In 2004, for the first time in decades, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new treatment for excessive sweating of the underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis), palms and feet. Specifically, on Monday, July 19, 2004, the FDA approved BOTOX (botulinum toxin type A) for the treatment of severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis in patients unable to obtain relief using Antiperspirants. BOTOX has been used to treat more than 1 million patients with various conditions, including spasticity and movement disorders. With FDA approval, the United States joins more than 20 other countries that have already approved the use of BOTOX for excessive sweating.
Using local injections of botulinum toxin to alleviate the symptoms of hyperhidrosis is a promising approach. Research has shown that treating the armpits, hands, feet, and face with botulinum toxin is safe and effective. In one clinical study involving 322 patients with severe underarm sweating, 81% of the patients receiving botulinum toxin injections achieved a greater than 50% reduction in sweating. And, 50% of the patients had their excessive sweating relieved for at least 201 days (nearly 7 months).