotransmitters that are behind sweat production. Beta-blockers and benzodiazepines on the other hand tend to reduce emotional stimuli, which can in turn lead to anxiety and sweat production.
As mentioned above, many experts believe that any anticholinergenics or other oral medications used to treat primary hyperhidrosis aren’t a worthwile long term solution simply because of the amount of side effects involved. The common side effects associated with taking these types of medications include:
In general these side effects don’t seem particularly pleasant, but they’re not something that overly concern me personally. However, people react to medication in different ways, what could be minor reactions to some could be unbearable for others.
After doing some lengthy research into the success of these various medications, I stumbled upon several blogs and forums that had various people claiming that they had seen success with specific drugs. After looking into one drug (Robinul) people seem to be having some relative success with it. Many say taking smaller dosages tends to ease some of the side effects, but lowers the actual effects on sweating. Many report dry mouth and dry eyes the next day, one reports his mouth as being so dry he found it really difficult to have a conversation with anybody. One person reports that they’ve been taking the medication for months and have yet to see any bad reactions at all. All of these statements are of course unverifiable.
Success with these drugs it seems isn’t out of reach, but I am treading on thin ice if I would go as far as to recommend them to anyone. The information regarding long term effects is just too hazy for me, more research would have to be done in this area for me to consider prescription medications a viable treatment for hyperhidrosis.
Whether you go with prescription drugs or not is of course nothing to do with me, that is a matter that you must discuss with your doctor. Be cautious though as from my experience not all doctors are aware of the treatments of hyperhidrosis, or in fact what hyperhidrosis is. So if a doctor recommends something to you, then don’t take his/her word as gospel. You may know more than they do about the subject, in fact that’s quite a common trait in Hyperhidrosis sufferers.
Bottom line here is if your doctor prescribes you with any type of medication for your hyperhidrosis, you must feel completely confident in that doctors knowledge of the condition, how to treat it, and how it effects your life, and of course you must feel confident about the drug that he/she is recommending. If you’re ever unsure of medication used to treat hyperhidrosis, the International Hyperhidrosis Society will have the information you need.
One promising looking development lately has been the recommendation of adding an anticholinergic (crushed) to the tap water used in Iontophoresis treatment. If you’re considering Iontophoresis as a treatment for your hyperhidrosis I would recommend speaking with your dermatologist about this procedure to see if they have any knowledge of this particular approach to Iontophoresis treatment.
I hope you find the treatment that works for you, good luck my fellow HH warrior!