Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Font Size

Botox Approved for Severe Underarm Sweating

Injections Stop Sweat in its Tracks, Last Nearly Half a Year

WebMD Health News

July 20, 2004 -- FDA has approved Botox to treat severe underarm sweating that cannot be controlled with topical treatments such as prescription antiperspirants.

Botox is a protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. When used to treat severe underarm sweating, known medically as "primary axillary hyperhidrosis," small doses of an injectable form of the botulinum toxin stop the release of the chemical messenger acetylcholine, temporarily blocking the nerves in the underarm that stimulate sweating.

Botox: Not Just for Wrinkles

Botox was first approved in December 1989 to treat two eye muscle disorders -- blepharospasm (contraction of the eye muscles, which causes severe involuntary blinking) and strabismus (when the eyes don't line up together, known commonly as cross-eyed). Since then it has been approved to treat cervical dystonia, a neurological movement disorder causing severe neck and shoulder muscle contractions.

Most recently, in 2002, it was approved as Botox Cosmetic to temporarily improve the appearance of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows.

Botox Dries Up Sweat

In two multicenter, controlled clinical trials involving more than 600 adults, those who received Botox had significantly reduced underarm sweating as compared with the placebo group. In one study, four weeks after being injected, the percentage of people showing a 50% reduction in sweating was 91% in the Botox group compared with 36% in the placebo group. In another study, the average duration of response following the first treatment was 170 days.

The most common side effects following treatment (occurring in 3% to 10% of patients) included injection site pain and bleeding, sweating in other parts of the body, flu-like symptoms, headache, fever, itching, and anxiety.

Before being treated for severe underarm sweating, patients should be evaluated for other potential causes of the problem, such as an overactive thyroid, to avoid treatment with Botox without addressing a potentially serious underlying disease that requires other forms of treatment.

The safety and effectiveness of Botox for severe sweating in body areas other than the armpits has not been established.

Because Botox is a prescription drug, it must be used carefully under medical supervision for all the product's approved indications.


Today on WebMD

Pictures and symptoms of the red, scaly rash.
woman with dyed dark hair
What it says about your health.
woman with cleaning products
Top causes of the itch that rashes.
atopic dermatitus
Identify and treat common skin problems.
itchy skin
shingles rash on skin
woman with skin tag
Woman washing face
woman washing her hair in sink
close up of womans bare neck
woman with face cream