Can You Get Hyperhidrosis Medication Over the Counter (OTC)?

Hyperhidrosis sufferers experience heavy uncontrollable sweating, regardless of their body temperature or levels of physical activity. If you’re suffering from secondary generalized hyperhidrosis, the cause of this sweating is a medical condition or a medication side effect. But if you’re diagnosed with primary focal hyperhidrosis, your excessive sweating is the condition.

In either case, you’ll be looking for a solution that stops the sweat. And a lot of people turn to their healthcare provider for answers. There are a few different hyperhidrosis treatments that you can get on prescription — topical treatments and oral medications. You can also inject Botox into your underarms, or get invasive surgery called Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS).

But given you’re looking for OTC treatments right now, let’s look at effective solutions you can get online or from the store.

In this guide to over-the-counter hyperhidrosis treatments, we’re going to explore:

  • Specialist treatments like Duradry, plus;
  • Big brand “extra-strength” antiperspirants, and why they aren’t effective.

It’s important to note that all over-the-counter hyperhidrosis medications are topical, coming in the form of gels, creams, pads, roll-ons, and liquids. This means you apply it onto the affected area, rather than consuming it orally. But this doesn’t make it less effective — as we’ll explain.

Topical Hyperhidrosis Treatments Available Over-the-Counter

Topical treatments for hyperhidrosis are generally very effective, using potent active ingredients to block sweat production — with less chance of side effects than oral medication. And if you’ve already tried a prescription-only treatment such as Drysol, the good news is that you don’t need to jump to oral meds or medical procedures — the right OTC solution may well do a better job.

Alternatively, if you’ve been plugging away with conventional extra-strength antiperspirants (from big brands like Sure, Secret, or Dove), these are inadequate for the volume and regularity of sweat experienced by hyperhidrosis sufferers. You’ll need specialist treatment instead.

Note: In this guide, we’re mainly talking about OTC treatments for axillary hyperhidrosis — i.e.excessive sweating in the armpits.

Specialist Topical Hyperhidrosis Treatments

Topical hyperhidrosis treatments can be sold over-the-counter when they contain a 15% or lower concentration of Aluminum Chloride. This is the active ingredient that works to block your pores and prevent sweat from forming. Any stronger, and you’ll be looking at prescription-only treatments like Drysol. The good news is that stronger doesn’t necessarily mean better.

Introducing Duradry’s 3-Step System for Stopping Excessive Sweating

We’ve created a unique solution to excessive sweating, which I (Jack, the founder) developed while suffering from hyperhidrosis myself. I was tired of failing to stop my sweating with prescription-only treatment options and OTC “extra-strength” solutions, so I developed Duradry.

Here’s why Duradry is different from every other treatment you can get over-the-counter:

  • Our 3-step system: With Duradry, you get a proven process to combat your hyperhidrosis.

    • This starts with Duradry PM, which does the heavy lifting. This is an unscented gel containing 15% Aluminum Chloride, which is easily applied to your underarms at night, working while you sleep to block pores.

      Then we have Duradry AM, our extra-strength everyday antiperspirant stick. And to make sure your skin is clean and prepared, Duradry Wash boosts the performance of our sweat control products by 20%.
  • We offer the best strength-effectiveness ratio. Studies show that 15% Aluminum Chloride is just as effective as 20%, and it’s less likely to cause irritation.

  • We balance our sweat-blocking formula with soothing ingredients, which also improve the efficacy of your treatment. For example, Duradry PM contains Salicylic Acid, which has been shown to reduce irritation in the affected area while improving sweat control.

  • We use only the purest ingredients from reputable European sources. These ingredients have micronized particles to help them get into pores easier, and they’re low pH — making them more potent and effective for blocking sweat.

97% of our users experience complete dryness within one week of using Duradry’s easy 3-step system. You can get started by ordering Duradry online for just $20, and if you’re not happy with the results we’ll give you a full refund — no questions asked.

Alternatives to Duradry:

There are a number of specialist OTC treatments out there, which are alternatives to Duradry. One is called Certain Dri, and you can check out a comparison between Duradry and Certain Dri’s treatments (as well as Drysol) in our post: Drysol Vs Certain Dri Vs Duradry.

Another treatment is SweatBlock, which uses disposable wipes as the application method. Others include Dr. Sweat, which uses pre-soaked pads, and ZeroSweat — which has a range of different products in its range. But remember: none of these alternative treatments offer a comprehensive step-by-step process for preventing your excessive sweating as Duradry does.

Note: Topical OTC treatments like these are suitable whether you have primary or secondary hyperhidrosis because they simply obstruct the mechanics of sweat production in the pores. Other treatments work differently. For example, injecting botox (botulinum toxin) or using an electrical current with iontophoresis will interrupt the processes of the nervous system. AndMiraDry uses microwave therapy to burn away your sweat glands.

What’s Wrong with Conventional Big Brand Antiperspirants?


Let’s be clear: many of the big brand OTC antiperspirants claim to offer products that help people who sweat excessively. In truth, most of these products are little more than a marketing ploy. If you have hyperhidrosis — i.e. excessive uncontrolled sweating — the big-brand products are not really geared towards you, and we know this just by looking at the active ingredients.

Put simply, none of the big brand OTC antiperspirants contain Aluminum Chloride — probably because it has a higher risk of causing mild irritation for the user. They’re not willing to take this chance, so instead, they use active ingredients which aren’t quite so effective. For example:

While these antiperspirants are perfectly okay for people who sweat normally, and for those who perhaps sweat a bit more than normal (maybe in certain situations), they’re definitely not built for the levels of sweat that hyperhidrosis sufferers experience in everyday life.

Note: Our everyday extra-strength antiperspirant, Duradry AM, also uses 20% Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex GLY, but this is used in combination with Duradry PM’s Aluminum Chloride (15%) which works while you sleep to block your pores and help Duradry AM perform. In both products, the active ingredients are super-pure, low-pH, and use micronized particles.

Oral Medication: Why You Can’t Get it Over-the-Counter


If you’re searching for legitimate oral medication to combat your excessive sweating, you won’t find it anywhere outside of your doctor’s office. Unfortunately, they’re prescription-only.

And in fact, most oral medications for hyperhidrosis are actually used “off-label” — meaning that while they’re thought to be useful for treating hyperhidrosis, the FDA hasn’t officially approved them as hyperhidrosis treatments. They’re actually used to combat other conditions.

However, family doctors and dermatologists do regularly prescribe oral meds to hyperhidrosis sufferers, because they’re safe and widely used. But these pills (or liquids) can only be acquired if you have a prescription from a healthcare professional — meaning any person or company selling them to you without one is breaking the law.

We recommend never taking shortcuts here. The risks aren’t worth it when you don’t know the source of the medication that you’re taking.

Common oral medications used to combat excessive sweating include:

  • Anticholinergics: These medications include Oxybutynin, Glycopyrrolate, Propantheline, and Benztropine. They’re the most commonly prescribed oral meds for hyperhidrosis, but may not be suitable for over-65s. Anticholinergics work systematically and reduce overall sweat production by blocking Acetylcholine, the chemical messenger that triggers the receptors on the sweat glands. They don’t target specific areas of the body.

  • Beta-Blockers: These are designed to prevent the physical responses to anxiety — which can sometimes be a trigger for episodic hyperhidrosis, i.e. bouts of heavy uncontrolled sweating due to particular circumstances or situations.

As we said earlier, you can’t get hold of these medications legitimately unless you’ve got a real prescription. And even then, they’re not FDA-approved specifically for hyperhidrosis.

Fortunately, oral meds aren’t the only way to go. Topical treatments like Duradry can be highly effective for hyperhidrosis sufferers if they contain pure and potent active ingredients, and if they’re applied consistently and correctly to the affected area.

Final Takeaways: How to Treat Hyperhidrosis Over-the-Counter


If you want to stop excessive sweating without having to go to a healthcare professional, you’ll need a robust topical treatment containing Aluminum Chloride. Oral medication is a no-go without medical advice and a prescription, and the big brand over-the-counter antiperspirant simply won’t do the job. Instead, you should be looking at specialist hyperhidrosis treatments.

Duradry’s simple 3-step system offers you a non-prescription treatment that actually works. As well as being able to make a one-off purchase, you can also get Duradry on a subscription basis — delivered discreetly to your door. This means we send you the right amount of product at the right time, meaning you never have to worry or plan ahead. And you can cancel anytime.