Botulinum Toxin: Hyperhidrosis

Botulinum toxin (Botox) can be used for the treatment of excessive sweating. This excessive perspiration and sweating is called hyperhidrosis.

Botulinum toxin injections temporarily block the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. When the sweat glands don't receive chemical signals, the production of excessive sweat stops in the treated areas only. Sweat continues to be produced elsewhere.

The treatment requires multiple injections, but is usually well tolerated by most patients especially in the armpits (axilla). If the injections are performed on the palms or soles of the feet, a topical anesthetics or nerve block may be considered.

The benefits from treatment can last 6-12 months depending on how much is administered.

The reduction of sweat production is temporary and occurs only in the treated areas only. Sweat continues to be produced elsewhere.

The treatment is not a cure. Sweating will return gradually, and you will know when the time is right for another treatment.


Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox, reported the following results for the use of its product for hyperhidrosis:

  • 57 out of 104 patients treated with Botox (55%) achieved an effective response, compared to only 6 out of 108 treated without Botox (6%). "Effective response" is defined as an improvement of at least 2 grades on the Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity Scale (HDSS)
  • 84 out of 104 patients treated with Botox (81%) achieved a greater than 50% reduction in sweating, compared to only 44 out of 108 treated without Botox (41%)

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© 2009 Vivacare. Last updated May 11, 2011.

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Additional Resources

Botox for Hyperhidrosis (link to Allergan)
Conditions
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