There is oral medication available to treat excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) although this tends to be prescribed for the more severe cases.

Types of medication

These include anticholinergic drugs, beta blockers and clonidine hydrochloride.

Anticholinergic drugs

These are a type of medication which impedes nerve impulses within the parasympathetic nervous system. This prevents the sweat glands from being over-stimulated which reduce the volume of sweat produced.

Brand names of these drugs include:

  • Ditropan
  • Robinul
  • Oxybutyin
  • Cogentin
  • Probanthine

These must be taken under your GP’s supervision.

There are side effects associated with long term use of these drugs which includes dry mouth, fatigue, gastro-intestinal problems, blurred vision, heart palpitations and constipation.

These effects cannot be tolerated and as a result of these anticholinergic drugs are not recommended for long term treatment of excessive sweating.

Beta blockers

This is a class of drugs which prevent certain nerve impulses from being transmitted.

Clonidine hydrochloride

This is a type of drug used to treat high blood pressure which is also prescribed for the same reason.

But there are problems with all of these drugs which are mainly linked to long term use.

Other types of medication have been tried which include antidepressants and anxiety drugs as it was commonly believed that excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) was related to an anxious personality.

But this has since been discounted.

If you are thinking about medication then talk to your GP. He or she will discuss the pros and cons of the various types of medication and will monitor your progress with them.

But if you have an existing medical condition then it is unlikely that your GP will prescribe any medication for excessive sweating. There is also the chance that he/she will be reluctant to prescribe them as they are known to cause a range of side effects plus their effectiveness is still open to debate.

There is still no oral cure for hyperhidrosis.

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