Tablets & Medications
for Excessive Sweating

Several tablets are available to inhibit the transmission of chemical messengers that produce sweat. These family of drugs are termed ‘anticholinergics’, and they can be helpful in reducing sweating. All forms of excessive sweating including sweaty hands, feet, underarm sweating and compensatory hyperhidrosis can improve on tablets. The flip side is that some patients will experience side-effects such as excessive tiredness, sedation, and dry mouth syndrome.

  • Anticholinergics are tablets used to inhibit chemicals that stimulate sweating
  • Propantheline bromide is the most commonly prescribed drug
  • Anti-sweat medications are most useful if sweating is generalised or involves the face and scalp area
  • Anti-sweat tablets can also reduce cases of underarm sweating, excessive sweating of the hands and feet, as well as rebound sweating
  • Sweating will return when tablets are ceased, as tablets are not a long term ‘cure’ for excessive sweating
  • At Sweat Free we often use tablets in the first phase of sweat management and we often combine treatments such as anti-sweat creams, antiperspirants and iontophoresis
  • Excessive sweat production can also be caused by certain tablets such as anti-depressives

BEST USED IN TREATMENTS FOR:

Facial Sweating

COMMON QUESTIONS

There are a variety of tablets taken orally that can help reduce excessive sweating. This family of tablets are known as ‘anticholingerics’ and work by inhibition of the transmission of a chemical called acetylcholine. This in turn reduces activation of the sweat or eccrine glands.

The most commonly prescribed anticholingeric medications include propantheline bromide, Ditropan (oxybutynin) and glycopyrrolate.

Probantheline bromide is readily available in Australia and can be obtained via a prescription.

Other tablets that maybe selectively useful include beta-blockers such as propanolol. Some cases of excessive sweating can be related to anxiety and stress, in these circumstance, drugs such as anti-anxiety tablets can be helpful. Discuss with your GP if this treatment is suitable for you.

Other tablets which have been reported to reduce sweating include Clonidine and Gabapentin.

This is a prescription only medication, obtainable via a  prescriptions.

This medication can be associated with side effects and contra-indications apply. Discuss your medical history with your GP, follow the product information guidelines and please read the side effect profile of this medication.

Use

Best used for generalised sweating, can also be helpful if sweating involves the face/scalp areas.  Maybe trialled for excessive sweating in areas such as the hands, feet, and armpits as well as cases of compensatory hyperhidrosis.

Dosage

15 mg tablets Propantheline Bromide. Take 15 mg at night. If tolerated increase the dosage to one tablet at night, and one in the am. Maximum of 15 mg three times a day. The most common side effect is sedation/ excessive tiredness. This is often dose related.

Dr Davin S. Lim

Consultant Dermatologist

Sweat Free Clinic

Westside Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology

These tablet work by inhibition of acetylcholine transmission and sweat production, however side effects are seen in the majority of patients. These include- sedation, tiredness, dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, and urinary retention.

Side effects are often dose dependent. We suggest trialling a small dose at night and combining anti-sweat topicals such as Driclor to reduce sweating.

Yes! Our Specialists at the Sweat Free Clinic can devise a special method of delivery of tablets straight into the sweat glands. This process is called iontophoresis. This process involves the use of an electric current to drive tiny amounts of drugs or crushed tablets (such as Glycopyrrolate) directly into the sweat glands of the hands and feet. This process is reserved for patients who do not respond to standard iontophoresis protocols.

We have discussed drugs which can be taken to help reduce sweating, however it is important to exclude drugs you maybe taking which may make sweating worse. Examples include certain anti-depressives. Caffeine, Gaurana, Geranium and Pseudoephidrine can also worsen sweating.

More on how to stop sweating. OK, here is the truth- Specialists and doctors in general dread prescribing tablets for sweating. Why? Because the vast majority of hyperhidrosis is LIFELONG, and life long medication of anticholinergic drugs is not healthy.

In general the use of tablets such as Propanthelene Bromide is short term- months to years at most. Patients are now given many other options that are safer, more effective and most importantly have fewer side effects than taking tablets. Our Specialist will guide you as to what is the best treatment for your type of sweating. A solution is always possible.

Dr Davin S. Lim

Consultant Dermatologist

My first line tablet for hyperhidrosis / excessive sweating is propantheline bromide in a 15 mg dose. This is an inexpensive tablet, readily available at most pharmacies. In our hands, it is effective in approximately 20-30% of cases, especially with generalised sweating, as well as cranio-facial hyperhidrosis. I start patients at a very low dose of one tablet at night, and increase as tolerated. Most often I use this as adjunctive treatment, combining methods such as Iontophoresis, or iontophoresis and crushed tablets, even with Driclor. I keep the dose of tablets to a minimum.

Sedation and xerostomia (dry mouth) is seen in nearly all patients, which limits the dose and usefulness of this medication.

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