Oxybutynin is an anticholinergic drug with an emerging role in the treatment of hyperhidrosis. Studies have shown that the drug is effective in reducing sweating and is an excellent choice for treating focal primary hyperhidrosis.

What is oxybutynin?

Oxybutynin is an antimuscarinic medication. It is usually used to relieve urinary and bladder difficulties, including incontinence and frequent urination, by decreasing muscle spasm of the bladder.

Oxybutynin chloride has an antispasmodic effect on smooth muscle and inhibit the muscarinic action of acetylcholine on smooth muscle.

Recently Oxybutynin is been used for the treatment of primary hyperhidrosis. It has a good safety profile and is effective for a large number of patients. While oxybutynin is often prescribed for old adults, it is equally effective for patients of all ages.

Primary hyperhidrosis

Although the exact cause of primary hyperhidrosis is unknown, the prevalence of the condition is likely to be greater than previously thought. The disorder is characterized by excessive sweating that is caused by increased sympathetic stimulation. The primary cause of the condition is still unknown, but it may be related to an increased response to normal stimuli and increased basal sweat production. The condition is easily treatable and can improve a patient's quality of life.

Studies have shown that oxybutynin can improve primary hyperhidrosis in both young and old patients. However, there are some side effects that need to be taken into account. In most cases, patients will experience dry mouth. Yet, this is a relatively minor side effect.

Oxybutynin is not FDA-approved for the treatment of primary hyperhidrosis, but it has shown promise. The drug was well tolerated and significantly reduced sweating on rare body sites. In addition, patients reported an improvement in their QOL and overall health.

Mechanism of action of oxybutynin in hyperhidrosis

Oxybutynin has been shown to be effective in many clinical trials in both generalized and focal forms of hyperhidrosis. However, its tolerability and long-term compliance may be an issue.

In 2012 a study was conducted on a group of 50 patients affected by palmar and axillary hyperhidrosis and 70% of the patients improves their symptoms compared with the patients treated with placebo. Patients with plantar hyperhidrosis were also treated with oxybutynin and 90% of the patients achieved moderate or great improvements.

Oxybutynin is an effective treatment for primary hyperhidrosis, but it is also associated with side effects when taken orally. Some patients experiment dry mouth, headache, constipation, and urinary retention as side effects.

Indications for oxybutynin use

Oxybutynin Chloride is indicated for the relief of symptoms of bladder instability associated with voiding in patients with an uninhibited neurogenic or reflex neurogenic bladder.

According to the Canadian Hyperhidrosis Advisory Committee, Oxybutynin and other oral medications are recommended as third line treatment for focal hyperhidrosis. As first line treatment are the topicals with aluminum chloride and Botox as a second line treatment.


Oxybutynin is one of several treatment options for primary hyperhidrosis. It is an anticholinergic agent that inhibits sympathetic activation by competing with acetylcholine receptors in the sweat glands. Its adverse effects include eye irritation and genitourinary tract irritation.

Oxybutynin may be contraindicated for certain pre-existing medical conditions. For example, a person with dementia, an enlarged prostate, heart disease, or an overactive thyroid may be more sensitive to the drug's effects. Other risks include glaucoma and urinary bladder blockage.


Oxybutynin was found to improve the symptoms of hyperhidrosis and improve the patients' quality of life. Usually, oxybutynin was well tolerated. It is also relatively inexpensive and can be applied topically.

Studies have shown that oxybutynin is effective for the treatment of primary hyperhidrosis in areas other than the underarms. However, the drug did have some side effects as mentioned before. One study showed that 25% of the patients discontinued the treatment due to side effects.