FDA Approves Drug to Treat Sweaty Armpits

Man sweating. The FDA approved a topical wipe for sweaty armpits. Getty Images

A topical cloth for sweaty armpits was approved Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, giving people an easy remedy for an often anxiety-provoking condition.

The company that produces the drug, Dermira, announced that its medication Qbrexza is the first of its kind to be approved by the FDA to reduce excessive underarm sweating. It was developed to prevent excessive sweat, a common condition that can leave people feeling embarrassed and can hurt their social lives. The drug will be administered in a wipe that can be rubbed over the skin daily to block sweat glands from activating. It will be available in for sale in October.

The manufacturer, Dermira Inc., declined to disclose the price, The Associated Press reported.

About 15.3 million people in the U.S. struggle with excessive sweating, but only one in four seek medical interventions. The options to deal with the condition include Botox injections, surgery to remove sweat glands, laser procedures and drugs approved for other conditions that can mediate sweat production.

Side effects of Qbrexza include blurred vision, constipation, burning and itchy skin, head and throat pain, and dry mouth, eyes and skin.

In one study, 53 percent of patients said Qbrexza reduced sweat production by roughly half, versus 28 percent in a comparison group using a non-medicated cloth, the drug company reported

The drug company partnered with dermatologists and the FDA during the development stage and spoke to the people who have been living with excessive sweating to understand their condition and to come up with a solution. "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," said Tom Wiggans, chairman and chief executive officer at Dermira, in a statement.