Sweating is the body’s natural response to excessive heat or activity. But excessive sweating can lead to unpleasant body odor, skin infections, and social anxiety. Qbrexza is a topical anticholinergic cloth towelette that was specifically designed to reduce sweating. Qbrexza is the first and only FDA-approved anticholinergic towelette. It has been shown to be effective in reducing sweating in both men and women, but comes with a number of side effects.
What Is Qbrexza?
Qbrexza is a prescription, medicated wipe of Glycopyrronium, used to treat the symptoms of Hyperhidrosis. Qbrexza belongs to a class of drugs called anticholinergics. Glycopyrronium wipes have been studied and labeled for the primary treatment of hyperhidrosis of the axillae.
What Is Qbrexza Used For?
Glycopyrrolate, also known as glycopyrronium, is an anticholinergic drug. Glycopyrrolate has been widely used as a preoperative medication to inhibit salivary gland and respiratory secretions. The most frequent reasons for administering anticholinergics include producing an antisialagogue effect, creating a sedative and amnesic effect, and preventing reflex bradycardia. Glycopyrrolate is among the more common anticholinergic medications.
Some hyperhidrosis sufferers take oral anticholinergics to help control their sweating but can experience side effects such as dry mouth, muscle cramps, and urinary retention, but Qbrexza is a topical form of glycopyrronium tosylate at a 2,4% concentration, wich in theory, by applying the medication to the top of the skin instead of taking it by mouth, there may be a reduced incidence of such side effects.
How does Qbrexza work? How does it reduce sweating?
Anticholinergic drugs prevent your body’s nervous system from communicating with certain other cells. In this instance, the glycopyrronium blocks your body from activating your sweat glands. The treatment works by blocking receptors responsible for sweat gland activation. In studies, Qbrexza was found to be effective and well-tolerated, even in children as young as 9 years old.
Qbrexza was shown in clinical trials to improve sweating symptoms as soon as 1 week after starting the regimen. Studies also found that patients using Qbrexza wipes once daily for four weeks improved their “sweating severity” by nearly 25% to 30% (compared to 4% to 5% with placebo) and that measured sweat volume was reduced by 50% or more (in most patients.)
Qbrexza: topical anticholinergic cloth towelette
In June 2018, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new prescription topical treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis (underarm excessive sweating) called Qbrexza. Qbrexza is owned by Journey Medical Corporation, headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.
It marks the first FDA sanctioning of a hyperhidrosis treatment since miraDry was FDA-cleared for use in the underarms in 2011, and since Botox was FDA-approved in 2004.
How to use Qbrexza Towelette
Qbrexza comes in individually packaged cloths (or wipes) that are to be used at home once per day to reduce underarm sweating. One wipe is intended for two underarms. The treatment works by blocking receptors responsible for sweat gland activation.
Dosage and Administration
Towelette can be used once daily. Apply only to clean, dry skin of your underarms. Do not apply to broken skin. To use, carefully open one pouch and remove the cloth. Unfold the cloth and apply by wiping once across one underarm. Using the same cloth, wipe once across the other underarm. Do not cover the treated area with bandage. Do not save the cloth to use again. Throw away the used cloth in the trash. To avoid accidentally getting this medication in your eyes or other areas, wash your hands right away after using the cloth.
What are side effects of Qbrexza?
Redness, burning/stinging, or itching at the application site may occur. Dry mouth/nose/throat, dry skin, headache, constipation, or blurred vision may also occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
People who use Qbrexza may develop new or worse urinary retention, as a result from a blockage in your bladder or a larger than normal prostate.
Qbrexza can cause you to have decreased sweating in areas other than the underarm leading to overheating and the development of heat illness when in hot or very warm temperatures.
Qbrexza Risks and Warnings
Get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Coadministration of glycopyrronium wipes and other anticholinergic medications should be avoided. Safety of glycopyrronium wipes has not been studied in children younger than nine years, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or patients with significant renal impairment.
What Medications Interact With Qbrexza?
Some medications do not go very well with Qbrexza. Taking them together may increase drug side effects. While on Qbrexza, avoid taking:
- Anticholinergic agents
- Atrovent HFA (ipratropium)
- Klor-Con (potassium chloride)
- Urocit-K (potassium citrate)
- Spiriva (tiotropium)
- Incruse Ellipta (umeclidinium)
How much cost Qbrexza towelettes?
A one-month supply of 30 glycopyrronium wipes (one box) costs approximately $580. This is significantly more expensive than topical aluminum chloride hexahydrate therapies such as Duradry. Glycopyrronium wipes may not be covered by all insurance plans.
What is the difference between Qbrexza’s ingredients and clinical strength antiperspirants?
Clinical strength antiperspirants available over the counter use some form of the active ingredient aluminum chloride. It has proven effective for over 80 years and does not require a doctor’s prescription.
Because Qbrexza uses the active ingredient glycopyrronium, there are potentially very serious warnings and side effects, and you may be followed by a doctor during treatment.
Other alternatives than Qbrexza for hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis therapies come in a variety of treatments, each of which is safe and effective. Without the risks and side effects of anticholinergics, some may provide long-term relief.
Lifestyle remedies including regular bathing, choosing the right clothing and using an underarm antiperspirant or deodorant. There are even special tee shirts that absorb or block sweat. Botox injections, Microwave treatments that destroy targeted sweat glands. Iontophoresis. Sweat gland removal surgery.
Before you go down the road of hyperhidrosis medications like Qbrexza, try Duradry, a strong antiperspirant that doesn’t require prescriptions or come with a long list of side effects.