When over-the-counter (OTC) antiperspirants at the drugstore aren’t keeping you dry, it can feel like you’re running out of options. To find relief from excessive perspiration, some people consider getting a prescription antiperspirant.
The logic is sound: normal OTC antiperspirants don’t work, so you need something stronger.
And while several prescription antiperspirant brands are effective at treating excessive sweating, there are a few trade-offs to consider, such as potential side effects (such as skin irritation) and the cost and inconvenience of going to the doctor and getting your antiperspirant from a pharmacy.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an affordable, effective, and pain-free solution available that will work for you.
To help you find one, this post discusses 4 leading antiperspirant brands. Plus, we also talk about the topical solution we made to stop excessive sweating — Duradry’s 3 Step System. Duradry doesn’t require a prescription and has helped 97% of our customers achieve full dryness within a week.
But first, let’s clarify a few things about antiperspirants and how companies often brand them.
Prescription Strength Antiperspirant vs. Prescription Antiperspirants
When you’re shopping for antiperspirants to help with your excessive sweating problem, you’re going to come across labels that read “clinical strength,” “extra strength,” and “prescription strength.”
But those labels don’t have anything to do with an official rating. Sometimes what one brand considers “clinical strength” is simply increasing the same ingredients found in more traditional antiperspirants. But this doesn’t effectively treat excessive sweating. (Excessive sweating is a specific medical condition called hyperhidrosis, which you can learn more about here.)
Instead of going off of a company’s marketing, look at the active ingredients in their product. For example, studies have shown that Aluminum Chloride is one of the most effective active ingredients for treating excessive sweating, yet it’s not found in any of the “clinical strength” brands.
So what is the deciding factor for whether or not an antiperspirant requires a prescription?
There are clear, FDA-mandated requirements for what makes an antiperspirant require a prescription. In short, depending on the aluminum-based ingredient an antiperspirant is using, the FDA regulates how strong of a concentration a brand can use without requiring a prescription.
But while the FDA regulates the concentration of active ingredients, it’s important to understand that the quality of the ingredients — and their effectiveness — is not regulated.
4 Most Commonly Prescribed Prescription Antiperspirants
Below we cover 4 different prescription antiperspirants. As far as we understand, there isn’t much rhyme or reason why a doctor would prescribe one brand over the other (unless you have a history of an allergy to a specific ingredient).
So, if you’re seeking out a prescription for antiperspirant, ask your doctor about which brands they normally recommend, what side effects are common, and if they’re any non-prescription options you should try first.
Drysol: Drysol is a topical solution that you apply to your skin before you go to sleep. Drysol is sold as a liquid with a dab-on applicator. Drysol’s active — and only — ingredient is Aluminum Chloride at 20% (hence, a prescription is required).
This makes Drysol effective at treating excessive sweating, but a higher risk for side effects such as rashes, tingling, and irritated skin. And the solvent that makes up most of the formula is ethanol, which further dries the skin and causes irritation and swelling.
Potential side effects: Itching, swelling, and tingling. Due to the high concentration of Aluminum Chloride, these side effects seem relatively common.
Xerac AC: Xerac AC is an anomaly. It’s a prescription-only antiperspirant even though it has the lowest concentration of Aluminum Chloride on our list (6.25%). 6.25% is significantly below the threshold for what constitutes a prescription-only solution.
Potential side effects: Itching and mild tingling of the skin, but these are very unlikely considering Aluminum Chloride's low concentration.
Driclor: Driclor is similar to Drysol. It uses a 20% Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate concentration to treat your excessive sweating. Driclor comes a roll-on antiperspirant.
Potential side effects: On and around where Driclor was applied, some customers experience itching, tingling, a burning sensation, and rashes.
QBREXZA: QBREXZA comes as a wipe and is the only solution on our list that doesn’t use Aluminum Chloride. Instead, QBREXZA uses Glycopyrronium Tosylate.
Glycopyrronium Tosylate actually binds itself to the receptors in your sweat glands, blocking your neutron transmitters from activating them. QBREXZA is often effective, but it can also be costly. QBREXZA gets prescribed in boxes of two and, without good health insurance, a box can run you up to $600.
Potential side effects: dry mouth, sore throat, blurred vision, and headaches.
A quick note about availability: Sometimes you can find the above products on Amazon. These are sold by third-party resellers — but it’s not actually legal to sell prescription-only products on marketplaces such as Amazon. That means the authenticity of the product is questionable.
But you can also skip the doctor’s office in another — safe and more effective — way.
Below, we cover Duradry’s 3-step system that was developed to treat even the most extreme cases of excessive sweating.
Skip the Doctor’s Office with Duradry’s 3-Step System
I personally suffer from hyperhidrosis and have spent much of my life trying to find an affordable, easy-to-apply, easy-to-buy, pain-free solution. After trying countless brands — both over-the-counter clinical strength antiperspirants and prescription-only solutions (and even more extreme treatments like Botox injections) — I decided to develop my own.
Duradry’s 3 Step System is an OTC clinical strength antiperspirant with science-backed active ingredients to support its claims. Duradry’s products use the highest quality ingredients that don’t break down during application.
And by combining our active ingredients with complementary secondary ingredients, Duradry helps your skin stay dry without risking irritation. So far, by using our 3 step system 97% of our customers report achieving full dryness within one week.
Let’s look at each step below.
Step One: Apply Duradry PM Before Bed
Duradry PM is our advanced Aluminum Chloride antiperspirant. It comes in an easy-to-apply gel that covers your skin more completely than a spray or liquid. You apply Duradry PM before going to bed because the Aluminum Chloride can more effectively work on your pores when you're not active.
You only need to use Duradry PM 2-3 times a week for it to be effective.
We chose Aluminum Chloride (at a 15% concentration) for two reasons.
- Research shows that 15% of Aluminum Chloride is just as effective as 20%, but by only using 15% we reduce the risk of side effects, such as skin irritation.
- Because Duradry PM uses 15% Aluminum Chloride, you don’t need to visit a dermatologist for a prescription. You can buy Duradry PM directly from our online store. We ship all over the world and products are delivered in a discreet box.
We also use another important ingredient — Salicylic Acid. Salicylic Acid helps boost the effectiveness of Aluminum Chloride, and it also works as a lotion that moisturizes even the most sensitive skin. This way, you won’t dry out your skin while treating your sweating problem.
Step Two: Apply Duradry AM at the Start of Your Day
Duradry AM is our daily-use antiperspirant-deodorant. It has a pleasant, neutral scent — and it has been developed to help Duradry PM do its job as effectively as possible.
While the active ingredient, Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex GLY, is sometimes found in other “extra-strength” OTC antiperspirants, Duradry is a little different.
We only source the purest ingredients from the most reputable suppliers. These ingredients have micronized particles so they get into your pores easier, and they’re low pH — making them more potent and effective for blocking sweat.
And of course, none of the other antiperspirants offer the benefit of a 3-step system, combining Duradry AM’s daily application with Duradry PM’s robust overnight sweat-blocking characteristics. With these two products working in tandem, you can expect complete dryness every day.
Step Three: Use Duradry Wash When You Shower
Sometimes, the problem is your antiperspirant isn’t getting deep enough into your skin — and this can happen when unseen residue is plugging your pores. This could be from the antiperspirant itself, deodorant, or just due to normal everyday bacteria and oils.
That’s why we include Duradry Wash in our 3-step system. Duradry Wash uses a thick (but easy to wash away) Pentafoam Concentrate that thoroughly cleans your pores, making it easier for our other two products (Duradry AM and Duradry PM) to treat your excessive sweating at the source. And it’s packed with natural ingredients that soothe and cleanse your skin.
Try Duradry’s 3-step solution that actually works to stop excessive sweating. No prescription is needed! Use Duradry PM at bedtime, Duradry AM in the morning, and Duradry Wash to deep clean and prepare your skin for total protection against hyperhidrosis. Get started for just $20.
Do You Actually Need a Prescription Antiperspirant?
I know how debilitating excessive sweating is — I know how badly sweat stains can ruin clothes, how constantly drying your underarms throughout the day can destroy your confidence, and how it can even lead to anxiety.
But getting a prescription antiperspirant may not be the solution you think it is.
Prescription antiperspirants (generally) have a higher concentration of Aluminum-based ingredients, but that doesn't make them any more effective. When we created Duradry’s 3 Step System, we focused on:
- Finding the highest-quality and purest ingredients that wouldn’t break down when you started to sweat;
- Crafting the right combination of ingredients that work together to stop your sweating problem while not wreaking havoc on your skin, and;
- Creating a way for you to get hold of an effective and robust antiperspirant without costing you a fortune or requiring you to get a prescription.
Try Duradry’s 3-step solution that actually works to stop excessive sweating. No prescription is required! Use Duradry PM at bedtime, Duradry AM in the morning, and Duradry Wash to deep clean and prepare your skin for total protection against hyperhidrosis. Get started for just $20.