“Don’t sweat it,” “blood, sweat, and tears,” “by the sweat of your brow,” “no sweat.”
We’ve sure got a lot of ways to talk about perspiration! But here’s one you never want to say (even if you could figure out how to pronounce it): Qbrexza.
It’s the newest drug approved by the FDA — and as you may have guessed, it has something to do with heavy sweating, medically referred to as primary axillary hyperhidrosis.
That long name means excessive sweat from your armpits, which Qbrexza, a wipe soaked in a prescription drug that you rub under your arms, is designed to bring under control.
But whatever embarrassment or stains to your clothing that may cause is a mere blip compared to the potential side effects of this prescription anti-perspirant.
If sweating is a big issue for you, there are numerous natural remedies you can try — and not one will make you feel as if you’re stumbling through the Sahara Desert in search of water!
Sweating the side effects
The folks at Dermira, a pharmaceutical company that specializes in “medical dermatology,” must play a lot of Scrabble. How else could they have come up with a drug name that contains the big-scoring letters — Q, X, and Z?
But that’s where the funny part ends, because there’s really nothing to laugh about when it comes to Qbrexza.
This new way to inhibit “sweat gland activation” seems to work a little too well – because it can dry you out like an old sponge left on the kitchen counter!
Even a quick glance at the drug’s label is enough to have you running for a glass of water! I’m talking about side effects such as dry mouth, dry throat, dry skin, and “nasal dryness.”
But there’s more! There’s dilation of your pupils — which is annoying enough when your eye doctor does it to give you an exam — throat pain, headache, “urinary hesitation” (yikes, especially for guys of a certain age), blurred vision, skin “reactions,” and constipation.
And those are just the “most common” consequences.
Then there’s the potential of “urinary retention” (not being able to completely empty your bladder) and the inability to control your body temperature. Sweat, of course, helps to cool you down when things heat up. And by preventing yourself from perspiring with Qbrexza, your internal temp can soar when you’re in an overheated environment.
Unbelievably, this drug was also approved to be used on children – kids as young as 9! And as we’ve told you previously, the class of drugs Qbreza belongs to, called “anticholinergics,” are a disaster waiting to happen.
Anticholinergics, which also include sleeping pills and OTC antihistamines, can up your risk of dementia when used for long periods of time. But even just two months of daily use of such meds was found to be enough to cause cognitive impairment!
Can wiping Qbrexza under your arms cause untold numbers of patients to start having memory loss and confusion? This is something we just don’t know – and won’t be hearing about until it’s been on the market for years. By that time, it may be too late to undo the damage.
And this isn’t some kind of little niche market the drugmaker is trying to capture, either.
Dermira is pulling out all the stops to sell this med. The company is currently sponsoring an online “training” session for your doctor about “talking with your patients about excessive sweating.” Then there’s the “Check Their Sweat” website (I know, you can’t make this stuff up!) to further educate docs.
While excessive perspiration can certainly be embarrassing, not to mention devastating to your favorite shirt or dress, there are a whole host of reasons why that may be an issue. And not one of them calls for experimenting with a drug like Qbrexza.
One, of course, is menopause, when hot flashes and sweats can make any month feel like it’s the dog days of summer. And they can go on for years! Others include, diabetes, certain cancers, gout, and chemical poisonings — most especially mercury.
Of course, if you start perspiring profusely when there’s no apparent reason, you may be a candidate for treatment – but not with Qbrexza!
Instead, there are several excellent remedies you can try… starting with acupuncture.
This therapy, which involves poking thin needles just a tiny bit into your skin at certain points that correspond with your condition, is well-known to “calm” overstimulated nerves – which may be why some people perspire excessively.
And unlike Qbrexza, which is strictly for use under the arms, acupuncture can help with sweaty palms, feet, and any other areas where it’s a problem.
Other natural treatments include herbal teas such as sage, chamomile, valerian root, and Saint John’s wort. And if you find yourself sweating bullets under stressful situations, biofeedback, meditation, and other known relaxation therapies also can help bring it under control.
“FDA Oks new topical treatment for excessive underarm sweating” Megan Brooks, June 29, 2018, Medscape, medscape.com