U.S. regulators on Friday approved the first drug developed specifically to reduce excessive sweating, a common condition that can cause people anxiety and affect their social lives.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Qbrexza for excessive underarm sweating. The drug is inside a cloth wiped over the skin daily to block sweat glands from activating. It will be available starting in October.
Its manufacturer, Dermira Inc., refused to disclose the price, as drugmakers normally do.
An estimated 15.3 million Americans have some form of excessive sweating, but only 1 in 4 get treatment. Current treatment options include Botox injections, surgery to remove sweat glands, procedures using lasers and other devices, and drugs approved for other conditions that block the body’s chemical messengers to reduce sweat production throughout the body.
Side effects of Qbrexza include blurred vision; constipation; burning and itchy skin; head and throat pain; and dry mouth, eyes and skin.
Dermira said that in one study, 53 percent of patients reported that Qbrexza reduced sweat production by roughly half, versus 28 percent in a comparison group using a nonmedicated cloth.