Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, not only causes discomfort and embarrassment, but this may also affect one's emotional and mental health. But someone who has this condition doesn't have to suffer from it. There are several ways to treat this disorder, from oral to topical medications.
Antiperspirant pills like glycopyrrolate are commonly used medications for managing excessive sweating. This type of medication helps to prevent the stimulation of sweat glands and consequently reduce overall sweating.
However, taking oral medications is an extreme measure. Before you consider this route, it is better to try topical products first, such as an antiperspirant like Duradry PM.
Topical vs Oral Medication for Hyperhidrosis
There are non-oral medications like topical glycopyrrolate, which are usually prescribed as a first-line solution to hyperhidrosis because they are relatively safer compared to pills.
All the oral medications for hyperhidrosis, like glycopyrrolate sweating pills, here can cause side effects that will affect the whole body because of how they work. However, they are recommended in cases when the cause of excessive sweating is identified but cannot be eliminated or remedied.
The Pros and Cons of Glycopyrrolate
Effective in Preventing Sweat
Several different studies show that taking glycopyrrolate pills to treat hyperhidrosis is effective. Patients who took the pills according to the prescribed dosage experienced a 75% reduction in sweating, and results were observed as early as 1 week from the start of treatment. Another study also found that 80% of people with hyperhidrosis responded well to the treatment, while the rest had to stop treatment after experiencing side effects.
Convenient in Pill Form
When taking prescription drugs such as glycopyrrolate pills to stop sweating, you have to take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. However, if the initial dosage does not give the desired results, your doctor may change your dose several times to determine what works best for you.
Available in Other Forms for Different Types of Sweating
Glycopyrrolate is also available in topical cream and cloth forms. Glycopyrrolate cream is prescribed to people with diabetes who are suffering from gustatory hyperhidrosis — excessive sweating on the forehead, scalp, neck, and upper lip while eating, talking, or thinking about food. The cloth form is for the treatment of excessive sweating at the armpits.
There have been no glycopyrrolate long term side effects found so far, but here are some of the most common reactions observed from people who have used this prescription drug for the treatment of hyperhidrosis:
- Dry mouth
- Feeling nervous
- Slow heartbeats
- Blurred vision
- Decreased sense of taste
- Decreased sweating
- Decreased urination
A few steps you can take to fight these side effects: drink more water, take some mint, apply eye-drops, or increase your fiber consumption. Based on studies, while this prescription drug is effective in preventing excessive sweating, the effectiveness of glycopyrrolate is often related to the dose that the patient is able to handle, and the side effects mentioned above often hinder treatment.
Not Recommended for Patients with Other Medical Problems
Glycopyrrolate is not recommended to people who have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past or those who have the following conditions:
- Myasthenia gravis
- Severe constipation
- Severe ulcerative colitis or toxic megacolon
- Bladder obstruction or other urination problems
- Stomach or bowel obstruction (including paralytic ileus)
- Active bleeding with fast heartbeats, low blood pressure, shortness of breath, and cold hands or feet
If you have been diagnosed with liver or kidney disease, heart problems, high blood pressure, a stomach disorder, a thyroid disorder, or a nerve disorder, you should let your doctor know before you consider starting on this treatment option.
How to Reduce Glycopyrrolate Side Effects
If you decide to proceed with glycopyrrolate treatment, take note of the following ways you can alleviate the possible side effects of this medication:
- Your body will be dry, so increase your daily intake of water
- Use eyedrops to soothe dry eyes
- Increase the amount of fiber in your diet
- Don't take glycopyrrolate within 2 hours before and after your meal
While the side effects might eventually go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine, it is best to call your doctor and let them know when you experience any of these. This will ensure that you get the proper medical advice on what you need to do about these side effects.
Other Alternatives to Pills
Studies show that the treatment of excessive facial sweating using topical glycopyrrolate is effective and safe. Aside from topical glycopyrrolate, there are other products containing this anticholinergic, and these are recommended to people with hyperhidrosis first before the option of glycopyrrolate pills is presented to them. This is because oral glycopyrrolate causes side effects that affect the whole body. Oral anticholinergics only become an option in severe cases of hyperhidrosis when other treatments fail.
Glycopyrrolate cream works by creating superficial plugs in the pores of the skin. This sends a signal to the body that a duct is clogged, which triggers a feedback mechanism that stops the flow of sweat from the duct.
For treating facial hyperhidrosis, apply thin layers of glycopyrrolate cream on the forehead. There are people who have used this topical cream attest that this medication is safe and effective, although this is currently inconclusive as there are instances when the medication is not able to penetrate the skin barrier.
Glycopyrrolate topical cloth, also known as glycopyrrolate wipes, is used to treat hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating in the armpits. Adults and children who are at least 9 years old can be prescribed this product.
Before applying, read all medication guides or instruction sheets and follow all directions on your prescription label. Always apply on clean, dry underarm skin. Do not cover treated skin with a bandage or with plastic. Use a single wipe on both underarms once every 24 hours then throw it after use.
Wash your hands immediately after handling a glycopyrrolate topical cloth, as any medicine left on your hands could cause blurred vision if you touch your eyes with them.
3 Common Anti Sweat Pills Your Dermatologist May Prescribe
What is Glycopyrrolate Used for?
Glycopyrrolate is used to treat peptic ulcers in adults as well as chronic, severe drooling in children aged 3 to 16 with certain neurologic disorders. There is also an injectable form of glycopyrrolate which doctors use to reduce saliva, nasal, lung, and stomach secretions in patients and to help control the heart rate during surgery. Glycopyrrolate pills control the production of stomach acid and saliva by blocking the activity of a certain natural substance in the body.
When your doctor prescribes glycopyrrolate for sweating, it works by suppressing focal or generalized hyperhidrosis. It can reduce sweating by up to 75 percent. If your doctor has prescribed you to use this medication, they may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for those. It is important that you strictly follow your doctor's instructions. Before you start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine, make sure that you check with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.
How Long Does Glycopyrrolate Take to Work for Sweating?
Results vary. Some of those who have taken Glycopyrrolate to treat excessive sweating experienced results in as early as 1 week while others took 4 weeks to see a reduction in sweating.
What Is Oxybutynin Used for?
Oxybutynin is used to treat symptoms of an overactive bladder, such as incontinence or a frequent need to urinate. Your doctor may prescribe oxybutynin for sweating as this is also a type of anticholinergics like glycopyrrolate. Recent studies show that oxybutynin is effective in treating both focal and generalized hyperhidrosis.
Is Oxybutynin a High Risk Medication?
Yes. Research suggests that oxybutynin may negatively affect brain health and increase the risk of dementia. And so, before considering oxybutynin for hyperhidrosis, it is best to try other non-oral products like Duradry that are safe yet effective in treating excessive sweating.
What are the Common Side Effects of Oxybutynin?
As oxybutynin works to control the production of sweat in your body, it can cause your body temperature to increase. Take extra care when exercising or during hot weather while you or your child are taking this medication because overheating may lead to heatstroke. Avoid hot baths or saunas as these may make you feel dizzy or faint while under this medication.
Some of the common side effects of oxybutynin include irritability, anxiety, confusion, sleepiness or unusual drowsiness, and hallucinations. These symptoms are more likely to occur during the start of your medication or when the dose is increased.
Does Oxybutynin Make You Gain Weight?
On the contrary, one of the less common side effects of oxybutynin is loss of appetite, so you may lose weight while on this medication. If you start having problems with your weight, you need to let your doctor know.
What is Benztropine Used for?
Benztropine is used to treat Parkinson's disease, a disorder of the nervous system that causes difficulties with movement, muscle control, and balance. It is also prescribed to patients who are experiencing tremors caused by other medical problems or medications.
This medication helps to improve muscle control and reduce stiffness in people with the said disease. This prescription medicine is also used to control severe reactions to certain medicines for treating nervous, mental, and emotional conditions.
Your doctor may prescribe benztropine for sweating as it is also a type of anticholinergics, like glycopyrrolate. As mentioned earlier, anticholinergics work by blocking a certain natural substance, acetylcholine, to help reduce sweating.
What are the Side Effects of Benztropine?
These are common side effects of benztropine. If any of these symptoms are severe or won't go away, you need to tell your doctor:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty or pain when urinating
These are serious side effects. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- Vision changes
- Delusions or hallucinations
- Fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
Benztropine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you experience any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
When Should You Not Use Benztropine?
Benztropine is not approved for use by children younger than 3 years of age. To make sure that benztropine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- Kidney disease
- Urination problems
- An enlarged prostate
- Mental illness
- Nerve-muscle disorder
- A history of alcoholism
- Bowel or bladder obstruction
- Severe illness
Our Alternative to Glycopyrrolate and Pills
When choosing among solutions for hyperhidrosis, opt for the ones that are proven to be safe and effective. Read the labels carefully, check the ingredients, and make sure that the products do not contain harmful chemicals that may cause adverse side effects.
Topical glycopyrrolate requires a prescription and should be applied with care. On the other hand, Duradry offers a gentler and yet highly effective solution. We will discuss glycopyrrolate in detail further down but first, let us show you how Duradry can help protect you from excessive sweating and body odor.
Duradry 3-Step System
Duradry 3-Step System is a powerful combination of highly potent products that, when used together, can give you amazing results, fast!
- Duradry Wash deodorizes skin by removing bacteria that causes bad odor.
- Duradry AM Stick protects from sweat and odor all day.
- Duradry PM Gel works to stop the production of sweat as you sleep.
Duradry AM Stick offers the perfect all-day protection from excessive sweating and bad odor. It contains an enhanced performance version of Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex Glycine at 20% that effectively prevents sweat and bad odor without causing skin irritations or allergies. This antiperspirant is available in 4 fragrances:
- Clear Sky
- End Game
Duradry PM Gel works as you sleep by preventing the glands from producing excessive sweat. It contains this active ingredient recommended by dermatologists: Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate at 15%, which is just the right amount so it is gentle enough for nightly use and yet very effective at reducing perspiration and controlling bad odor.
It also conditions your skin and prepares it for when you apply Duradry AM Stick, so this antiperspirant is able to work much better. It is also formulated with Salicylic Acid that protects your skin from irritations. With daily use, you will be able to notice results in as fast as one week.
Another essential product for controlling excessive sweating is a body wash that can thoroughly and deeply cleanse the skin. Duradry Wash deep cleans the pores to get rid of odor-causing bacteria and inhibit its growth. It is infused with vitamins and minerals, leaving your skin revitalized, moisturized, and glowing. Complements Duradry AM Stick and PM Gel for faster results.
Duradry Body Spray
Excessive sweating is not confined to underarms. It can also occur in other parts of your body, such as the area under the breasts, on the palms, and also your feet. This is when a body spray that is formulated to control perspiration comes in handy. Duradry Spray is clear, unscented, residue-free, and aluminum-free. You can apply this on any part of your body, including your chest, feet, and underarms for protection against excessive sweating and body odor. Won't leave a sticky or oily feeling on your skin.
Duradry vs Glycopyrrolate for Hyperhidrosis
How Glycopyrrolate Works to Treat Excessive Sweating
Glycopyrrolate is a drug that was originally developed for the treatment of peptic ulcer disease. However, since it has a perspiration suppression effect, it eventually became a common prescription medication for the treatment of hyperhidrosis.
Glycopyrrolate is an anticholinergic, a type of prescription medication that blocks receptors in the brain to help to control conditions that involve excessive stomach acid production such as peptic ulcer disease. Glycopyrrolate for hyperhidrosis works the same way, inhibiting the production of sweat glands and, consequently, controlling excessive sweating.
Antiperspirants vs Glycopyrrolate Sweating Pills
Topical aluminum chloride solution is generally used for the initial treatment of primary focal hyperhidrosis. Duradry PM Gel contains this active ingredient at 15%, which is gentler yet as effective. It also contains salicylic acid that minimizes the risk of side effects.
Topical glycopyrrolate and glycopyrrolate pills are first-line treatments for craniofacial sweating and are found to have more risk for side effects. To avoid such side effects, try using Duradry Wash, along with Duradry AM, Duradry PM, and Duradry Spray. All these products have unique sweat and odor controlling ingredients, so, when used together on a regular basis, you will be able to notice results in just a matter of days.
Topical Glycopyrrolate vs Aluminum Zirconium
Compared to topical glycopyrrolate, aluminum zirconium is gentler on your skin. Duradry AM Stick contains this potent ingredient at 20%, ensuring all-day protection from excessive sweating and odor without harmful side effects. Glycopyrrolate, on the other hand, may lead to side effects if a sufficient amount is absorbed through the skin.
As mentioned earlier, extreme and excessive sweating can be treated safely and effectively with topical products. There are several options available in the market, so you need to do your research and choose antiperspirants that do not contain any harmful chemicals.
Three things you should watch out for when choosing an antiperspirant:
- Aluminum. Aluminium is a common active ingredient in many antiperspirants, essentially plugging the sweat glands to minimize perspiration. The problem is that there have been concerns about potential links between breast cancer and aluminium-based deodorants. Aluminium is also known to pose a threat to those on low kidney function.
- Alcohol. While alcohol kills some of the bacteria that causes bad odor, it can also cause skin dryness and irritation.
- Talc. It is said that daily use of talc-based deodorants can be as harmful as using talcum powder regularly. Some talc contains asbestiform fibers, which can lead to cancer.
- Silicone. Silicone does not let your skin breathe and traps everything, including bacteria, dirt, and sebum in your skin by forming a barrier on the skin. It also prevents other ingredients and products from working to their full potential.
Duradry is one of the most effective and trusted first-line solutions available without the need of a prescription. All Duradry products are formulated with naturally derived ingredients, so they do not cause any allergies or skin irritations. These products are gentle on your skin but are very powerful in terms of odor-trapping and sweat blocking.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Glycopyrrolate Stay In Your System?
Glycopyrrolate takes around 2 to 4 hours to be excreted from the body through urination.
Does Glycopyrrolate Cause Weight Gain?
No, glycopyrrolate does not cause weight gain. However, one of the common side effects of this medication is abdominal bloating.
In case you observe that you have been gaining weight rapidly after taking this medication, or experience severe constipation, stomach pain and bloating, inform your doctor immediately.
Does Glycopyrrolate Dehydrate?
As an anticholinergic, Glycopyrrolate will dehydrate your body. Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and warm weather. As glycopyrrolate acts to decrease sweating, you may be more prone to heat stroke.
While on this medication, increase your daily intake of water to counter its side effects, such as dry mouth and eyes. If you begin to experience any extreme symptoms of dehydration, call your doctor and let them know right away.
What Is the Brand Name for Glycopyrrolate?
Glycopyrrolate is available under the following different brand names:
- Glycopyrronium Bromide
Doctors often prescribe Robinul for sweating. This brand is one of the anticholinergics used most often in the treatment of hyperhidrosis.
Is It Safe to Take Glycopyrrolate?
Studies show that glycopyrrolate is safe and effective in treating hyperhidrosis. Results are usually observed as early as 1 week. General directions are 1 to 2 mg to be taken twice a day. Some patients may be limited in the amount of glycopyrrolate they are able to take because of side effects that increase as the dose increases. As to whether the risk of glycopyrrolate-induced adverse effects is increased in the elderly, there is no conclusive information available at present.
However, it is important to take note that there are several side effects that have been reported. Taking these into consideration, you may want to try other methods of treating excessive sweating, such as the use of Duradry products, which have been proven to be as effective without the side effects. Consult with your doctor so you can arrive at the best decision for your condition.